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Two Great Festivals This Weekend in the Champaign/Urbana Area!

by Rose Price

There is always something exciting going on during the summer in the Champaign/Urbana area! And this last weekend of August is no exception!!! This Friday, August 26th, and Saturday, August 27th, your family will have tons to do at one of two great festivals in our area…..the Mahomet Sangamon River Music Festival and Urbana Sweetcorn Festival!

 

Sangamon River Music Festival in Mahomet

Head over to Downtown Mahomet this Friday and Saturday for their Annual Sangamon River Music Festival. This great family friendly event features incredible live music, bags tournament, parade, carnival rides and so much more!

 

This festival takes place from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday evening and all day Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:30 pm. Both days you can dine on delicious food and buy crafts from the numerous vendors. Pop into the Mahomet Lion’s Beer Tent for a frothy beverage. Carnival rides will be available both days. Buy a $20 armband for unlimited rides!

 

The highlight of this festival is truly the music. Both days are jam packed with incredible live musicians and bands. Check out the headliners on Friday and Saturday night, Uncle Kracker and Phil Vassar, respectively! For a full schedule of the bands playing, click HERE

 

Saturday will have additional fun events for you and your family to enjoy. Set up along the Festival Parade route, starting at Lincoln Trails School and ending on Franklin, on Saturday morning between 9:00 am and 10:30 am. Grab a friend and enter the Bags Tournament for a chance to win cash prizes! Print out the Bags Tournament Registration and bring $40 cash at 12:30 in front of the fire station to join in the fun!

 

Event Details

Date: Friday, August 26th, 2016 and Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Time: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Friday) and 9:00 am - 11:30 pm (Saturday)

Location: Main Street, Mahomet

Cost: FREE admission, including all musical performances!

Parking: FREE festival parking with Shuttle Service in Mahomet IGA’s grassy area on Eastwood Drive.


 

2016 Sweetcorn Festival in Urbana

Can’t make it over to Mahomet, or want to make the most of your weekend by hitting up an additional festival?? Check out the Sweetcorn Festival in Downtown Urbana this Friday and Saturday. Dine on perfectly steamed sweetcorn, marvel at vintage cars, see your favorite bands, and much more.

 

This long running annual festival takes place from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am on Friday evening and on Saturday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. Did you know that offer 30,000 ears of corn are consumed at this festival annually?! See what the hype is about as you mow down on delicious corn provided by local farmers! If you aren’t a corn enthusiast like the rest of us, there are plenty of other incredible festival food options for you to choose from.

 

Delight your ears with the talented local, regional, and national musicians performing both days. There are 3 different music stages at the festival! Check out the headliners on Friday and Saturday night, Diamond Rio and Smash Mouth, respectively! For a full schedule of the bands playing, click HERE!

 

In addition to the food and music, there are lots of other entertainment for you and your family during this festival. Your kids will love all the activities provided specifically for them. Check out the merchandise and informational vendors. On Saturday, head over to the Motor Muster Car Show, which showcases vintage automobiles!

 

Event Details

Date: Friday, August 26th, 2016 and Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Time: 5:00 pm - Midnight (Friday) and 11:00 am - 11:00 pm (Saturday)

Location: Downtown Urbana

Cost: FREE admission. $1 per food, drink, and game tickets.

Come to Taste of Champaign-Urbana 2016 This Weekend!

by Rose Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill your bellies with delicious food and your spirits with good cheer at our favorite Champaign-Urbana summer festival…..the Taste of Champaign-Urbana 2016. Head down to West Side Park this Friday and Saturday for the ultimate celebrate. Enjoy delicious food from the finest Champaign-Urbana restaurants, quench your thirst with craft beer, dance to live music, and pick up some unique arts and crafts from local artisans! Not only will you have endless fun, but by coming to this festival, you are supporting the youth in our great community! All proceeds from Taste of CU fund scholarships for local youth to learn to swim, take dance lessons, plays sports, attend camp, and so much more! Here is all the information you need to make the most of your time this weekend at Taste of Champaign-Urbana:

 

Full Schedule and Map of Park

 

Food and Beverages!

