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4th of July Events in Champaign/Urbana!

by Rose Price

The 4th of July is almost here! There are exciting family-friendly events going on this holiday throughout the Champaign/Urbana area that we wanted to share with you! Spend the holiday with live entertainment, kids activities, delicious food, and, of course, spectacular fireworks displays!

CHAMPAIGN

67 Years Champaign County Freedom Celebration

When: Monday, July 4th | 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Where: University of Illinois campus locations

This amazing annual event has something for everyone to celebrate Independence Day. Start the day off participating in the Youth Run or 5K Race/Walk which takes participants along the parade route. After being active in the morning, find your spot along the parade route. The parade starts at 11:05 am and will feature great patriotic bands, live music, and much more. Finish off your celebration at the evening program which starts at 7:00 pm and will be located along Kirby Avenue. The festivities include musical entertainment, kids activities, and a great fireworks display at the end of the night.  

RANTOUL

Rantoul Freedom Celebration

When: Saturday, July 2nd – Monday, July 4th

Where: Wabash Park (Saturday), Rantoul National Aviation Center (Sunday), RTHS Cafetorium (Monday)

Rantoul offers a full weekend of activities to celebrate Independence Day. On Saturday, check out a great car show from 10:00 am till 4:00 pm before watching the Rantoul Rocks Talent Show and the band 90s daughter in the evening. The following day bring the family for more fun at the Rantoul National Aviation Center. Watch the excitement of monster trucks or participate in the 5K. There will also be food, live music, inflatables, and many more activities available all day. Wind down the holiday weekend on Monday with a delicious pancake breakfast sponsored by the Rotary from 7:30 am until noon. The 4th of July parade begins at 9:00 am so be sure to claim your spot to watch all the fun!

MONTICELLO

Monticello Freedom Festival

When: Sunday, July 3rd | 4:00 – 10:00 pm

Where: Lodge Park

Cost: FREE!

Bring the family to this great event filled with live music, inflatables, delicious food, and a spectacular fireworks show.

MAHOMET

Light Up the Lake Freedom Fest

When: Monday, July 4th | 3:00 – 10:00 pm

Where: Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve (109 S. Lake of the Woods Rd.)

Cost: $2.00, Free for children 5 and under

Watch the lake light up under the fantastic fireworks display the night of the 4th. Before the show, enjoy family activities, food, and live music all day in the beautiful setting of Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.

PAXTON

July 4th Celebration

When: Monday, July 4th | 9:00 am – 10:00 pm

Where: Pells Park (700 E. Pells St.)

Enjoy a full day of activities at Paxton’s July 4th Celebration. Check out the car show and flea market in the morning starting at 9:00 am. Listen to patriotic music from the Community Choir. Kids will love the games area and reptile exhibit in the afternoon. Play bingo or participate in a watermelon eating contest! Marvel at the fireworks at the end of the night.

Celebrate America’s 240th birthday at one of these amazing events in Champaign/Urbana!

Champaignrose & Landmark Real Estate wishes you and your family a very happy and safe Independence Day!

Champaign IL 18th Annual Ebertfest: 2016!

by Rose Price

It's that special time of year, where film lovers from all over Illinois come to Champaign to celebrate and enjoy films inspired by the Great Roger Ebert's exquisite taste and his dedication and passion to the art of film. Founded in 1999 by Roger himself, the film festival features films that didn't receive the recognition they deserved the first time around.  Though he passed in 2013, he is a constant influence on the festival.  Some of the films come from Roger's own lists of possible films for his festival while others are selected by Chaz Ebert and Festival Director Nate Kohn, based on Roger's criteria for a Ebertfest film of course. Having both worked closely with Roger for 15 years, they know pretty darn well what he would approve of and what would make him cringe.   

As Roger himself said:

"Every great film should

seem new, every time you see it."  

Well at EbertFest every film will certainly seem new!  It's core mission is to celebrate films, genres and formats that have been overlooked by distributors, audiences and/or critics; including independent, international and studio films that did not win wide audiences; overlooked formats such as 70mm; and overlooked genres such as documentaries and musicals. One of our favorite parts of the festival is that it screens one film at a time, so everyone sees the same films at the same time, which promotes a strong sense of community among audiences, filmmakers, guests, students and scholars.  

"No good movie is too long

and no bad movie is short enough." 

We know that not everyone has the same taste in movies, but if you're going to trust one critic's opinion, it should definitely be Roger's, so hopefully the above quote won't apply this week.  Come see some great films, meet fascinating directors, actors, and filmmakers and celebrate the art of film and the life of one of the world's most beloved Film Critics.  

Schedule

Tickets

FAQ

 

 

Holiday Fun Around Champaign

by Rose Price

Garage Sale for Uni High’s Habitat for Humanity Club 

December 5 First Presbyterian Church

 302 W Church St

Need inexpensive gifts for the holidays?  Check out the Garage Sale at Uni High. The sale will take place From 8am to 1pm in the basement of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Champaign. Clarksdale MS is one of the poorest areas in the country, and is in desperate need of better housing. Uni High’s club supports the Habitat for Humanity affiliate there.  This is one of their biggest fundraisers. 

​Holiday Wonderland

Lincoln Square Mall - 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana, IL

Roberta Morris and the American Cancer Society host this special viewing of the biggest Christmas Village display in the Midwest. There are over 500 Department 56 lighted houses and accessories.  Best of all, it's free.  Go to Lincoln square and walk through the Holiday Wonderland with your family.  There will also be an interactive village for kids.  

