13 Thursdays reemerges in C-U, Campustown


Cameron Krasucki

Kung Fu Tea, located on Green Street, is one of the participating partnerships of the 13 Thursdays event. Other local businesses such as Murphy’s Pub and Game Day are partners in the event as well.

By Kylie Corral, Summer Managing Editor for Reporting

It has been nearly two weeks since students packed up and fled the campus scene, having finished their finals. Now that the majority of the student population has cleared Champaign-Urbana, the Champaign Center Partnership has begun to organize an event titled 13 Thursdays.

13 Thursdays is a local event where people can come explore C-U and Campustown while helping out local businesses. Every Thursday from May 26 to August 18 will feature sales from business owners around the area, free parking, movies on the Main Quad and more.

Xander Hazel is the executive director of the Champaign Center Partnership, the organization currently planning 13 Thursdays. He said that 13 Thursdays is a promotion that has been running for 13 years as of this year.

“It’s a way to bring folks who live in Champaign-Urbana to Campustown, basically Green Street, to enjoy the neighborhood while students are away,” Hazel said. “So it’s a great way to try new drinks, new food or shop at some of the shops and experience something a little bit different.”

Hazel said that his favorite part of the event is having different places to go on Thursdays. He also said that promoting business deals and taking advantage of those deals is something else that he enjoys, and that this event is a good chance for those people who don’t visit Campustown as much during the school year to come and spend the summer nights in C-U every Thursday.

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“There’s a lot of really great movies that you can enjoy,” Hazel said. “So, you know, my best advice is for folks to bring a blanket, maybe go and grab something from one of the businesses on Green Street and just enjoy whatever movie they’re screening on the quad.”

Hazel said that he goes to Murphy’s Pub for their cheese curds, adding that Latea Bubble Tea is always a great place for bubble tea. Both of these businesses will be participating in the event.

Hazel said it’s good to plan your trip ahead of time, knowing where you are going and what you’re going to do. Free parking will be available, he added.

“Luckily, everything on Green Street is very close together,” Hazel said. “So you can really make a whole evening out of it. You know, where you’re parking, where you’re going to eat dinner, maybe eat dessert somewhere.”

Erik Riha is the Marketing Director for the Illini Union. He said that the Illini Union’s Starbucks, Red Room and Club Shop will be offering sales every Thursday, along with the Illini Union Bookstore and its accompanying Starbucks.

The summer film series on the Quad has also been organized by the Illini Union Board that the Student Programming Board for the Union offers, Riha added.

Riha said some memorable events in the past have included a fond memory of when it began to rain and everything had to be moved inside, as well as the time they played the movie “Black Panther” on the Quad.

“There were close to 2,000 people who came,” Riha said. “It was just packed and the whole front section of the quad was filled. That was really cool to see that many people out on the (Main Quad) enjoying a movie that you’ve had a little part in putting on.”

Riha advised people to come down and try something new every week and make a day out of being in Campustown. He said this is a great chance to grab bubble tea, poke bowls, game spirit, books and more.

“You know, we like to support those activities that make Campustown in this area more attractive and make it vibrant,” Riha said.

Ragstock, a local clothing store for new, vintage and thrifted clothes is a participating business this 13 Thursdays. Diana Emery, the store manager at Ragstock, said that Ragstock has been involved with the event for the past five years.

Emery said that her favorite thing about 13 Thursdays is the sales, as well as having people who can’t usually come to Campustown making the trip. Ragstock too will have sales for people visiting, she said.

“We have a deal going on on Thursdays that’s the whole store,” Emery said. “Buy one get one half off any new merchandise and then any of our clearance items are going to be an extra half off from what they’re already marked.”

The sales and movies on the Main Quad will begin on May 26, the first Thursdays in a chronicle of summer nights to come.


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