The star of this festival is truly the food! Dine on delicious menu items from 13 local restaurants and 11 food trucks! Whatever your taste buds fancy, from pizza and Chinese to burritos and BBQ, there is a food vendor that you will love! For those 21 and over, wash all the amazing food down with domestic Miller beers or beers from our favorite local brewers including Destihl, Tryptych, and JT Walker’s. Craft beer enthusiasts should be sure to hit the beer tent on Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm when local breweries will be sharing the special beers that they created specifically for this year’s Taste of CU.

 

Live Entertainment!

Head over to the Illinois American Water Stage for incredible performances by talented musicians and bands!

 

Friday, August 19th

5:30 - 6:30 pm - Alex and the XOs (Indie-Pop)

7:00 - 8:00 pm - New Souls (R&B/Hip Hop)

8:30 - 9:30 pm - Tell Mama (Soul, Funk, Jazz, R&B)

10:00 - 11:00 pm - Kurtis Blow (Rap/Hip Hop) *Friday’s Headliner*

 

Saturday, August 20th

3:30 - 4:30 pm - CUperStars

5:00 - 5:45 pm - Katie Flynn (Cabaret)

6:15 - 7:15 pm - Elsinore (Pop/Rock)

7:45 - 8:45 pm - Dirty Feathers (Alternative Rock)

9:15 - 11:00 pm - Vertical Horizon (Pop/Rock) *Saturday’s Headliner*

 

Kids Activities!

Your children will enjoy endless entertainment and activities in the kids zone! There will be inflatables, paintball, face painting, balloon animals, bubble demos, crafts, and so much more!

 

Pie Run!

Registration for the Pie Run might be over but you can cheer the runners on along the 3.14 mile course starting at 6:00 pm on Saturday! Make sure you are there at the end line to see those participants who brave the Flying Pies finishing lane! Additional Pie Run Information.

 

Monarch Summer!

Visit the butterfly booth to learn all there is to know about monarch butterflies! There are plant giveaways, activities for children, and great information butterfly migration and pollination.

 

Event Details

Date: Friday, August 19th, 2016 - Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Time: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (Friday) and 11:00 am - 11:00 pm (Saturday)

Location: West Side Park (400 West University Avenue, Champaign)

Cost: FREE Admission! Taste Tickets are $5 for 5 (needed for food, beverages, and activities)

Champaign/Urbana Days this Weekend!

by Rose Price

Celebrate all that the Champaign/Urbana community has to offer at CHAMPAIGN-URBANA DAYS!!! This amazing family-fun event is occurring this weekend on Friday, August 12th and Saturday, August 13th at the recently renovated Douglass Park.

 

Start the festivities off on Friday evening from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The kids will love all of the activities planned! From face painting and joyful bubbles to touch-a-truck and  inflatables, there are activities galore. Put your creativity to the test with Cardboard Car Making! “Ride” your automotive creation over to the “Drive-In” movie where you will see the great summertime classic The Sandlot. The screening will begin at dusk.

 

Be sure to get some rest on Friday night because the fun continues all day Saturday at CU Days! Cheer your team onto victory as they compete in the CU Days Basketball Tournament. See all the local talent in our community at the CUperStars vocal competition and CU Day Fashion & Talent Show. Activities are planned for people of all ages, including the Senior Luncheon and Bingo at Douglass Community Center!  There will also be live entertainment all day with performances by Deshawn Music, Kevin Cory, and Young One.

 

Spend the weekend at the park while enjoying some delicious food and tons of fun activities for the family at Champaign-Urbana Days!

 

Event Details

Dates: Friday, August 12th – Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Times: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Friday) and 11:00 am - 8:00 pm (Saturday)

Location: Douglass Park (501 East Eureka Street, Champaign)

Cost: FREE!


Event Map and Activities Schedule

It's Time for the 2016 Champaign County Fair!!!

by Rose Price

County fairs are a great summertime tradition and there are none better than our beloved CHAMPAIGN COUNTY FAIR! Celebrate our great CHAMPAIGN/URBANA community and the surrounding area at the fair Thursday, July 21th, through Saturday, July 30th. That’s 10 days filled with family fun and amusement!

