Have you ever noticed how everything seems to happen on the same weekend? For a while, Champaign-Urbana seems to be not that exciting, the weather is grey, there are no fun holidays….then, ta-dah! Everything is suddenly exciting again!
You may have heard of Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. Many have heard of it, but don’t know what it is. Don’t be fooled, “Unofficial” is simply a drinking holiday, having nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day, which is on March 17 every year. “Unofficial” was started by bars offering drink specials on a designated weekend when students would be in town, as March 17 often fell on spring break. Young students often make fools of themselves by getting rip-roaring drunk and causing disruption wherever they go, simultaneously attracting the attention of the police and the scorn of the community. Unofficial is this weekend, so be careful.
If you don’t want to be under the influence of consumerism and poor taste, the good news is there are TONS of other things going on this weekend that I would personally find INFINITELY more interesting than drinking myself into a stupor, and they’re actually less expensive than buying drinks. Here’s a short list:
The Greek Film Festival—the first in Champaign-Urbana! More info at:
Worldfest 2012 at Spurlock Museum (scroll down on the calendar)
The Affordable Art Show (two of my friends are involved!) if you love art at reasonable prices
And, here’s a more complete list, found on Champaign-Urbana’s online magazine, Smile Politely:
Have fun, and be safe!!!
Maybe I’m being silly for saying this, but I’m very disappointed in this winter’s weather. I look out the window, and I see sunshine, a clear blue sky, and what appears to be a fine spring day. There’s just one problem: it’s not spring yet. Not by my calendar, anyway. Spring is supposed to arrive on or near March 21 in central Illinois. In grade school we had a calendar in our classroom with a picture of rain in March, wind in April, then flowers in May; and that is still how I think it should be.
January, my birth month, is supposed to be full of snow, cold wind, blizzards, sledding, ice skating, etc., but it reached 60 degrees Fahrenheit on my birthday this year. February is supposed to be more of the same—snow, ice and a fierce north wind from Canada—with a slightly warmer day (just above freezing temperatures) thrown in every once in a while.
What I expect
What I see instead
So…you’ll have to forgive me if you’re one of those people who would be happy if it were today’s balmy 50 degrees year ‘round. I cannot agree. Part of the charm of continental weather is change; I enjoy each season’s offerings. I barbecue, swim, sweat and swat mosquitoes in summer; I go on hikes and crunch fallen leaves and sneeze pollen dust in autumn; I complain about the cold, the snow, the five extra minutes it takes to get dressed in the morning, and yet I get bundled up to go sledding with my son in the winter; I wipe mud off my shoes and watch for flowers pushing up to the surface in spring. There’s something really satisfying about having endured the worst and the best of each season, and the changes in the weather mark time for me. This winter seems to have disappeared into thin air.
Maybe I’ll go plant some flowers.