All Arts and Entertainment Content
DANVILLE – For one night, they flapped their arms like a chicken, waved their hands in the air like they didn't care, courtesy of Will Smith, and cheered the good old boys along with Waylon Jennings – all at the GAO Grotto.
The boat club played host to at least 120 physically and developmentally disabled adults Wednesday night as part of AMBUCS Summer Camp's annual summer dance. AMBUCS hosts a second one in December.
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 – 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.
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 – 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.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.