Weekend update: Doubly happy anniversary
A concert tonight in downtown Champaign featuring the Boat Drunks, Appaloosa and the Tons O' Fun Band celebrates a "dual anniversary," says Janice McAteer, director of development for the Developmental Services Center, a Champaign-based agency that helps people with disabilities. The Eastern Illinois Parrot Head Club, which hosts "C-U in the Prairibbean X" as a benefit for the DSC, is observing its 10th anniversary, while the DSC celebrates this as the fifth year it's been the beneficiary of the Parrot Head Club benefit concert. Here's the scoop:
1. The event will be in the city parking lot in front of the Orpheum Children's Science Museum, 346 N. Neil St.; the lot will be closed for the evening. Typically, at least 1,500 people attend the Parrot Head Club's benefit concert. "We're expecting it could be as many as 3,000 just because it's downtown," McAteer said. The annual event raises big bucks: last year, $60,012 for the DSC. "It's significant," McAteer said. "The bands play for free — some of the bands we do pay — but everybody who gets paid does it at a lower rate."
2. There also will be a live auction, silent auction and cash-prize raffle. The live auction items are a hand-painted guitar that may be signed by any of the band members that the winning bidder desires; a large cooler full of a variety of alcoholic beverages; and a trip to a time share — the winning bidder chooses the destination. The silent auction will feature more than 94 baskets of gifts certificates and items from area merchants. One includes a bottle of wine signed by Mike Ditka, and another has items autographed by Illini football coach Tim Beckman and some players.
3. The top raffle prize, from First State Bank, will be $5,000 cash, with $250 for second place and $100 for third. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five or $20. The winners will be drawn at 11:45 p.m. but do not have to be present to win. The raffle and admission tickets, which are $10 each, may be purchased at the gate, which opens at 5:30 p.m. Food and beverages will be sold. People cannot bring food and beverages into the lot but are welcome to bring lawn chairs. The nearby Hyatt Place is offering a block of rooms at a lower rate for people who want to stay downtown overnight.
4. The schedule: 5:45 p.m. Appaloosa, country rock; 7:15 p.m. Tons O' Fun Band, rock and R&B; 8:45 p.m. live auction; 9 p.m. Boat Drunks' first set; 10 p.m. silent auction closes; 10:50 p.m. Boat Drunks' final set; 11:45 p.m. announcement of raffle winners; midnight, event ends.