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Champaign IL It's Time for the Champaign County Fair!

by Rose Price

 

Just days away from the Champaign County Fair, one of the favorite events of the summer and has become "one of the best in the country" according to former Director of Agriculture for the State of Illinois. People travel from all over Illinois and beyond to enjoy the excitement and amusement the fair brings.  This year there will be approximately 1500 entry classes and over $100,000 offered in prizes.  Folks from all over the state exhibit and compete in a variety of categories; livestock, agriculture, arts, textiles, culinary items, horticulture, floriculture, needlework and crafts. There is a religious music show, a country music show, a talent show, demolition derbies, monster trucks, harness racing, motorcycle racing, car shows, rodeos, and tractor and semi-truck pulls.  

To kick the fair off, this past weekend Champaign County Fair crowned a new Queen.  Congratulations to Miss Haley Duden, whose mission is to provide life saving care to children in need.  Hear her explain the duties of the Queen and share some of the fun things coming up at this year's fair.       

       

       

These are only a few of the fun events happening at this year's fair.  For a full Event Schedule and more information Visit the Champaign County Fair Website.  

The Champaign County Fair Grounds are conveniently located at the intersection of Coler and Fairview Avenues in Urbana, IL
For those using GPS use  the address: 1302 N Coler Ave Urbana, IL

Check out the Video below to see what the fair was like in 1938:

                          SEE YOU AT THE FAIR!!!

CHAMPAIGN IL, Top 40 Commuter City in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Obviously there are many great reasons to live in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, but one often overlooked is commute time!  A bad commute can get old quickly and the daily back-and-forth to work can have a serious impact on your overall well being, turning your new dream home into a cage of sorrow. Well, no worries because now we've added a great commute to our list of great Champaign/Urbana traits.  Each of these cities are well below the average American commute time of 25.5 minutes.  

#7 Champaign

Coming in at number seven is Champaign!  That's pretty high on the list and here's why:  

Champaign IL is home to the University of Illinois' Research Park, which has received numerous high profile rewards over the past few years for it's unparalleled innovation and consistent creation of new high tech jobs.  The increasing job opportunities provided from the University means that residents no longer have to travel far to work a great job.  9 out of 10 Champaign residents make it to work in 29 minutes or less, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. 

#8 Urbana

Urbana IL, gets the green award on this one!  Over 10% of residents carpool and 4% telecommute!  So, obviously, less cars helps commuters get to work an average of 35 percent faster than workers across America and due to technological advancements, it looks like more and more people will be working from home, which will reduce commute times even more.    


#32 Rantoul 

The University of Illinois' Research Park isn't the only innovator in the area.  The Business Center in Rantoul IL is gaining a reputation as a new hub for innovation.  Not only does it offer new businesses high tech office spaces it is also home to the Rantoul Business Incubator and the Illinois Small Business Development Center and like The Research Park, more and more high tech jobs are being created here.  So Residents here don't have to travel far for a great job either.  Half of all workers in Rantoul travel less than 15 minutes to get to work, making the average total commute time 19.2 minutes.   

*All information and graphs taken from Obrella Insider.

Visit Obrella for a complete list of the 40 Best and Worst Commuter Cities in Illinois and check back with us for more information and useful tips for living in the Champaign/Urbana area.  

If you're sick of the lousy commute time in your area, then Champaign/Urbana may be the perfect town for you! give me a call, I'd be happy to show you around my fabulous community. If you'd rather look at some homes that are available first, visit the links below for homes available in each of the area's listed.  Then give me a call with any questions you have!

Champaign/Urbana Homes for Sale

Urbana Homes for Sale

Rantoul Homes for Sale

This Weekend in Champaign

by Rose Price

MULAN JR. Presented by the Champaign Park District Youth Theatre.

Located at Centennial High School Auditorium 

July 16-19 at 7:00 p.m. with a matinee at 10 a.m. Saturday.  

To save her father from death in the army, Mulan, a young woman, disguises herself and goes in his place, becoming one of China's greatest heroines in the process.  This weekend, Champaign Park District Youth Theatre will put on Mulan Jr.  The show is General Admission ($12/ticket)  and will be fun for young and old alike.   

