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 Taste of Champaign-Urbana 2017


Friday, August 18, 2017 ● Saturday, August 19, 2017
5:00 – 11:00 pm ● 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

West Side Park



Watch the 2015 #TasteCU Video



Admission to Taste of Champaign-Urbana is FREE, however a $5 suggested donation will help support the festival.

Taste of CU food, beer, beverages, and activities require tickets. Tickets are sold in sheets of 5 for $5 and are not refundable. Tickets can be purchased by cash or credit at the Ticket Tent in the center of West Side Park. 

Arts & Crafts may be purchased using cash, checks, or credit cards at the discretion of the artist.

Get a downloadable PDF of our map here!

Getting There

The following streets will be closed during the Taste of CU through Sunday, August 20.

  • Elm St from University Ave to Church St
  • State St from University Ave to Church St

Public Transportation

For travel information, visit www.cumtd.com


Street parking is available throughout downtown Champaign and in the parking garage located at Hill and Neil St.  See http://champaignil.gov/public-works/parking/parking-maps/ for public parking information.


Bike parking is available at the bike corral, near the northeast entrance.


Handicap accessible parking is located at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church (100 N. Park Avenue at State Street). For more information on specific accessibility, please contact zoe.stinson@champaignparks.com or call 217-819-3931.

Food and Beverage

Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 5 tickets for $5.

Smaller “Taste of Portions” are available at each food vendor and are between 1-2 tickets.

Beverage tents are located throughout the event and feature Pepsi soft drinks and bottled water. Visit out Beer and Craft Beer tents west of the fountain, and purchase specialty drinks from various vendors.

Medical Attention

Medical attention is available at the First Aid Trailer located northwest of the fountain.

Music presented by Illinois American Water

Friday, August 19

5:00-6:00 CUperstars
A youth talent group that teaches kids discipline, showmanship, and vocal skills. Each child has the dream to become the next CUperstar. CUperStar has been a huge success and continues to grow beyond its borders. The kids all move on proudly with confidence, motivated and ready to succeed at any task with dedication and commitment. Cuperstars are left valued, celebrated, and empowered.


6:30-7:30 Last Call Band

A Central Illinois Band based in Bloomington/Normal, Last Call Band includes Rock and R&B and a mix of their own originals. 

8:00-9:00 Kilborn Alley
Nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category Best New Artist Debut for their 2006 Blue Bella Records release, Put It In The Alley, and nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category Best Contemporary Blues Album for their 2007 Blue Bella Records release, Tear Chicago Down, the music of The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, the future of the blues is in safe hands for as long as talented young bands like the Kilborn Alley Blues Band continue to emerge. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band does gritty Chicago blues and southern fried soul for all the generations of blues lovers.


9:30-11:00 Murphy500
Hailing from Murphysboro, Illinois, Murphy500 is quickly working their way to creating a name for themselves in country music. Murphy500 has had the pleasure of opening for such acts as Jon Pardi, LoCash Cowboys, Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Mo Pitney, Clayton Anderson, Eli Young Band and Kid Rock.


Saturday, August 20

5:00 – 6:00 We the Animals
Playing “100% all-natural dirty disco,” We The Animals has become a fan favorite around Champaign-Urbana, playing countless shows at venues such as The Accord, Cowboy Monkey and many others.


6:30 – 7:30 Jim Markum Swing Band

From screamin’ brass to wailin’ saxes, jammin’ rhythms to drippin’ ballads, this band has it all. From golden oldies of the Big Band Era to the modern sounds of pop, jump swing, and blues, the Jim Markum Swing Band will get you in the dancing mood.


8:00 – 9:00 Candy Foster and the Shades of Blue

Candy Foster has been performing classic rhythm and blues throughout the Midwest for 40 years. Candy has appeared with such blues greats as Lonnie Brooks, Etta James, Big Daddy Kinsey, KoKo Taylor, Junior Wells, Gatemouth Brown, Little Milton, Eddie Shaw, Son Seals, Bobby Blue Bland, and Bobby Rush, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Natalie Cole, and The Four Tops

9:30 – 11:00 Sun Stereo
Sun Stereo hails from Urbana, Illinois, delivering a hybridization of organic and electronic elements with Beatlesque vocal harmonies, electronic soundscapes, violins, and a funky horn section. They have performed at numerous festivals, including Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the RoadTours in Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa, Summer Camp Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, The Taste of Randolph Street, SOHO Music Festival, Illiac Music Festival, Pygmalion Festival, Merchant Street Music Festival, The Dixon Petunia Festival, Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, and now, Taste of Champaign.


We are looking for some help this year at Taste of Champaign-Urbana!  It takes volunteers like you to make this event happen, and we are so appreciative of your time!  There are tons of volunteer opportunities at many times to fit into your busy schedule.

  • General Volunteer Opportunities – Volunteer to help with Vendor Check-In, Ticket Sales, Volunteer Table, and Vendor Loading Attendant.
  • Beer Volunteer Opportunities – Volunteer to work in the beer tent.  PLEASE NOTE – All volunteer in the beer tent MUST be TIPS trained.  We will be offering free TIPS training classes for all volunteers.
  • Nonprofit Entrance Monitor Volunteers – This year at Taste we will be asking for donations at the entrances.  Nonprofits looking to volunteer and fund raise are invited to apply to manage and entrance during the festival, and in return receive a percentage of the total entrance money donated.  To apply, complete and submit the application.
  • Pie Run Course Volunteers – Volunteer for set up, registration, and helping throughout the race course!

Pie Run

Pie Run will take you on a 3.14 mile course that starts and ends at the Taste of Champaign-Urbana in West Side Park. Along the way we’ll treat you to water and pie stops provided by your favorite local bakeries and restaurants. At the end of the race, you’ll choose to finish either “pie free” or “flying pie.” Grab your jogging shoes and bring your sweet tooth – this fun event is sure to win the hearts of runners and pie lovers alike!

Read more HERE!


a.1 Pepsi
a.2 The News-Gazette
a.3 WDWS
a.4 WHMS
a.5 WKIO
a.6 Hilton
a.7 WCIA
a.8 American Water
b.1 Chambana Moms
b.2 Group


  1. What items are prohibited from being brought onto festival grounds?
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • BBQ Grills (Open Flames)
  • Fireworks or Explosives
  • Illegal Substances & Weapons
  • Large Coolers or Bags
  • Pop-up Tents/Canopies
  • Beach/Picnic Umbrellas
  • Flag Poles
  • All Pets (except Service Animals)

Failure to comply with the above may result in entry being denied. All containers will be subject to search. Bicycles may not be ridden throughout the park due to increased foot traffic.

  1. Can I bring a folding chair and blanket into the festival? Absolutely!
  2. Can I bring a tent into the festival? Personal tents and canopies are NOT allowed. 
  3. Are there restrooms?Restrooms are provided near every entrance. We also have provided privacy tents on the north and west sides of the park for changing stations.
  4. Can I bring my dog with me into the festival? No. For your dog’s protection and for the public’s safety, all dogs (except service animals) are restricted from the festivals and you will be asked to leave the festival with your dog.
  5. Is there an admission fee to get into the festival grounds? Admission to Taste of Champaign-Urbana is free, however a $5 suggested donation will help support the festival in future years.

Cancellation Line (Rain cancellations, delays, etc)

cancellations 296x191

Photos from Taste of CU 2016:

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