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Fall Festivals Make a Return

August 17, 2021

After a year off, our fall festivals are making a safe return to our community, providing everything from film-going experiences to live music to cultural celebrations. Check out what’s returning and make your plans for your weekend visit around these must-attend events!



Pygmalion | September 23–25

For over a decade, Pygmalion has pushed the boundaries in innovation in programming, with up and coming musicians alongside national names, cutting-edge comedy, local and national author book readings, hackathons, tech demos, and local makers. The 2021 continues to keep us on our toes with a lineup including Bob the Drag Queen, R&B disruptor Tinashe, and poet and activist Crystal Valentine. Get your festival passes and head down for a diverse weekend of events.


CU Pride Fest | September 24–26

The second largest Pride Fest in Illinois, the CU Pride Fest takes place every fall to ensure our University of Illinois LGBTQ+ students and allies can take part in the weekend’s events. The Pride Parade is sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces, while educational programming is available for youth and families. Don’t miss the LGBTQ+ artists that will also be featured at Pygmalion, happening the same weekend.

Folk & Roots Festival | October 21–23

Spanning venues across downtown Urbana and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, this grassroots festival brings the community together for a love of good music. Artists large and small lead us in jam sessions, song circles, and revelatory performances in intimate settings. Festival passes get you into three-full days of performances for a weekend you won’t forget.

Flannel Fest | October 23

Nothing screams fall like flannel! Celebrate this fall must-have at Champaign Park District’s annual Flannel Fest at Hessel Park. Be wowed by axe throwing, log rolling, and speed carving alongside plenty of music, art, and food trucks. If you’re really feeling fall, join in the Lumberjack Dash, a fun one-mil course complete with log flips, log crawls, and more obstacles.

Craft League of Champaign-Urbana Art Fair | November 13–14

As we start shopping for the holidays, this annual art fair brings together the regions finest artists to support. Take your pick of ceramics, jewelry, painting, woodworking, photography, and so much more. You're sure to find gifts for all those on your list, and even a few things for yourself!

Parade of Lights | November 27

Get into the holiday spirit and this festive parade through Downtown Champaign! Always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Parade of Lights brings together the community for caroling, hot chocolate, and other holiday-themed activities before the sun goes down and the parade begins. Stay through the end to catch Santa as he makes his way through the parade to the tree lighting at One Main Plaza.

Ready to plan your festival weekend?

Need help planning your visit to the greater Champaign County area? Check out our Experience Guide, or contact us for more information! Don’t forget to book your stay at our area hotels, located conveniently throughout the community.


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