OUTSIDE AT THE RESEARCH PARK

July 17 at UI Research Park (1816 S Oak Street, Champaign)

The night of blues will start with the James Jones Trio, who play a fresh contemporary take on traditional blues.  The Kilborn Alley Blues Band is up next, with their mix of grungy Chicago Blues and Classic Southern Blues.  That isn't all, this event will also host a Green Fair, which brings local-sustainable minded businesses together to share info on living green!  The green fair starts at 6 p.m.  and the music starts at 6:30 p.m.   

Champaign Fire Department celebrates it's 150th Anniversary

July 19 Parade starts at Noon

The fire department is celebrating this special occasion with a parade and Muster this Sunday in Down Town Champaign.  The parade begins at noon and will feature a number of fire apparatus and vehicles, which will travel from campus through Downtown, ending at the muster location at Washington and Walnut St.  This is a really special event and will be alot of fun.  There's more!  Champaign's very first motorized fire engine was recently located in Canada and is making a special trip to return to Champaign for the celebration!  There will be games and activities for the little ones, and food and drink will be available from a variety of vendors and food trucks.  

 

Mahomet IL One Of the Top 100 Places To Live In America!

by Rose Price

For those living in Mahomet, Illinois, it comes as no surprise that this thriving village has made Niche's 2015 list of Top 100 Communities to live in America. Niche ranks US suburbs based on livability; grading each for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation.  A high ranking then, indicates those particular suburbs offer a high quality of life to those living there.

MAHOMET IL

This midsize Illinois town of 7,412 is a great all around mid-western town.  Home Values are in the range of $185,300.  Rent Values are average and the Unemployment rate is extremely low at 3.1% (half of the national average).  Citizens here are usually highly educated and enjoy high income levels, with an average household income of $80,529. Housing here is varied; from turn of the century beautiful homes to high end new construction, so there's really a home to fit every taste and need.  The people are friendly and there's no shortage of unique local shops.  There are great parks in the area, providing many options for outdoor activities.  A favorite among residents is Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, which offers multiple walking/biking trails, swimming, boating, fishing and prime picnic spots, as well as a museum, botanical garden and golf course and in the wintertime, the preserve is a great spot for sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  

If this sounds like the perfect town for you, give me a call! I'd be happy to show you around the town and find a home that fits your personal needs. If you'd rather look at what is available first, follow this link to see all available homes for sale in special mid-western town. Mahomet IL Homes for Sale

I'm here to help make your Home Buying as easy & painless as possible, so please contact me with any questions you may have at 217-202-8843.

Getting your Champaign IL home ready for a walk through can be frustrating, especially when you're still living in your home, but keeping your home clean as you take all the necessary steps to sell your home is key; things like removing the personal items, staging, and ramping up your curb appeal.  Hiring a professional cleaning service isn't a bad idea, but those expenses add up over time.  So, here are some tricks to help you clean your house in a hurry, and  you'll be ready for a walk-through or a surprise visit from your inlaws, at a moments notice!

The trick is to start with the big rooms and move to the small:

1. Kitchen 15 minutes

  • Remove Clutter from all counter tops, cabinets and tables.
  • Clean Counters and Cabinets Wipe down counters and cabinets with all-purpose cleaner, speed up your process by brushing all crumbs and such on the floor (you'll sweep later).
  • Wipe Appliances Wipe down the fridge, dishwasher and cooktop areas as well as microwaves, toasters, etc.  
  • Load Dishes into your dishwasher.
  • Sweep and Mop Starting from the back and working your way to the front sweep those crumbs up and mop.  

2. Living and Dining Rooms 10 minutes

  • Clean Up The Clutter put anything that's out of place in boxes or drawers...if you put it in boxes, you're going to have to neatly hide the boxes somewhere.
  • Ditto for the Dust! Dust tables, fireplaces, mantels, window blinds and shades.  If any dust happens to fall on the floor, no worries, you will vaccuum at the end.  Don't forget to dust the ceiling fans and bookshelves... get yourself a long armed duster.  
  • Make that Glass Sparkle! Use glass cleaner to wipe down anything made of glass.
  • Ramp up the Vaccuum Now... vacuum all the dust you just put on your floor and on to the next room. 

