Summer may be drawing to a close, but this weekend features plenty of fine arts, entertainment and other activities for the whole family.
SculptureFest, 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Park Street between Neil and Randolph streets, Champaign. Free.
A celebration of the arts hosted by the Public Art League of Champaign-Urbana, with new public sculpture and live music starting at 7 p.m. The league, in collaboration with the Champaign Park District and city of Champaign, has installed eight public sculptures in downtown Champaign. The first, 'Double Dutch -- A Jump for Joy,' went up Thursday at the east end of West Side Park. Its installation was funded by a gift to the Champaign Parks Foundation from the late Michael Carragher, which will also pay for future sculptures in the park.
(See Melissa Merli's coverage on A-1 of Friday's News-Gazette.)
For information: Visit www.publicartleague.org
Downtown Festival of the Arts: 10 am. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Neil and Main streets, Champaign. Free.
This all-day event, sponsored by the Champaign Park District, will feature works by local artisans, arts and crafts for the kids, and live entertainment on three stages, centered on Neil, Main and Walnut streets.
The Family Entertainment Stage will host magician Andrew Anderson from noon to 1 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Other events include the Parkland Props (DSC’s music group) from 1:30 to 2 p.m.; the Prompting Theatre (DSC’s theater group), 2:30 to 3 p.m.; storyteller Patricia Hruby-Powell, 3:15 to 4 p.m.; and Dance Arts, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The lineup for the Performing Art Stage includes: Early Music, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Steely Pan (steel drums), noon to 1 p.m.; free dance lessons, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; Class Act Theatre, 3 to 4 p.m.; Trikhala (belly dance) 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.; Djibril Camara and Ballet Allah Tantou (African dance), 6 to 7 p.m.
The main entertainment tent will feature funk, reggae, bluegrass and jazz from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For information: Call 398-2550 or visit the park district's web site for maps and a full entertainment schedule.
Sprouts at the Market: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Market at the Square, Vine and Illinois streets, downtown Urbana. Free.
Kids ages 3-8 can learn all about corn, in anticipation of next weekend's Urbana Sweetcorn Festival. They'll have the chance to taste corn in several of its many forms, inspect corn plants from tassel to root, and ask participating corn growers questions.
Registration is at the City tent, located at the northwest entrance to the market, or at any of the satellite tables within the market. Children visiting all the stations will receive a Certificate of Participation, good for 15% any purchase at Art Mart Toys through the end of the day.
For information: Visit the Market at the Square blog
School days: Back-2-School Bash, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Douglass Park, Champaign; Garden Hills Education Celebration, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Garden Hills Park, Champaign. Both free.
Join the Champaign Park District to kick off the 2010-2011 school year. At Douglass Park, student sin kindergarten through fifth-grade can enjoy inflatable games and other activities. Later in the evening, the Garden Hills event will feature inflatables, contests, music and games.
For information: Call 398-2550 or visit www.champaignparkdistrict.com.
Kids Day: Corn Belt Shrine Club’s annual Kids Day, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, North Park, Gibson City.
The fun will kick off with a parade in downtown Gibson City at 11:30 a.m., followed by go-kart rides, games, dunk tank, jump houses, balloon twisters, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, drinks and the Shrine Clowns.
Mansfield Homecoming Festival: 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, downtown Mansfield. Free.
Family highlights include a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, carnival games and rides (with armbands every day), a kiddie tractor pull, bicycle rodeo, hot-air balloon, talent show, bicycle rodeo and more.
For information: Call 489-9214 or 489-3381 or visit the Mansfield Homecoming's Facebook page
Summer movie nights: 'Horton Hears a Who,' 7:30 p.m. Saturday, First Presbyterian Church, 602 W. Green St., U. Free.
The movie will be shown at dusk in the church's Green Street courtyard. Bring blankets or lawn chairs and a picnic snack. Admission and the popcorn are free!
For information: Call 367-8357
Check the Are We There Yet? blog every Friday for upcoming family friendly events, pulled from our News-Gazette online calendar, e3 magazine and other sources.
Do you have an item you'd like to submit? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the N-G online calendar. Look for it on the upper right-hand side of the News-Gazette home page, www.news-gazette.com
Photo: 'Double Dutch - A Jump for Joy,' by Garry R. Bibbs of Lexington, Ky., was installed Thursday in West Side Park in downtown Champaign. It will be one of eight sculptures celebrated at SculptureFest on Friday. News-Gazette photo by Robert K. O'Daniell