Family Picks: Festivals, farms and free music

Family Picks: Festivals, farms and free music

Lots of family-pleasing music on tap this weekend, from Broadway tunes to blues to ukeleles, along with a little magic and plenty of vintage vehicles. Here are some highlights:

Champaign Music Festival: 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, downtown Champaign. Free.

Join the 150th birthday salute to the community, starting with a music crawl through Downtown Champaign on Friday night. Saturday will feature bands on three stages, plus inflatables, a magician, face-painting and other activities for the whole family. 

Bands include everything from bluegrass (Bow-Dacious String Band) to blues (Candy Foster and Shades of Blue), from rumba (Rumba Na Biso) to Recycled Rhythms. Plus there's free cake!

Check here for a full schedule of performances.

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit

Tractor parade! Historic Farm Days, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Penfield (10 miles east of Rantoul, off U.S. 136). Free.

Kids can watch a daily tractor parade, see demonstrations of baling and combining, or visit a working saw mill, blacksmith shop or log cabin. Other daily events include an antique tractor pull, kids pedal pull, and evening entertainment including fireworks on Saturday night. The event is sponsored by the I&I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club.


For Information: Call 202-0970 or 219-863-1270, or visit

Fly a B-17: Vintage airplane tours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, Willard Airport, Savoy. Admission charge.

The Experimental Aircraft Association's vintage WWII B-17 Flying Fortress "Aluminum Overcast" returns to Willard Airport for the "Salute To Veterans Tour."

Tickets can be purchased in advance or on site, at $5 per person, $15 per family, and free for children under 8 and active military or veterans.

For information: Call 1-800-359-6217 or 328-3842, or visit

Touch a Truck: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, and Chanute Air Museum, Rantoul. Admission charge.

Explore airplanes, hot-air balloons, semis, tractors, construction vehicles, emergency vehicles and many more at this event, sponsored by American Lutheran Church Christian Preschool. Admission is $2 per person or $10 per family. 

For information: Call 893-1613

On Broadway: "Urbana Pops Orchestra Plays Broadway," noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Lincoln Square Village, Urbana. Free.

The Urbana Pops Orchestra is back for a second one-hour, family-friendly concert at Lincoln Square as part of Urbana's Ultimate Summer Saturday series. The 55-piece orchestra will perform music from some of Broadway's best, featuring Tamra Gingold, April Cleveland, and the cast of "Once Upon a Mattress," the 2010 Urbana Park District summer Youth Theater production.

Kids can also enjoy unlimited inflatables for $5 downtown from 9 a.m. to noon.

For information: Call 979-1910 or visit

It's magic! Buford Bunny Magical Adventure Show, 2 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Champaign Public Library, Robeson Pavilion, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.

Enjoy a show filled with magic, puppetry and laughs as Abra-Kid-Abra presents "Dewey Deci and the Mystery of the Haunted Lake House." Help Buford Bunny solve a mystery using the Dewey Decimal System, and learn a trick to show your friends.

For information: Call 403-2030 or visit

Go green: Family fun potluck and "Green Fair," 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Wesley United Methodist Church, 1203 W. Green St., U. Free.

This event -- held appropriately on the Green Street lawn -- will include children's activities and demonstrations and information on preserving the Earth. Bring food to share made with locally grown ingredients, or fair trade or organic foods.

For information: Call 344-1120 or visit (June 2010 issue)

Homemade music: The Viper and His Famous Orchestra, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Orpheum Children's Science Museum, 346 N. Neil St. , C.

This musical show for kids will feature two sets by The Viper and His Famous Orchestra, which includes ukeleles, banjos, jugs and other household instruments. In between will be a build-your-own-instrument section, and one lucky child will go home with a freshly put-together washtub bass.

For information: Call 352-5895 or visit

A talking bumblebee?  "Pollination Fascination Talk," 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, UI Pollinatarium, 606 W. Windsor Rd., U. Free.

Ventriloquist Hannah Leskosky will present "What I Bee-lieve" by Buzz the Giant Talking Bumble Bee as part of a weekly Saturday series at the bee museum.

For information: Call 265-8302 or visit

Neighborhood concert: Candy Foster, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Douglass Park, Champaign. Free.

Champaign-based blues singer Candy Foster will perform Motown and R&B classics as part of the Champaign Park District's neighborhood concert series.

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit

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