Urbana First Fridays celebrates full year of festivals


Common Ground Food Co-Op at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana will have celebrating Urbana’s First Fridays festival with food, beer and wine tastings. The event, which spans across downtown Urbana, is Friday, Aug. 4 from 4 to 11 p.m.

By Jessica Bursztynsky, Interim Editor-in-Chief

Urbana’s First Fridays is back again with the theme of “EmpowerMonth.”

Located downtown Urbana this Friday from 4 to 11 p.m., is the city’s 12th installment of the free series, hosted by Imbibe Urbana.

“We learned so much about the community and what people like to do in different seasons and how we can provide more and better content in the future,” said founder of Imbibe Urbana Kristin Walters about hosting a full year of events.

At Friday’s event will be several vendors for people to shop at, Champaign Ladies Amateur Wrestling, Main Street Carnival, crafts and more.

Local restaurants and bars will be honoring the occasion as well.

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There is beer, wine and food tastings at Spark Museum + Play Cafe, Pizza-M and Common Ground Food Co-op.

The Dancing Dog Eatery & Juicery as well as Crane Alley will serve special menu items that evening, along with a few other local restaurants.

Crafts can be made at Makerspace at the Independent Media Company, and there’s laughter yoga at Amara Yoga & Arts. The full schedule is listed in an image below.

“It’s incredibly special to have this much arts & wellness activities coincide with great food and drink offerings,” Walters said in an email. “We try to make sure we have something for everyone, all ages & interests. This is what Urbana is about: welcoming everyone and celebrating the creativity of our businesses, artists and community organizations.”

Imbibe Urbana isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon, as the organization is already making plans for upcoming events and transitioning to become a non-profit.

“[We’ll] be building a board of amazing community members who will give great perspective and fresh ideas,” Walters said. “We hope to connect with more university programs and organizations too so that groups can reach the greater community and know that their work at the university can make an impact off campus as well!”

Community members can look out for the Urbana Flag Design Competition in October, Mistletoe in December, Revelry Artisan Markets in April and more street festivities in the summer of 2018, Walters said.

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