All Arts and Entertainment Content

All Arts and Entertainment Content

Monticello Farmer's Market's fresh products drawing crowds

MONTICELLO – Community members are lining up in front of the Sager Farms booth to purchase fresh peaches, blueberries and blackberries at the Farmers' Market in Monticello each week.

Other visitors stop to buy a homemade pie or big chocolate chip cookie. Fresh flower bouquets are for sale, and fresh vegetables from squash to tomatoes to eggplant are stacked on tables ready for purchase. The Farmers' Market in Monticello each Thursday is a popular place to stop in after work or to spend a summer afternoon.

Mahomet store, cafe specializes in locally grown foods

MAHOMET – Whether you order the quiche, bison burger or chicken pot pie, the dishes on the cafe menu at Burt and Nancy Asbill's Mahomet store, First Fruits Produce, share at least on thing in common: ingredients fresh from the family's 50-acre farm, located just up the road.

The Asbills run what Nancy thinks is the only "food-to-table" cafe in the area. The dishes served at First Fruits Produce use food that is picked daily, allowing the Asbills to offer items such as a vegetarian sandwich made with locally grown veggies, hamburgers served on made-from-scratch buns and chicken pot pie that uses free-range chicken from the family's farm.

Groups offering free workshop in Champaign on artist fellowships

The Illinois Arts Council with 40 North 88 West Champaign County Arts, Culture and Entertainment Council will have a free workshop for artists at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Champaign Public Library.

The 90-minute workshop will provide information regarding the Artists Fellowship Program and the new electronic application process called CueRate.

Mahomet residents now have new place to nosh

MAHOMET – JT Walker's Restaurant and Sports Bar on Main Street in Mahomet is now open.

The staff at JT Walker's will include about 40 employees. Executive Chef Mark Bradford's experience includes running the Little Bear saloon and restaurant in Evergreen, Colo. He also was the youngest executive chef for the Denver Press Club from 2005 to 2006.

Orange and Blue Festival in Gibson City to expand

GIBSON CITY – Plans are under way for the fourth annual Orange and Blue Festival in downtown Gibson City on the evenings of Aug. 14-16.

Homer museum, its experts open door to community's past

HOMER – At first glance, the Homer Historical Society Museum looks a bit like an antique shop, with more artifacts than space, and the promise of treasures hidden behind other treasures.

Housed in the historic village and township hall on Main Street, the small museum offers a fine horse carriage with spoked wheels, antique cameras, old-time medical equipment, ladies' hats and gloves, school and sports memorabilia, equipment and signs from early local businesses, a floor loom and war artifacts – including Civil War era – originally owned by local veterans. One room is dedicated to local farm implements that date back to the days when farming was about more than corn and soybeans. The museum collection also includes about 3,000 local photos, roughly half of which date to the first decades of the 19th century.

Economy forcing campers to take fewer, shorter trips

DANVILLE – Jeff and Terry Evans of Tolono like to camp so much that in the summer, they usually go to Kickapoo State Park near Danville, park their travel trailer and drive to work.

But higher gas prices and campground fees have forced them to cut back.

Partners find restoring Watseka Theatre a labor of love

Chuck Gomez always thought the art-deco Watseka Theatre, designed by Louis Skidmore, would be a good investment. But from day one, he said, the theater that he bought 14 months ago turned out to be a magical building instead.

"It changed both of our lives for the better," Gomez said of himself and his partner, Debra Liddell.

Shape-note singing set Saturday at New Salem State Historic Site

NEW SALEM – The Sacred Harp singers from Springfield, Jacksonville, Charleston and other downstate cities and towns will have a shape-note singing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Second Berry-Lincoln Store at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site.

A "singing" is an informal gathering patterned after singing schools and all-day singing conventions of the 19th century.

Upcoming video game releases will blow you away

After spending July 13-18 at the E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles, getting a preview of the video games that will come out during the next year or two, I've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news: Tons of fantastic games with new levels of realism are coming our way. The bad news: Few people will have the time and money to play all of these great games.