3. Bathrooms 10 minutes

  • Start With Sink and Tub wipe down the sink and shower/tub with a good all purpose cleaner.
  • Clean the Toilet Thoroughly scrub the bowl with a brush, finish by scrubbing the outer area with a rag.
  • Wipe Mirror with your glass cleaner.  Start from the top corner and work your way down in a circular motion, think karate kid, "wax on...".
  • Wash The Sink Scrub the spots around the sink and fixtures with a brush to free up the grime, then finish with a rag and cleaner.  
  • Wipe the Shower/Tub Use a damp rag to wipe the shower and tub, if there are any tough-grimey spots, use a hard cleaner and brush to remove it...but don't scrub too hard. 
  • Mop the Floor Use a mop to quickly clean the floor of your bathroom, starting at the far corner and then working your way back to the door.

4. Bedrooms 10 minutes

  • Remake the Beds Remove the linens and replace with fresh ones so they look clean and crispy.  Don't forget to tuck the sheets in at the corner, go for the 5 star hotel feel, neat and crisp!​
  • Clear the Clutter Everything out of sight! Use drawers, baskets, the closet...you can organize more later.
  • Clean Furniture Wipe down furniture with a moist cloth or use a vacuum with hose attachment to suck up the dust.
  • Dust everything! tables, furniture, lamps, closets, shelves, ceiling fans, mirrors...everything.

Try these steps before your next showing, and be amazed at how quickly this can all be done.  If you are no longer living in the home or will be out of town you can hire a cleaning service and have this done for around $150. Check out my website for area businesses who are trusted individuals or companies who will provide these services in the area:  Preferred Vendors

For more Home Selling tips you can visit my website or check out my Facebook page.  Better yet, give me a call or stop in to see me!  I've been helping people Buy and Sell homes in the Champaign/Urbana area for 20+ years very successfully....and I'd like to do the same for you!

Champaign IL It's the Champaign Music Festival Weekend!

by Rose Price

 

WHEN: Saturday, July 11 from 6 pm-midnight

WHERE: Downtown Champaign

Admission is FREE; You'll pay for food, drinks and other vendors

One of the greatest events of the summer, formerly known as Mariposa Music Festival; guests get down to music from nationally recognized musicians.  This year will be an exciting evening with music from Smash Mouth and Toad the Wet Sprocket.  Attendees will also enjoy great food and beverages from local eateries.  So, come ready to rock out with your neighbors and friends!  It's FREE! So, why not?  

Schedule

6:00-6:30pm Brandon T. Washington

 

 

 

 

7:00-7:30pm Curb Service

 

 

 

 

 

8:00-9:30pm Toad The Wet Sprocket

 

 

 


     

10:15-11:45pm Smashmouth

 

 

 

Be a food vendor at our event! Click here!

Sponsor the Champaign Music Festival by clicking here!

Have Questions? Zoe.Stinson@champaignparks.com or call 217-819-3931

 

Champaign IL Top 10 Things To Do In Summertime!

by Rose Price

Summertime in Champaign Illinois is a great place to be! We have so many fabulous things to do ranging from outdoor fun; canoeing, swimming and fishing, to indoor fun at our fabulous children's museums and art centers. Or you can check out the local calendar's and visit one of the many festivals or events that take place on any given weekend during the summer months.  Whatever you and your family may choose to do....I know you will have a great deal of fun! 

OrpheumChildren's Science Museum The museum strives to inspire, engage and educate children through the exploration of Science and Art.  Great fun for families, schools, field trips, special events and birthday parties.  The building itself was actually a 1914 vaudeville and moving pictures theater.  

Kaufmann Lake is 24.2 acres of beautiful lake park.  Great for a day in the sun.  Families can canoe, swim and fish and there are plenty of picnic tables around the lake.  The park organizes a number of activities throughout the year, so check the Champaign park district website for more information.

Fannie May Chocolates Located at 402 S Neil Street, stop in and treat that sweet tooth.  Fannie May has been making gourmet sweets for 95 years and I think they've perfected the art of chocolate and they do have seasonal specialties...chocolate covered strawberries anyone?!

Zahnd Park Batting cages, baseball diamonds and football fields, set in a beautiful 20 acre park with a playground for the little ones.  Excellent for summer strolls or jogs. This park is especially busy with softball leagues in the summer.  

University Avenue Tree Walk  Join Champaign forester Bill Vander Weit and UI Educator Sandy Mason and learn some simple tricks in identifying trees.  A fun, interesting and educational walk on University Avenue.  For more information contact slmason@illinois.edu

Hessel Park Cool off! Get wet at the Waterplay Spray Ground in Hessel Park.  Kick back at the nearby shelter and let the little ones loose where they can go back and fourth from sprayground to playground!