 

Head on down to the Champaign County Fairgrounds located at the intersection of Coler Avenue and Fairview Avenue 525 South Randall Road in Urbana for all the festivities. There is something for everyone on the Midway! Dine on some classic festival food. Take a spin on some of the amusement rides or win prizes playing carnival games. Check out all of the amazing local vendors and exhibits. Children will love the Kiddie Land, animal shows, and much more! For additional excitement, head over to the Grandstand to watch several different special events such as the demolition derbies and the 25th Annual Custom Car, Truck and Semi-Truck Show on July 23rd! On Thursday, July 28th, groove to the music of Granger Smith and Dylan Scott. The concert starts at 7:30 pm. Purchase Tickets Here.

 

Start of the Champaign County Fair tonight from 5 to 9 pm for a special Benefit Preview Night. Admission is free with a can of perishable food. Donations will go to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. A portion of the proceeds from the carnival and food vendors will go to fund future agricultural programs at the fair! 

 

Admission to the fair is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are FREE when accompanied by an adult. A season pass can also be purchased for $25. Carnival ride tickets are $1.25, with each ride usually costing two tickets. Take advantage of the bracelet days on Thursday, July 21, from 5 to 9 pm, Sunday, July 24th, from 12 to 5 pm, and Saturday, July 30th, from 12 to 5 pm where you can get unlimited rides for $25!

 

Schedule of Events

 

We cannot wait to see you this week at the 2016 Champaign County Fair!!

It's the Champaign Blues, Brews & BBQ Festval 2016!

by Rose Price

Join us downtown CHAMPAIGN for the 9th Annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival! Enjoy this free two day event this weekend on Friday, June 24th, and Saturday, June 25th.

Bring the entire family down for live entertainment, delicious food, and much more. The two stages will feature some of the best blues musicians from around the country. Get down to the music of David Dunavent & Evol Love, Slam Allen, Edward David Anderson, and many more contemporary blues artists.

Prepare to get your hands dirty as you savor some of the best BBQ around. Delicious ribs and pulled pork will be available from some of the great local BBQ joints in the Champaign/Urbana area. Other festival food favorites will also be available for purchase.

There are many other things to enjoy doing the festival as well. Swing by the 5th Annual Dinosores Motorcycle Show. This is the biggest bike show in the state. Take some time to enjoy all that downtown Champaign has to offer with the multitude of restaurants, stores, and entertainment located right by the festival grounds. The festival truly has something for everyone to enjoy!

Come get your groove on with us this weekend at the 9th Annual Champaign Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival!!

Event Details

Date: Friday, June 24th – Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Location: Downtown Champaign behind the News Gazette (15 East Main Street)

Cost: FREE!

     The Music

    The Food

    The Motorcycles

This Sunday, June 19th, is Father’s Day! Time to celebrate the dad in your life. No matter what your dad loves to do, there is something for everyone happening this weekend around CHAMPAIGN/URBANA. Here’s a list of the top activities for you to show your dad how much you appreciate all that he does!

SHOLEM FATHER'S DAY CELEBRATION. Head over to the Sholem Aquatic Center in Champaign for a fun filled day at the pool. Let dad lounge on the lazy river and speed down the three slides. Your dad gets in for free. Enjoy half priced root beer floats while you watch your father in the entertaining cannonball competition.

FATHER'S DAY CAR SHOW. For the car loving dad, check out some hot wheels at First Christin Church (3601 South Staley Road) in Champaign for the Father’s Day Car Show on Sunday, June 19th. The show will feature awesome cars, a bounce house, and food.

SOUNDS AT SUNSET CONCERT. Enjoy a relaxing evening on Father’s Day at Eisner Park in Champaign for the Sounds at Sunset Concert. Listen to great music and snack on the picnic that you packed with all of your dad’s favorite foods.

TAKE ME FISHINGGrab your fishing rods and your father and head to Walnut Hill Shelter Homer Lake Forest Preserve for the free Take Me Fishing event. From 9 until 11 am, enjoy the great outdoors with your dad. Kids can win awards for the fish they catch and beginning lessons will be offered.

