How did you spend your weekend? For us, things were pretty busy, but we had a fun Saturday! Saturday after spending all morning and afternoon at the football field for both boys’ games, my oldest son and I headed over to the Taste of Champaign-Urbana.
A “Taste” in any city is usually an outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of that particular city’s dining community. The scrumptious variety of food served throughout the festival is often complimented by various vendors, music, and entertaining activities for the entire family.
The Taste of Champaign-Urbana was held August 18th – August 19th at West Side Park. While admission was ultimately free, a suggested donation of $5 was welcomed. All food, beer, beverages, and activities required tickets that could be purchased in increments of 5 for $5 and were non-refundable.
Arts & Crafts
Upon entering the festival, you immediately entered into the Arts & Crafts with over 20 artists featuring jewelry, art, decor, portraits, etc. The great thing was that instead of using your tickets for purchasing Arts & Crafts, you could actually use cash, checks, or credit cards at the discretion of the artist which left you other ways to use your tickets such as at the beer tents.
Domestic or Craft Beer?
Mix 94.5 hosted various beer tents for those who were 21 and up with a valid ID. With my love for beer, I couldn’t wait to hit the beer tent for a taste of Blue Moon. While I love to think Blue Moon is a craft beer, it definitely is not. It’s actually a domestic beer made by MillerCoors. Taste Collector Mugs were also available for 5 tickets, but I personally decided to skip on that and head over to the Kids Zone.
Kids Zone by Chambanamoms
Chambanamoms hosted an array of entertaining activities for the kiddos such as the House of Bouncers, Joy of Face Painting, and Novelty Toys, just to name a few. Had my youngest son came along, I know we would have spent a considerable amount of time with the festivities for the kids. Tickets ranged from one ticket to 10 tickets, so there was definitely something for every budget.
If you are a mama in the Champaign-Urbana area, I would highly suggest subscribing to Chambanamoms. I do and I appreciate the information so much!
Over this past summer I learned about so many things to do in the Champaign-Urbana area by simply subscribing to their newsletter. For example, I learned about the free summer movies in Savoy, rootbeer tastings for kids on Mondays, and camps that I had no knowledge of.
So, if you are interested, I have provided the link to Chambanamoms right here.
Finally, there were so many food vendors in addition to the live music. I mean, that’s what the “Taste” is all about, right?
Food Vendors and Trucks
Lines were long, but everything was totally worth the wait. There were tacos from Stoutfellas Tacos all the way to Chinese food from Peking Garden and funnel cakes from the Support Our Senior Veterans, Inc., Food Truck!
Aside from my yummy 8 ticket Snicker funnel cake, my son and I spent the most time tasting pizza. He spent his first few tickets at Papa John’s and later discovered his love for Jet’s Pizza. Once, I saw his pizza, I knew I had to have me a slice, too.
Thank goodness, I didn’t eat earlier in the day and worked out the following morning!
Beer, pizza, and funnel cakes, oh my!
Now, enough about all of that. Let me tell you why we are going back next year and making it a planned family outing.
3 Reasons Why We’re Going Back
#1 The atmosphere was welcoming and fun. There was no rowdiness and craziness. People were there to have a great time and there were plenty of police and security guards around to ensure that families felt safe while enjoying themselves.
#3 There is truly something for the entire family such as the live music and variety of food. I was impressed with the music being so diverse. Music included a variety of R&B, Swing/Pop. Rock, Blues, Country, etc.
#4 The #TasteCU was affordable. I know everyone defines “affordable” differently. However, food and activities started at one ticket. So, even if someone purchased just one $5 sheet of tickets which contained five tickets, they could still have an enjoyable evening.
For example if your child only had $5 they could enjoy one slice of pizza for (2) tickets, plus a cone of popcorn for (1) ticket, plus a Doc Zero for (1) ticket, and a slide down the House of Bouncers for (1) ticket. All of this is in addition to the freebies from various tables such as frisbees, candy, glow sticks, and tattooes. As an adult, you could use your final ticket for a taste at the Craft Beer Tent for (1) ticket instead of using it for the slide, of course.
So, what do you say? Will you be going next year to your city’s Taste festival?