Market At The Square The market is currently in its 34 season and was recently ranked one of the biggest and best markets in Illinois.  Each weekend roughly 5,000 people come to the market to shop the 70 or so vendors.  There's live music and a whole lot of fun.  One of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning in Urbana.  Stay up-to-date by checking the Market At The Square Facebook Page

Museum Of The Grand Prairie Fun and educational, this museum, located in the Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, inspires a connection to the natural and cultural world of Champaign.  Attend with or without your children, it's fun for young and old alike and best of all, it's completely FREE. 

Anita Purves Nature Center Located at the North End of Crystal Lake Park, is a great place for your family to experience the outdoors.  You'll see sakes, owls, beehives, birds and the staff there offers classes throughout the summer and are always willing to answer any questions you have.  

Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve Located in a rolling wooded area near Mahomet, Illinois this 900 acre preserve along the Sangamon River is a popular spot for fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country.  There is also a Botanical Garden and Lake Of The Woods Golf Course. 

 

CELEBRATE FREEDOM IN CHAMPAIGN, IL

by Rose Price

The Fourth of July is a sacred day for our country, we call to mind the blood, sweat and tears that accompanied the founding of this great nation.  We also call to mind the many men and women who still fight to protect our freedom, especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the rights that make America the greatest country on earth.  

Read the Declaration Of Independence here.

Champaign hosts one of the best 4th of July events in the country, with it's 66th Annual Freedom Celebration.  Festivities will start at 7pm. with live music on the main stage, located on Kirby Avenue between First and Oak Street.  There will also be a bounce house and inflatables for the little ones.  After the music will be the singing of the national anthem and retiring of the flag and immediately following, will be the long awaited fireworks show from the pyros Melrose Pyrotechnics. Go here for the full program and map.

 

 

  

OTHER 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS AROUND OUR AREA:
 
Paxton IL July 4th Celebration:  Paxton celebrates with a day of fun! Starting at 9:00 am there will be Live Music, Food, Children's Games- Bounce House, Great Car Show, Tractor Show and even a Watermelon Eating Contest!  Everything will take place at Pells Park, with a grand Fireworks Display at 9:00pm at the Memorial Field.  For more information follow this link:  PAXTON IL 4TH OF JULY 
 
Mahomet IL Freedom Fest 4th of July Celebration- Lake of the Woods Park:  Get set for a day with Family activities, food, and Music in Motion beginning at 3:00 pm!  After a tribute to our military men and women, they will LIGHT UP THE LAKE with a Fireworks Display that is set to music! Admission is $1 per person. Need more information, Follow this link: FREEDOM FEST MAHOMET IL
 
Tuscola IL- Sparks in the Park- 4th of July CelebrationThey don't fool around in Tuscola! The day starts with an early morning 5K run....but then you get to eat! A hearty pancake breakfast follows, then it's a basketball tournament, parade, and so much more!  The day is filled with a family carnival carnival of inflatables, games & food for the kids. Lives Music, food and drinks for Mom's & Dads. Followed by a fantastic Fireworks Display at dusk!
 
 
                                     WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY & SAFE 4TH OF JULY!

9 Tips For Making Your Champaign IL Home Energy Efficient

by Rose Price

Summer is officially here and inevitably your electrical bill is slowly creeping up as the months go on.  We have a few simply upgrades you can make to your home to make it more efficient and help keep more money in your bank account. 

 

Programmable Thermostats

Energy.gov suggests that turning your thermostat down 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you "as much as 10% a year on your heating/cooling."  Save more money; follow the recommended optimum daytime (78 degrees) and night time (70 degrees) temperatures, you can preset these and your thermostat will adjust on it's own.

 

 

Insulate

Adding new or additional insulation to your ceilings, attic and walls along with using caulk and or weather stripping (ensuring windows and doors are properly sealed) will prevent cold drafts and air leaks, keeping warm air inside in the winter.  These same improvements will help trap cold air inside in the summer.  

Ceiling Fans 

Now you've programmed your thermostat to the optimum levels, but chances are you may feel a little warm in certain rooms throughout the day.  This is where an energy star ceiling fan can help.  The average central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when running while the average ceiling fan uses only 60 watts, even when running on high!  You could save a lot of money even by running your fan for only half an hour a day.  In order to get the most from your ceiling fan follow these simple ceiling fan hacks from The Simple Dollar.  

