Taste of Champaign-Urbana Kicks Off Friday

August 17, 2018

The Taste festival at West Side Park in Champaign begins Friday evening.

Anna Casey/Illinois Public Media

For nearly half a century, the Taste of Champaign-Urbana festival has showcased local art, music and food. The event will take place this Friday evening and Saturday at West Side Park in Champaign. 

"It's a great opportunity for people to see all the different things that we have available in this community, all in one spot," said Zoe Southlynn-Savage, an events manager at the Champaign Park District, which puts on the festival.

She said attendees can expect more restaurants to be at the festival than in previous years, as well as more interactive activities for both kids and adults. 

"We've got a lot of demonstrating artists this year," Southlynn-Savage said. "We're going to have people doing live painting, we're going to have a chainsaw carver, and CU Pottery will be out there as well with their pottery wheel." 

The kids' zone will have demonstrations throughout the day Saturday, as well as a graffiti mural and inflatable games. As with previous years, the adults will have the option of both domestic and craft beers, and can enjoy musical performances ranging from rythym and blues to folk on Friday and Saturday evenings. 

Southlynn-Savage said another change to the festival this year will be the time of the Pie Run, a 3.14 mile run with pie stops along the way. That event will begin on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and requires runners to register.

The Taste of Champaign-Urbana kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. and continues on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at West Side Park. Entry to the festival is free. You can get more information about all Taste events on the park district's website at www.champaignparks.com.

Story source: WILL