Love is in the Air! Love of Food, Live Music, and Fighting Illini Basketball!

February often passes in a blink of an eye with a wave of amazing activities in the greater Champaign County area that blend seamlessly into March. February often stays true to winter's form, no matter how warm and uncharacteristic January may have been, creating a cool winter backdrop for many to cozy up to on Valentines Day. The light at the end of the winter tunnel is shining ever so brightly as we speed through February, and the Fighting Illini Men's Basketball team is leading that charge Sunday as they take on Penn State!  

Whether it's live music, amazing award-winning food, or local theater, this weekend is sure to be one to extend the exciting energy that 2018 has brought so far. Fresh off of the Second Annual Champaign County Area Restaurant Week, local restaurants are on fire serving up amazing, one-of-a-kind dishes to satisfy even the pickiest of tastes. See what Monticello's downtown eateries have in store at Monticello's Chocolate Fantasy on Friday night from 5:30 p.m - 8:30 p.m. sure to be a sweet start to an exciting weekend. 

The Great Cover Up has proven to be one of the most exciting live music events in Champaign over the years. This legendary event showcases over 30 local artists and bands over the first 3 Fridays of February. Proceeds from the annual benefit with be donated to the C-U One-To-One Mentoring program, the Matthew C. Farrell Memorial (scholarship) Fund, and the Urbana Middle School Bands program. The Great Cover Up is not only an exciting and fun way to start this Fighting Illini weekend, but a fantastic way to support the development of future artists within our local schools. 

Keeping in line with great live performances in the greater Champaign County area, the C-U Comedy Club is bringing a Valentine's Weekend show to Soma. With Valentine's Day right around the corner, discover a new date night restaurant, and experience first hand what makes Champaign-Urbana the Greatest Midwest Food Town. Enjoy a day of food, fun, all punctuated by a night out on the town enjoying the comedy stylings of Kristen Toomey. 

There is no shortage of phenomenal local theater in the greater Champaign County area, and this weekend is no different. The Female Odd Couple, a contemporary take on a comedy classic is sure to tickle your funny bones and get you energized for the upcoming Illini win! Enjoy a Sunday afternoon showing at 2pm.

If you're looking to make Sunday your day of celebration for the weekend, this Sunday sure won't disappoint.  Enjoy a delicious lunch while learning about Japanese Bento at the Bento Lunch at Japan House. You'll get insider tips on dining etiquette, how to make onigiri, and a chance to talk with the Japan Illini Club Scholars about their lives here at the University of Illinois, as well as their lives in Japan. Follow up a delicious and culturally enlighting lunch with a look into the past at Jazz in Chicago. Enjoy the ambiance of Allerton Mansion’s Library as you get insight into the best-known Chicago jazz clubs, and where and when you can still hear great live jazz in the Windy City. After the lecture, enjoy a live performance of Chicago Jazz repertoire by the Traditional Jazz Orchestra in the Grand Gallery.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, make this weekend one of celebration. Beat the crowds that are sure to come in droves next weekend.  Enjoy an amazing weekend filled with food, live music and theater, all capped off with a Sunday evening cheering on our Fighting Illini Men's Basketball team to a win over Penn State!


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