Dancing Dog- New Vegan Option in Urbana

vegan in urbana
The new Dancing Dog in Urbana is set to open October 20 with vegan entrees. From the News Gazette

The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery is getting set to open in downtown Urbana. The open date is set for October 20, and this will be the first all-vegan eatery in the area. The address is 126 West Main, Urbana–downtown Urbana just keeps adding new options!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered Monday though Saturday and then brunch on Sunday. Some of the dishes on the menu are black bean burgers, eggplant parmesan lasagna, and hummus plate. Add in some crepes, super salads, and cupcakes and you have some great vegan eating.

Drinks will include coffee from Columbia Street Roastery as well as teas, soda, beer and wine…all organic.




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.

U of Flash Index for May, 2014

UI Flash Index
The May U of I Flash Index was published in the News Gazette this morning…and the news is good!

The U of I Flash Index for May is up a bit fron April, and that means good news for the Champaign Urbana area economy. In April the figure descended to 106, falling for the fourth month in a row. Still any number above 100 is considered a positive economic situation for Champaign County. The figure for May is 106.2.

The UI Flash Index is published by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Publiuc Affairs and is a weighted average of important economic factors. The index has been on the rise for many months but decreased steadily since January of this year.

This economic stat is important for the Champaign Urbana real estate market because the price of homes and the CU real estate tempo in general is closely related to the factors that go into this index.

Boneyard Arts Festival Opens Today

Boneyard Arts Fextival 2014

It all gets rolling at a host of area venues (over 100 of them)–even in the small towns around CU.  Some of the venues are even empty buildings that get fitted out with art for the public to enjoy.

Best way to get connected to the show is on the 40 North site. This is their show and their info is the most complete.

Boneyard’s Best

Melissa Merli put together her list of some hightlights in her News Gazette article. They include:

  • The empty building sites like Kirby Tires, Central Illinois offices, and the Lincoln Building Artists Studios
  • Nina Paley’s quilt displays at Amara Yoga and Art in Lincoln Square
  • The ou and about venue at the Fisher Community Center–yes Fisher!
The Boneyard Arts Festival opens today all over Champaign Urbana brought to us by 40 North.
The Boneyard Arts Festival opens today all over Champaign Urbana brought to us by 40 North.


Voting Places in Champaign County

Gordy Hulten has his crew buzzing in preparation for the elections March 18 in Champaign Urbana
Gordy Hulten has his crew buzzing in preparation for the elections March 18 in Champaign Urbana

How to Register to Vote in Champaign County

First you need to be sure you are registered to vote–too late for this one but get registered now for the next election.

You can register to vote easily using kiosks around the area, and then just be sure to be aware of the issues and when voting day is.

Where to Vote in Champaign Urbana

The website for the Champaign County Clerk’s office has an interactive page that makes it easy to find your polling place in Champaign County. The list of polling places is linked to the map and you can get the info you need for times etc there as well.

Tuesday, March 18 is the day to vote

You see all kinds of signs around the are now–and debates are winding down. You can vote early in CU at a half dozen places in the area through March 15. But after Saturday you need to find your local spot and get there between 6a and 7p on Tuesday, March 18.

Curbanas in Urbana

The News Gazette front page March 11, 2014.
The News Gazette front page March 11, 2014.

First of all, let me say that we usually see groaner puns like this only on the sports page of The News Gazzette. But this morning this is what woke us up as we sipped coffee.

These new little “curb cafes” or “parklets” are coming to Urbana and perhaps downtown Champaign. Both downtowns- especially the Champaign side with the impending opening of the new Champaign Hyatt Place–are pulsing with life these days. The new on street dining spots will be occupying parking spots during summer months and they will expand the space for outside dining on both sides of –and perhaps ON Wright street.

Urbana city arborist Mike Brunk is credited with coming up with the term “Curbana”. Wait…is he also the one who coined the “Champaign-Nirvnana” moniker?

Anyway these little platforms will be right on the street and will change the scene greatly. I can see it along Main Street in Urbana–traffic flowing by on a summer evening. But the way the cars scream through downtown Champaign might mean they have to stay to the side streets–what do you think?

2014 Illinois Marathon

Illinois Marathon

The 2014 Illinois Marathon will be run April 26, 2014 in Champaign Urbana and it looks to be another record setting field. The various races for the weekend are all more than 50% full already and with a late spring in the area it should be a perfect day. The only issue the last few years weather wise was a bit of wind two years ago. But last year’s race was perfect.

The Illinois Marathon runs April 26, 2014 on the streets of Champaign Urbana. Photo from Runners World.
The Illinois Marathon runs April 26, 2014 on the streets of Champaign Urbana. Photo from Runners World.

Runners World Recognition

Recently our little race from CU got some serious recognition. It was named one of the top nine new marathons in the country. Runners World (the leading runner mag for everyman runners) listed it with a number of other fine runs including Cary, North Carolina, Pittsburg, and Baton Rouge.

Running blogs all over picked up on this story and the print piece looked good.

Voluteer for the Illinois Marathon

You can get on board helping with the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon by going to their site and contacting them. Help is needed stuffing bags, at intersections, signage..all kinds of ways before and after the race.

2014 Illinois Marathon Route

The Illinois Marathon course snakes through Champaign and Urbana and ends at Memorial Stadium at the U of I.

Illinois Marathon Route.
Illinois Marathon Route.

