Fighting Illini Football Lightning Delay

It was a first ever for Memorial Stadium at the U of I–a lightning delay. There were few fireworks on the field, just a few from the corners as the Illini scored, but lots of lightning in the skies. As the tailgaters gathered into Memorial Stadium, a few clouds formed in the west–a harbinger of a long afternoon–and evening!

NCAA regulations require that when lightening occurs within 6 miles there must be a delay of 30 minutes. University of  Illinois regulations set it at 8 miles, so for almost 2 hours the Texas State game was delayed. Here are some photos from our cub reporter:

University of Illinois
The game started with a TD for Illinois on the first play from scrimmage.
Texas State vs Illinois
Then a few clouds gathered and the fans expected a bit of rain as forecasted. Lets hope the Illinois Nebraska game can go on without rain–our Illini need to be able to pass the ball in order to have a chance!
Texas State vs Illinois
Quickly, clouds formed, sprinkles dropped and lightning was heard in the west.
Tailgating parking
The stadium was emptied, the clock was frozen in the second quarter and 1000s of fans stood under the east and west stands.
Tim Beckman at Illinois
The new south scoreboard at Memorial Stadium made it clear–you must leave the stands. and take cover.
U of I
University of Illinois police and other law enforcement people made sure all was clear before the crowd was allowed to return to Memorial Stadium.

This weekend Illinois plays Nebraska in Lincoln and rain is forecasted–lets hope no lightning!

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Chicagoscapes, Larry Kanfer

Larry Kanfer’s new book “Chicagoscapes” will be the feature of a show at his gallery starting next week.

Larry Kanfer is one of Champaign Urbana’s great artists.  He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1979 and promptly opened his gallery which for many years was in Round Barn Center. The Larry Kanfer Gallery is now at  2503 S. Neil St.  in Champaign.

Larry’s photography comes from around the world, but in his six books, there are many that were shot in the Champaign Urbana area.

Now Kanfer has a new book, “Chicagoscapes” and it is the feature of an upcoming show at his gallery. According to 40 North, this new collection of photos carries the grit, sophistication, and friendliness of the Windy City.

The show runs September 17-27 with a launch and book signing at 5p on the 18th.

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Urbana Sweetcorn Festival This Weekend

University of Illinois
Downtown Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, 2014

The annual end of summer hoorah is here–the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival !

This is the  39th Annual Urbana Sweetcorn Festival and it is just around the corner: Friday, August 22nd and Saturday August 23rd!

This year’s festival is as usual in the heart of downtown Urbana on Main Street (watch out curbanas!) on Friday, August 22nd, 5:00–11:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 23rd, 11:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. The draw is expected to be 55,000 corn eaters from Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities in central Illinois. The festival also serves as the official welcome for incoming and returning University of Illinois students.

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Taste of Champaign-Urbana

downtown champaign
Taste of Champaign Urbana is this weekend!!!

This is the 44th annual “Taste of Champaign” and this grand event is a benefit for area youth. Taste runs Friday, August 15, 5-11p and Saturday 11a-11p at Westside Park. The host is the Champaign Park District and all kinds of restaurants, not for profits and performing acts are involved.

Friday you can see Craig Russo Latin Jazz, Beat Kitchen, Prince Night, and 90’s Daughter.

Saturday the main stage features Dreamfakers and Reverend Peyton’s Bi Damn Band among others.

There will be beely dancing, puppets, comedy and lots and lots of food and drink.

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Taste of Champaign 2014

Taste logo 2

You have to love the name of this iconic festival —Taste of CU— now in it’s 44th year!

But wait–that logo above came from the current Facebook page for Taste of Champaign Urbana–but it is wrong on the dates. Taste of CU has been moved back and is coming up this weekend.

Here are the correct dates:

Friday, August 15 • 5–11pm
Saturday, August 16 • 11am–11pm

Be there at Westside Park–food, entertainment, and hopefully no rain.



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Champaign County Fair

The Champaign County Fair opens today with a full schedule and some new features. The stage has been revamped and the ever popular “beer tent” has experienced a makeover.

The Champaign County Fair sprawls across the fairgrounds in Urbana–just behind Carle.

There will be the good ole demo derby, livestock shows, horse races, queens on display, Democrats and Republicans, and lots of cotton candy.

One highlight this year on the main stage is “Blackjack Billy”–Friday night.

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Champaign Urbana Fireworks

There are some great options for seeing forworks all around Champaign County and here are some of the favorites:

  1. Tonight at Lodge Park near Monticello. This is a neat little show and gets rolling at dusk. Bring a blanket and get there early!
  2. The show at the State Farm Center in Champaign is just a part of the Champaign County Freedom Celebration. Things are rolling all day in the area…a 5K run, parade, music and food00be there! The main stage is on Kirby between1st and Oak Streets.
  3. It is so amazing to watch the fireworks at Lake of the Woods. Admission is $1 per person and it gets started at 3p.
July 4 Firworks and 5K
The 5K at 9am is just a part of the Champaign Urbana July 4 festivities.
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Garden Walk in Champaign Today

Today is the annual Garden Walk from the U of I Extension. Tickets can be gotten at University of Illinois Extension – Champaign County, 801 N. Country Fair Dr. Suite D, Champaign, IL 61821 or at local garden stores (like Prairie Gardens) today for just $12.

Garden Walk
The annual U of I Extension Garden Walk at 1104 West University, Champaign and other lovely homes.

The tour is from 9-4 today and you will support the U of I Extension Master Gardeners by participating. one of the included homes is at 1104 West University, Champaign.

U of I Extension Garden Walk.
This lovely home on University in Champaign is one of the group included in this year’s Garden Walk in Champaign.


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Curbanas Are Here!

This morning the city workers were in downtown Urbana this am assembling the new “Curbanas” (parklets) in front of Crane Alley with the one in front of Cafeteria and Co to follow pronto. The temporary structures come in a kit and extend the sidewalk into the parking places–like two parking spots will be taken in each location.

Curbanas are here
The first of the new Curbanas took shape this morning in front of Crane Alley in downtown Urbana

So some questions:

  • Will there be more of these next year?
  • Are they big enough to actually seat four people at a table?
  • Willl the loss of parking spots be no big deal for downtown Urbana?
  • Will they come to downtown Champaign next–and what will we call them–Chamcurbs?

Enlighten me!


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Uncork Urbana Wine Festival

Wine Urbana
The first ever wine festival in downtown Urbana is unveiled tomorrow!

Saturday June 14, 2014 is the premier of a new local festival in Champaign Urbana–and it gets rolling tomorrow in downtown Urbana. The Urbana Business Association is sponsoring the Uncork Urbana Wine Festival and it will likely become one of the most popular local summer events.

Here are some details:

  • It runs 1-9pm in downtown Urbana–in the Busey parking lot
  • Admission is only $10–you have to be 21– and includes a commemorative tasting glass and 5 tasting tickets. You can buy additional tasting tickets.
  • You can buy additional wine or beer –and all from local wineries and breweries
  • Entertainment will go on all afternoon into the evening
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