Summer is winding down — guess you could say it’s “over,” but that doesn’t officially happen until Sept. 23 — and it’s time to start looking forward to cooler evenings and cool activities. We’ll do our best, as always, to line you up with some interesting things to do this month.
Thanks to Dick’s House of Sport for presenting our list of things to do in September. Join Dick’s for the following September events: Friday Football Fever, Film Review Sessions, School’s Out P.E. Class, Read Aloud with Illini!, Parents’ Night Out, Women’s Workout Wednesday, Women’s Health and Fitness Day Fair.
Friday Football Fever, Sept. 1
Join Dick’s House of Sport in Champaign for Friday Football Fever, a party from 5-8 p.m. to cheer on the Illini football team. There will be food trucks, photo ops and tailgate games. The first 50 customers to purchase any licensed apparel will receive a free House of Sport T-shirt and all licensed apparel purchasers provide opportunities to win some swag! More details here.
Hoopeston National Sweetcorn Festival, Aug. 31-Sept. 4
If you’re missing the now-defunct Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, Hoopeston’s annual event will certainly be an apt replacement. In addition to the usual festival-type events, the National Sweetcorn Festival features about 50 tons — yep, we said 50 tons — of free, delicious sweetcorn to be distributed to patrons’ bellies. If you’ve never been, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
Perhaps better known as the “Candy Parade,” this year the parade is in downtown Champaign. Don’t miss the picnic in West Side Park afterward. (If you’re a C-U newbie: This parade is known for distributing massive amounts of candy to onlookers.) Make sure you bring a bag. A big, big bag.
Arcola Broomcorn Festival, Sept. 8-10
It’s not easy to pick a highlight of this annual event, but perhaps it is the unique parade, which features, among other entries, the famous “Lawn Rangers,” a group of folks with lawn mowers. Trust us, you’ll want to check it out.
PostMark Urbana, Sept. 9
From noon-4 p.m., 40 North and Urbana Arts & Culture Program are delivering good times at PostMark Urbana. Enjoy live music and children’s activities at the Busey Bank parking lot where you can also pick up your map of participating downtown businesses offering food specials, art displays, and much more!
Meadowbrook Park Jazz Walk, Sept. 15
This is a super-neat event, featuring a variety of musical acts doing their thing while spaced among the walking grounds of Meadowbrook Park in Urbana. Free!
West Side Arts, Sept. 16
Don’t miss the inaugural West Side Arts, presented by the Champaign Park District and 40 North. Artists and art lovers will come together for a free juried art festival. Join the festivities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to purchase and peruse amazing local and regional art showcasing a multitude of mediums.
Lasers and More Science Show, Sept. 23
Check out some crazy chemical reactions, learn how heat can create sound, watch a soda explosion, see what a high-powered laser can do, and more at Champaign Public Library. In Robeson Pavilion Room A&B at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Blair Park Bubble Bonanza, Sept. 27
Celebrate “Take a Child Outside Week” with the Urbana Park District’s all-ages Bubble Bonanza (4:30-6 p.m.), where the bubble machine will be on its most prolific setting! While you’re at it, visit the park’s challenge course, zipline and interactive soccer wall.
And, lucky for you, we have all the details right here! Pick some apples, dazzle yourself in a corn maze or find the perfect pumpkin — September and its temperate temperatures are ideal for outdoor fun.