Champaign County Fair

This is a busy weekend for festival/event lovers in Champaign Urbana. There is the Champaign Music Festival in downtown Champaign. This one is put together by the Champaign Park District and runs from 6p- midnight, Saturday July 20.

But the big annual fling, the Champaign County Fair, is even bigger this year than ever. The News Gazette headlined it “DOUBLE THE FUN” this morning and it looks to be quite a week long of festivities.

The fair is easy to get to –just north of Carle Hospital in Urbana.

Here is a complete schedule from the fair website:

CCFA Events and Entertainment Schedule PDF Print E-mail

2013 Event Schedule

New schedule for 2013

Click Here to See Fair Admissions, Carnival Ride and Grandstand Prices

[G$] = Grandstand event. Check link above for admission prices.

Friday, July 19

5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
6:00 pm Grandstands Open
7:00 pm Preview Night, Demotion Derby #1 [G$]

Saturday, July 20
(Military Appreciation Day – Special Events)

Noon – 4:00 pm 22st Annual Classic & Custom Car & Truck Show
Noon – 4:00 pm Motorcycle Rodeo
1:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
6:00 pm Prairieland Monster Truck Nationals [G$]

Sunday, July 21
(Family Day / Agriculture Day)

9:00 am Horse Show
10:00 am Religious Service
Noon Carnival opens on the Midway
Bracelet Day” – Carnival ride enthusiasts can pay one price of $20.00 for unlimited rides from noon to 5:00 pm
11:00 – 4:00 pm 5th Annual Fire Apparatus Water Ball Competition
12:30 – 5:00 pm Champaign County Farm Bureau Agriculture Events
5:00 pm Rodeo [G$]

Monday, July 22
(Livestock Day)

8:00 am Livestock Judging
10:00 am – Noon Pre-School Day in Kiddie Land – Tickets will be available to pre-school children only, tickets are limited to five (5) tickets per child. Additional tickets may be purchased for $1.00 ticket / $1.00 ride. Rides in Kiddie Land will be 1 & 2 tickets for pre-school children.
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway

Tuesday, July 23
(Democrat Day / Senior Citizen Day – Free Gate – 60 years or older until 4:00 pm)

8:00 am Livestock Judging
12:30 pm Harness Racing, Post Time [G$]
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
Bracelet Day” – Carnival ride enthusiasts can pay one price of $20.00 for unlimited rides from 5:00 – 10:30 pm
7:00 pm Harness Racing, Post Time [G$]

Wednesday, July 24
(Republican Day)

8:00 am Livestock Judging
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
6:30 pm AMA Motorcycle Races – “Dick Andrae Memorial Race” [G$]

Thursday, July 25
(4-H Day)

1:00 – 4:00 pm Champaign-Urbana Optimist Youth Day
The Champaign-Urbana Optimist Club will sponsor rides for Children aged 3 thru 12 ONLY from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
5:00 pm – Early Admission

5:30 pm – Grandstand seating and Track open

7:00 pm – Concert Start time

Country Concert [G$]

Friday, July 26

5:00 pm Carnival opens on the Midway
7:00 pm Demolition Derby #2 “COMPACT CRAZY NIGHT” WITH NEW FIGURE 8 EVENT! [G$]

Saturday, July  27
(Youth Day)

11:00 am Tractor and Truck Pull [G$]
Noon Carnival opens on the Midway
Bracelet Day” – Carnival ride enthusiasts can pay one price of $20.00 for unlimited rides from noon to 5:00 pm
5:00 pm Tractor Pull, Illinois Championship Semi-Truck Pull [G$]

The “Echo Boom” Generation in Champaign Urbana

Who are echo boomers?

They are 18- 35 years old and there are some 103 million of them who have come of age during one of the biggest housing downturns in history- and a downturn that has been painstakingly slow to get back to “normal”. They have been characterized as the “me, me, me” crowd that lives with their parents and spends hours snapping pics of them selves and throwing them onto facebook and twitter.

This narcissistic horde is also an important part of the Champaign Urbana scene- increasingly so in the last 20 years as new job opportunities have opened up in CU. Good evidence of this is the resurgence of downtown Champaign and the thriving CU music scene.

Condos like this for sale in Champaign are often exactly what the echo boomers are seeking in real estate.
Condos like this for sale in Champaign are often exactly what the echo boomers are seeking in real estate.

Will echo boomers buy real estate?

In a recent article on this topic, RIS Media gives a resounding “YES” and this could have huge implications for the emerging Chamapign Urbana Real Estate market. Here are some ideas from the RIS Media analysis:

  • According to recently released national survey findings from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, 75 percent of echo boomers surveyed believe owning a home is a fundamental indicator of success.
  • Those same respondents also believe they are more informed about home ownership than previous generations of buyers.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the next generation of American homeowners surveyed believe they have become increasingly knowledgeable about home ownership due to increased media coverage on real estate topics in the wake of the housing crisis.

With these changes in perspective and a healthy amount of homes for sale in Champaign Urbana, this demographic can make a huge difference over the next few months. Consider also that the good supply of lofts and upper story condos for sale in downtown Champaign offer desirable options for this market.

Great Source for Researching a House

We got a note on our blog recently from a woman moving to Urbana. In the process of finding a home she created a resource on her blog for doing research on historic homes.


This eight point treasure is a cool one- perfect with those fascinated with the history of this area and of Champaign Urbana real estate in particular.

Thanks to you, fortheloveoflibraries !