When you think of Champaign, Illinois, lively festivals are likely not the first things that may pop into your mind. Despite Champaign’s reputation as a semi suburban city that hosts a large public university, Champaign, Illinois is also the home to a whole series of family oriented festivals that celebrate health and history.
Hit The RoadFirst up is the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on April 27 and 28, 2012. Last year, this Boston Qualifier boasted a total of 18,000 runners who converged on the city’s historic streets to participate in a flat, fast and fun course through the streets of Champaign. As a bonus, the marathon coincides with the hotly anticipated Health and Fitness Expo, which is the day before. After the race, make sure to attend the “27th Mile Celebrate Victory Post-Race Bash,” which will feature tons of great surprises and guest speakers, such as the ultra-runner heroine Marshall Ulrich. This event will be filled to the brim with lively events such as great music, an enormous amount of local eats on display, refreshing drinks and activities for the whole family. Call (217)-351-4133 for more information or if you have any questions concerning the marathon qualifier and the post-race party.
Hoist A PintDowntown Champaign hosts the infamous “Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival – The Ultimate Boomer Festival” June 29 to 30, which is the perfect event for resident and visiting blues, beer and BBQ enthusiasts. The best news is that this festival is completely free and boasts three stages of music and entertainment, featuring 15 national touring blues acts including Muddy Waters Jr, Lonnie Brooks, Tab Benoit, Sonny Landreth, John Lee Hooker Jr, and Coco Montoya. The centre stage of this exciting festival will include a “Future Stars Contest,” where musical prodigies under the age of 21 will compete and prove their skills to the festival audience. There can’t be beer without food, and this event has the best of the best concerning Illinois BBQ, with a large variety of stands to try out. As for the beer, there will be over 50 Midwest craft breweries showcasing the best of seasonal, local and award-winning beers – a major attraction of the event. For the kids, there will be an interactive exhibit on display from the Scoville Zoo, in addition to inflated rides, interactive murals and giant chess and checker game boards – so bring the whole family!
Down On The FarmJuly 12 to 15 the I and I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club hosts Historic Farm Days, its annual event for club members and the wider public. The festival serves to promote awareness of the preservation of farming methods and equipments of a past agricultural era. Festival-goers will be able to see demonstrations of cutting, threshing, wheat and straw baling, plowing and other tillage demonstrations of yesteryear.
Making ProgressLater in the summer, Champaign host of the famous Half Century Progress Show August 22 to 25, which is a biennial event that was started in 2003 to display and demonstrate the largest exhibit of vintage farm equipment in existence today. This exciting festival will include numerous unique vendors, a flea market, tractor rides for kids and even field demonstration. There will also be surprise major attractions like antique tractor engines, as well as state-of-the-art tractor engines that are revolutionizing agriculture today.
Clearly, Champaign is the host of some very popular, interesting and exciting festivals that are inclusive of all ages. So, if you are a resident, visiting during the summer or just want to go on a vacation, make sure to come on down to Champaign one of these fine summer weekends for the time of your life!