MONTICELLO RAILWAY MUSEUM. Enjoy a vintage train ride with dad at the Monticello Railway Museum. Dad gets to ride for free on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. After your train ride, explore the museum to see railway artifacts and exhibits.

FATHER'S DAY STORYTIME. For the little ones, head over to Barnes and Noble (65 East Market View Drive) in Champaign for a special Father’s Day reading of two children’s books, Grandpa Loves You by Helen Foster James and Dad School by Rebecca Van Slyke. There will be activities held afterward for the fathers and children.

CRYSTAL LAKE PARK FAMILY AQUATIC CENTER. Dad’s swim for free on Sunday at Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center when accompanied by one child. Beat the summer heat and have a day at the pool!

A big thank you to the dads in our community for all that you do!

Follow the Farmstead in Champaign IL!

by Rose Price

Join us this Saturday, June 11th, for the 2nd annual Champaign County Farm Tours. This great event connects the surrounding community with local farms to learn about Central Illinois farming. Our area has a rich farming tradition which is celebrated through this day long tour. The Champaign County Farm tours is a family friendly event that includes demonstrations and hands on activities. Participants will have the opportunity to see farm animals, innovations in farming technology, and learn about the local food economy.

This year’s event will include six local farms and facilities located around Champaign County. Agrible Inc. will show visitors the technology it offers to help farmers collect agricultural data and improve processes. Autumn Berry Inspired and Green Island Farm Collective will showcase the local produce and food stuffs that they create while promoting sustainability. Barnhart Prairie Preserve is a prairie reconstruction site dedicated to preserving the natural landscape of Champaign County. Visitors to this site will be able to tour the prairie and learn more about the natural history of our community. Birkey's Farm Store Inc will be hosting tours between 9:00 am and noon to discuss the machinery that they supply to local farms. Pheasant Ridge Farms is a standard at local farmers markets in Champaign and Urbana. The farm will be open to the public to see their organic produce and farm animals. At the University of Illinois Beef Farm, researchers will teach visitors about work being completed at the farm. 

This fun and educational event is the perfect way to spend this upcoming Saturday! Bring the whole family out to learn about the local farming community and gain new appreciation for where our food comes from.

Event Details

Date: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location: Farm Tour Locations

Cost: FREE!

March 24th is the 75th anniversary of Chanute Airfield's Tuskegee Airmen! Champaign Illinois was the birthplace of the Tuskegee Airmen. These brave men showed incredible heroism and courage at a time of severe racism in our country and a belief that black soldiers were inferior to white, that they didn't have the capacity or fortitude sufficient to fly warplanes into battle. 

It wasn't until 1941 when A. Phillip Randolph pushed President Roosevelt to include Black Americans in combat roles, that they became eligible to fight. However, St. Louis and Detroit were the original designated locations for training sites, but neither city would allow these men to train in their airspace. it was Champaign County that stepped up and supported the program and offered Chanute Army Air Field to host the training.  This historical event took place during the week of March 19-26, 1941 at Chanute Air Field, Rantoul, IL for the Black Fighter Pilots. 

Later that fall, these fighter pilots were transferred to Tuskegee, AL but Chanute Air Field was kept as an integrated base for weatherman, armorers, fire fighters and mechanics.

On March 24, 1945, three Tuskegee Airmen shot down 3 German jets, marking the very first time American pilots shot down enemy jet fighters. 

While only 14 of the original Tuskegee Airmen are still alive today, there are many pilots who helped integrate the Army Air Corps. 

Our Illinois National Guard Armory will host a kick-off celebration on Thursday, March 24, designating Champaign County as the Birthplace of the Tuskegee Airmen March 1941.” The program will begin at 11:00 a.m. and last one hour. Following the event, the Champaign County Engineers will install the “Birthplace of the Tuskegee Airmen March 1941” signs on all US and IL highways entering Champaign County.

Various Veteran organizations throughout Champaign and Douglas counties will be on hand to commemorate the designation. The public is also encouraged to attend to celebrate the role of Chanute Air Field in this monumental time in our country’s history.