 

 

HACK #1  In the summer time you want to adjust your fan so the air blows downward.    

Most fans have both a clockwise and a counter clockwise setting.  There are conflicting theories on what direction to use and when, simply because it is all dependent on how the blades are aligned and this varies from model to model.  Forget the theories, there's an easier way.  Simply stand below your fan and turn it on high, if you immediately feel a breeze, then it is on the summer setting (usually counter clockwise).  During the summer months, your ceiling fans should be running on high, with air blowing down, this will create the most air movement and give you the coveted breeze effect.

HACK #2 Turn the heat up a few degrees in the summertime.  

Sounds crazy right?  But, running your fan on high throughout the day will circulate the air better and create a breeze effect that will make the room feel cooler than it actually is.  

HACK #3  Turn ceiling fans off when you leave your home.

Obviously! Right?! Though running at 60 watts isn't a ton, you are sure to save quite a bit more if you shut your fans off when you're not home.  

 

Check out the video from Home Depot for instructions on how to install a new ceiling fan:

Replace Old Appliances

Obviously, old appliances aren't as energy efficient as newer models.  So, replace these dinosaurs with newer more efficient, Energy Star certified appliances.

For example:

  • A high efficiency on-demand water heater only fires when you need hot water.  It heats it quickly and then stops burning fuel.  
  • Get low flow appliances.  Low flow toilets, shower heads, and washing machines save a lot of water than more traditional models.
  • For the best results, double up.  Combine a low flow shower head with a on-demand water heater and double your savings.    

Window Treatments

Installing blinds, drapes, and shades will reduce the amount of sunlight and heat that enters your home.  Of course, these can be positioned in a way to let light and heat in only when you want it.  

Go Fluorescent

Fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent. Plus they look dynamite in the home!  

Open Your Doors

Keeping your doors closed stops your cooling systems from cooling the entire house and interrupts the flow of air, so open those doors!

Check Those Vents

A lot of homes, especially older ones have vents in strange places like closets for instance.  Go through your home and seal off any vent that is cooling an area that doesn't need cooling.  Even spare bedrooms and little used rooms can be wasted vents; blocking these will save you money. There are a large variety of covers out there, you're sure to find one that suits our vents. 

Last but certainly not least...

Take Advantage of Tax Incentives

The federal government offers a ton of incentives for making energy efficient home improvements.  Recent increases in incentives now allow for up to 30% of the cost of the home improvements, whether its for new windows, insulation, or air conditioning, up to $1,500 back into your bank account. 

 

Champaign IL BLUES, BREWS & BBQ FESTIVAL!

by Rose Price

One of the best events of the summer in Champaign is the Blues, Brews and BBQ festival.  The two day-free event​, the 8th annual blues fest features two stages for musical performances, the 4th annual Dinosores Motorcycle Show and the Orpheum Children's Theatre and it's right in the middle of our vibrant downtown, with more than 90 bars, restaurants and shops within a few blocks of the fest.  The event was always designed to bring families and the community together in a fun and entertaining way.  Last year, nearly 60,000 people attended.  Bring your friends and family and come enjoy Champaign/Urbana the best way we know how, with music, food and beer.  This year the fest is headlined by two of the most talented blues women in the industry.  Check em out below, you won't want to miss these incredible performances. Fluid events is teaming up with Dinosores Motorcycle club once again and the show features cash prizes in several categories.  You'll see a ton of show bikes roll in from around the country, these custom bikes are guaranteed to blow your mind.   

Check out the facebook page for up-to-date information about the fest.  

Event Schedule:

THE MAIN STAGE PRESENTED BY COORS LIGHT, U.S. 105.9 & CIB BANK

FRIDAY

4:30-5:30 - No Solid State

5:50-7:20 - Upshot

7:45-8:15 - Adrianna Marie

8:40-10:10 - Sena Ehrhardt

10:30-Midnight - Carolyn Wonderland

SATURDAY

12:50-2:20 - Country Showdown

2:40-4:10 - Laura Rain

4:30-5:00 - Motorcycle Awards Show

5:00-6:30 - Joanna Connor

6:50-8:20 - Janiva Magness

8:40-10:10 - Shawn Murphy

10:30-Midnight - Ana Popovic

 

 

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