Signature Events

These events are unique to Champaign County.  If you’re interested in scheduling your visit around one of them, we can help!

IHSA Wrestling State Championships
Every February the top individual wrestlers in the State of Illinois gather in Champaign-Urbana at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall for intense competition. Over 30,000 spectators watch as some of the best athletes go for the championship.  Visit Champaign County proudly hosts a visitor welcome booth packed full of dining, shopping and entertainment information for exploring the county.
Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon
After a successful and catapulting inaugural year in 2009, The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon promises to become one of the country’s premier running events.  Over 18,000 runners converge on the streets of Champaign-Urbana to participate in a flat, fast and fun course through the University of Illinois campus, revitalized downtown districts, fan-filled residential neighborhoods, breathtaking parks and much more.  Ending on the 50-yard line of the Fighting Illini Football’s Memorial Stadium, the finish-line boasts an awesome conclusion full of images on the jumbotron! Coupled by a fantastic Health & Fitness Expo the day before and the exciting 27th Mile Celebrate Victory post-race bash, the event creates an atmosphere like none other making the Illinois Marathon a runner’s dream come true!
Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
This annual spring film festival is hosted by Roger Ebert, University of Illinois journalism graduate, Pulitzer Prize winning film critic and native of Champaign County.  Ebert selects 12 films representing a cross-section of important cinematic works.  He introduces each film and leads discussions on stage afterward for general audiences, distributors and international critics.  Often in attendance are the films’ producers, writers, actors and directors.  The festival includes panel discussions (on UI campus - Illini Union/Pine Lounge).  Passes are available as well as individual tickets.
Boneyard Arts Festival
Presented annually by 40 North | 88 West and sponsored by The News-Gazette and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Boneyard Arts Festival has grown into an ‘open source’ festival that Champaign County residents have truly made their own.  Last spring, the Boneyard featured over 130 different venues - both indoors and out - where residents and visitors alike could partake of an incredibly diverse range of performing, spoken and visual art offered by nearly 500 artists from all backgrounds.

After being hosted in Urbana for many years, Blues, Brews, and BBQ moved recently to a larger location in downtown Champaign. Since then the festival has been able to add a motorcycle show, more space for vendors, and a larger variety of stages to host national touring artists. The festival features some of the area's top BBQ with over 13 award winning BBQ vendors. It is designed to bring families and the community together in a fun and entertaining environment. With nearly 50,000 attendees in 2012, The Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival has continued to grow and is sure to provide a fun-filled family atmosphere. The two-day free event combines fun and tasty summertime elements with the nightlife and excitement of downtown Champaign.

Half Century of Progress
Champaign County's largest event is a celebration of the history of farm progress right here in Central Illinois.  Tens of thousands of visitors (many international) flock to Rantoul National Aviation Center for antique farm equipment displays, farm machinery demonstrations, exhibits teaching about farm life from field to table and much more.  Each year a BIG tractor is featured at the festival, which spans more than 300 acres.
IHSA Football State Championships & Tent City
Every November the best high school football teams in the State of Illinois travel to the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium in Champaign to compete for the state title.  The weekend is action packed with eight back to back football games boasting over 30,000 in attendance.  Outside the stadium participants and fans can be found at the ultimate tailgate: Visit Champaign County’s Tent City.  All of their pre and post game celebration activities go late into the night with fun for everyone.