Photo Credit- VisitChampaign.org

It's GIVING TUESDAY Champaign/Urbana IL!

by Rose Price


We had Black Friday to kick-off the Champaign/Urbana Holiday shopping season, then Small Business Saturday to support all our wonderful local shop owners and Cyber Monday to grab all the last minute deals we didn't get on the previous 2 days.   Now we have the opportunity to Give Back to our fantastic local Community Centers, Charities, Families and Businesses with...GIVING TUESDAY!

Yes....today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of generosity started in 2012, and the spirit of giving is in the air!! Today we can choose which of the fantastic Champaign/Urbana organizations we'd like to support. All of these organizations give to our local residents all year long in a variety of ways and are very deserving of our support. For those of us who may be feeling stretched this holiday season, consider one of these options in lieu of a monetary donation:

  • Donate your Time: Money is always needed, but it’s not the only thing we have to give. Homeless Shelters, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes often need extra individuals on hand to help with various duties.
  • Benevolent Spending: Some companies make it possible to simultaneously give to charity while taking care of your gift list too! Look for companies that donate part of your Holiday Spending to a charity of your choice with each Gift Purchased.
  • Bring in your Coins: You might be surprised by how quickly those little coins laying in the bottom of your Purse, in your Car, or stuck in Couch Cushions can add up. You may end up giving more than you thought you could give. Besides, many organizations take any amounts and put it towards bigger goals.
  • Donate your Air Miles: If you haven’t already used them for holiday travel, you can donate any extra airline miles or hotel points to charity. Check with your airline for all the specifics, but many work with the American Red Cross and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

To locate which Champaign/Urbana Organization you'd like to support, you can search this main GIVING TUESDAY website:  GIVING TUESDAY

Here are some quick links to Champaign/Urbana Organizations we know are looking for support;

University of Champaign YMCA

Christie Foundation

 

 

Illinois Walk & Run for Wishes

 

Champaign Park District

 

Feeding Illinois

To find any Illinois Organization:  ILGIVES.com

 

Urbana IL Sweetcorn Festival celebrates it's 40th Year!

by Rose Price


ARE YOU READY?  It's time to help Urbana IL celebrate this festival's "Sweet" 40th Anniversary!   What am I referring to?  The 40th Annual Urbana SweetCorn Festival! 

WHEN:   Friday (08/28)- Saturday (08/29)

WHERE: Downtown Urbana IL

TIME:     Friday- 5:00- 11:00 pm, Saturday- 11:00- 11:00pm

COST:     Admittance to the festival is FREE, and that includes see the bands! You will need to purchase tickets for food, drinks and games. The tickets are $1.00 each.

 A little HISTORY of the fest:

The first Urbana SweetCorn Festival  took place in the parking lot at Main & Race St, downtown Urbana, and was put on by the Busey Bank employees.... in August 1975. 

The Urbana Business Association is now responsible for the planning of the festival, over the years adding a local car show, an expanded family area, live music on multiple stages, food, vendors, and beer all in the heart of downtown Urbana. It is also the LARGEST FREE FESTIVAL in Champaign County!

FESTIVAL FACTS:

  • Around 30,000 ears of sweet corn are consumed each year at the festival.
  •  The wonderful Sweet Corn comes from FRESH, our own LOCAL FARMERS! It's what makes it so delicious! 
  • Bet you didn't know that they use an antique steam engine to cook the corn. (I thought that was amazing!)
  • The festival promotes "Green Efforts" by offering recycling receptacles throughout the festival, and they even compost all the corncobs!

                      

Some Common Q & A:  Check out this link- Commonly Asked Questions

There is a FANTASTIC line-up of music this year!  Bands from the The Psychedelic Furs to the Urbana High Marching Band! For the Complete Schedule click here: Musical Line-Up

Vendors, Vendors and more Vendors! Check out this link for a complete list: VENDORS

This is going to be a KIDS DREAM ZONE! From Bounce Houses to Meeting Box Turtles and more....the kids will have a blast! Here's the complete kids schedule: KIDS ZONE

BELOW IS THE ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE FOR THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL:

                         

I hope you all enjoy the festival as much as I have over the years! If you've never attended, make this year your first.  It's the 40th Anniversary after all, there's never a better reason that that!  HAPPY 40TH ANNIVERSARY URBANA SWEETCORN FESTIVAL!!                 

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