Hours for viewing 

Saturday, December 5 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 6 – noon to 6:00 pm

Monday, December 7 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Tuesday, December 8 – 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, December 9 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Thursday, December 10 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Friday, December 11 – 3:00 to 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 12 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 13 -noon to 6:00 pm
Wednesday, December 16 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Friday, December 18 – 3:00 to 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 19 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 20 – noon to 6:00 pm

Wednesday, December 23 – 3:00 to 7:00pm
Snow Village design by Roberta (Bert) Morris

Donations going to American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Champaign County.

 

The 2nd Annual Light Up McFerren Park Christmas Light Display

786 W Elm St. Hoopeston IL

This year the City of Hoopeston added several new displays throughout the park.  Visitors drive the mile long loop at McFerren Park and view the incredible light display. Tens of thousands of lights guarantee a night you won’t forget. View the displays every evening, now through Jan.3, from sundown until 11 p.m. at McFerren Park. Admission is free.

Contact Hoopeston City Hall for more details at (217) 283-5833

Santa Stuff

Pictures with Santa

Marketplace Mall

Santa will be at the Mall through Dec. 24.  

There are Special deals available when you purchase in advance and reservations can be made. *Remember* Reservations and photo packages are NOT required to visit Santa. 

Calls From Santa

What if your child could talk to the Big Jolly man himself?  That can actually happen!  For over 20 years, the Champaign Park District has been offering free calls from Santa to Champaign-Urbana children. 

This year, calls will be made on Dec. 9 between 6-8 p.m. The deadline to register is Dec. 8 by 5 p.m. 

Calls are FREE

Register here

***Volunteer “Santas” are still needed!! Contact Claudia Christy at claudia.christy@champaignparks.com for more information*** 

Santa Train

Gibson City Railroad Station

221 N Sangamon Ave, Gibson City, Illinois 60936

This year the Santa train will be stopping at the Gibson City Railroad Station on December 12 sometime between 8 am and 11 am.  

No tickets are necessary.  Show up...and wait.  Santa will be there, there is singing and candy and it's been rumored that Mrs. Claus is making the trip this year.  Don't forget you camera and maybe some hot chocolate!  Regular railroad operations may cause delays, thus the big time slot.   

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!!                 

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!

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

 

 

The Champaign IL Land Connection Farmer's Market Update!

by Rose Price

                         

It's hard to believe that we are in our inaugural year of the Champaign Farmer's Market because it is going strong already...as if we had been here for years!  The people of the Champaign/Urbana area had been wanting a Farmer's Market that was central to the downtown Champaign area for quite some time, and boy are they showing their support!

Personally, I couldn't be happier. The vendors are all exceptional, the produce is absolutely amazing and all the products that have been brought to the market are truly incredible. Whether you are looking for fruits & vegetables, meats, fish or poultry, or the wares of the many talented artisans that set-up in the market weekly...you will never be disappointed!  The quality and care that is put into every single item in this Farmer's Market is evident at each of the Vendor's booths.

Right now is Strawberry season in Champaign County! Are you a berry lover? You must come on down to the market tomorrow and try some of these scrumptious berries. I take them home and eat them just as they are...although I do know that some people prefer to use them to bake some yummy items or turn them into jellies and jams. I'm all for that too!  And if you'd like to drop some off, I'd be a very happy recipient, I'm just not very good at doing all of that stuff.

Purple Kohlrabi and Tomato's have made a show the last week and are anticipated in larger quantities this week.  All in all, I can't wait to stroll through the market and check out all the goodies that await.  

If you get the chance, make sure to come downtown and take a look.  The Market takes place every Tuesday from 4:00- 7:00 pm in Parking Lot M at 310- 330 N. Neil St, downtown Champaign IL.  If you need directions, give me a call, I'd be happy to help you along your way.

Reminder:  Don't forget to collect all your Farm Fresh Recipe cards when you're at the market!

Farm Fresh Recipe Link

Have a POWERFUL afternoon!

 


YES IT'S BACK!!!

COME TO THE LARGEST SODA TASTING IN AMERICA

The mission of the festival is to expand your taste bud's exposure to flavorful soda pop while providing a unique festival experience with the backdrop of Main Street USA Americana; inviting to young and old bringing generations upon generations back to downtown America 

HOW IT WORKS: Tasting Soda is only a quarter each, but there are VIP tickets available for you Fizz Heads out there.  The ticket includes a commemorative tasting glass and UNLIMITED soda tastings through the day, plus a bag full of goodies from the sponsors!

It doesn't stop at soda.  This fest promises to bring out the inner foodie in all of the attendees, with award winning BBQ, wood fired pizza, all natural meats and more.  There is also a BBQ cook off for the die-hards.  

MORE:  This year there will be 2 Car events, a CU Folk and Roots Festival and loads of kids activities!  The kids will even have inflatable games that are interactive, provided by our very own Orpheum Children's Museum!  Balloon artist- with Massive bubbles,since it was such a huge hit with kids in 2014, even a concert for the kids will be performed. 

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAP OF THE FESTIVAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VENDOR LAYOUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REMINDER: It is a family friendly event and as such the only bubbles for drinking will be of the sweet syrupy kind. 

So, bring your friends and family to one of this year's "can't miss" events!

 

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