Brilliant Stories

Guide to Pride Fest 2022

September 21, 2022

Uniting Pride of Champaign County is showing out for this year’s C-U Pride Fest, gifting us with an array of events spanning from education, art, movie screenings, dancing, and of course–the coveted C-U Pride Parade! We compiled a lighter schedule of the must-see events for Pride-Fest. For the complete listing of Uniting Pride's entire program, click here. 


Sat Sep 24th 1-4pm: “We Are Here” UIUC Queer BIPOC Block Party - FREE (donations accepted)

Where: Nevada Street between Goodwin and Matthews, Urbana 

Join the UIUC Counseling Center and Cultural Houses between 1 and 4 p.m. to kick Pride Fest off right with a Queer BIPOC Block Party. Food, music, community, fun, and free for the entire community! 

Sun Sep 25th 4pm: Screening of “Paris is Burning” - FREE (donations accepted)

Where: Westminster Dining Hall, 2nd Floor (McKinley Foundation), 809 S 5th St, Champaign

“Paris is Burning” is the quintessential documentary that chronicles the New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing, and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality. If you’re a fan of “Pose” or “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, come watch the real story that inspired both of these modern TV hits.

Mon Sep 26th 4-6pm: “You Belong Here” LGBTQIA+ Youth Art Show Opening Reception - FREE (donations accepted)

Where: Anita Purves Nature Center (1505 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana)

This multimedia art show features a variety of local LGBTQIA+ youth artists from area middle schools and high schools. Art is a positive form of creative communication and self-expression, and a way for youth to share their unique and personal stories with others. Experience their art, demonstrating that all people belong in nature and at the Urbana Park District. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

Tues Sep 27th 9pm-12am: Queeraoke - FREE (donations accepted)

Where: The Axe Bar (114 S Neil St, Champaign)

Let’s queer-up karaoke night! Wear your rainbow gear, gather in love and celebration, and sing your heart out. It’s karaoke. You know the drill. Bring your friends, bring your tips for the bartenders and karaoke DJ, and let’s have some FUN!

Wed Sep 28th 6-7pm: Addressing LGBTQ Violence and Discrimination in Education - FREE (donations accepted)

Where: Spurlock Museum of World Cultures (600 Gregory St, Urbana), and streamed online to UP’s Facebook and Youtube pages

Dr. Dorothy Espelage is an internationally recognized scholar whose career has been dedicated to understanding and preventing bullying and violence in schools. Her research prioritizes the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth. Join us as she and two of her graduate student mentees offer suggestions from the most up-to-date research regarding how to support LGBTQ people in schools, especially in light of recent discriminatory legislation across the nation.


Thurs Sep 29th 7pm: Film Screening of Out in the Dark and Q&A with filmmaker Michael Mayer

Where: Spurlock Museum, 600 Gregory St, Urbana

Michael Mayer's “gripping feature debut”, Out in the Dark, tackles the complexities of gay life within the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “An edgy tale of sociopolitical intrigue,” Out in the Dark had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, sold to more than 40 countries, played in over 130 film festivals and won 27 awards. Sparking debate on both gender and Middle Eastern politics, Out in the Dark was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, honoring the film's representation of LGBT issues and its impact on mainstream culture.

RSVP here:

Fri Sep 30th 4-7pm: Youth & Family Pride Party - FREE, RSVP requested

Where: University Y (1001 S Wright St, Champaign) 

Families and young people deserve a Pride Party all your own and so here it is! Join UP as they celebrate Pride with art, music, some free yummy treats, and lots more fun stuff. Something for all ages, whether you’re a family with littles, pre-teens, or teenagers. Free book giveaway to attendees while supplies last, free stickers and flags, and a raffle to win some awesome prizes! RSVP by clicking here to join them for family-friendly PRIDE!

Fri Sep 30th 7pm-2am: Show UP & Show OUT Pride Fest Party - $15 GA / $30 VIP

Where: Canopy Club (708 S Goodwin, Urbana)

We’re hosting a repeat of last year’s wildly successful Show UP & Show OUT Party but this time even bigger and better! Defy Gravity and Carnivale Debauche are back with their mind-blowingly-awesome burlesque but we’re adding a whole drag show on top of that with some of the very best performers in our area! And the whole thing will be hosted by Callie Luttman from Mix 94.5. Join us as we blow the roof off the Canopy Club!

This is an 18+ event. GA tickets are $15 pre-order or $20 at the door, with a special VIP ticket for $30 pre-order and includes early entry (skip the line!), pre-show meet n greet with performers and Callie, and a reserved seating area. Click below to get your tickets now!

For Tickets, click here.

Sat Oct 1st 11am: CU Pride Parade - FREE

The 2022 CU Pride Parade will step off at 11am in Campustown and then make its way to downtown Urbana. Parade map to come so attendees can know where to get a good viewing spot. New this year: we’ll be judging parade entries and giving out awards at the Fair. So if you march in the parade and wanna win, better plan to impress with your group or float!

Sat Oct 1st 12-4pm: CU Pride Fest Fair - FREE (donations accepted)

Where: Downtown Urbana (between Race and Main Street)

The Pride Fest Fair is back in downtown Urbana at the intersection of Race and Main streets. We’ll shut the area down and have entertainment, vendors, activities, art, community organizations sharing information, and more! This year we’re excited to have the One Community Together stage that was formerly a part of the Sweetcorn Festival. More information to come but the music will be amazing, you can be sure of that!

If you’d like to sign up to march in the Parade or have a booth at the Fair, click HERE by the sign up deadline of Sept 15th. And then we’ll send out more information to participants closer to the event date.

Sun Oct 2nd 3-5pm: Champaign Community Crawl - $30-$55

Where: Downtown Champaign

UP partners with the Champaign Center Partnership so downtown Champaign can show their Pride with an incredible Community Crawl. Buy a batch of vouchers to use at participating businesses to get some great Pride treats! $30 gets you 3 vouchers, $55 for a pack of 6. And then you can choose where you stop in and buy: shops for families and young people, bars for the 21+, or mix and match! With so many amazing local businesses partnering with us on this program, you can’t go wrong. You might even need to buy a few packs of vouchers! Proceeds are split between the businesses and Uniting Pride.

Participating Locations: The Literary, Bentley’s, Fire Doll Studio, Blind Pig Brewery, Plant Mode, Esquire Lounge, Suzu’s Bakery and likely more to come! We’re only selling a limited amount of vouchers, so get yours before they sell out!

For Community Crawl Tickets, click here.

Sun Oct 2nd 7:30pm: Melissa Etheridge: One Way Out Tour - $49.50+

Where: The Virginia Theatre

Uniting Pride is thrilled to be partnering with The Virginia Theatre to offer this incredible 2022 CU Pride Fest GRAND FINALE EVENT! With plenty of awards and hit records to her name, Melissa Etheridge needs no introduction. But you can click on the button below to head to The Virginia Theatre’s website for more information, see all the ticket levels (including some incredible VIP options!) and snag those tickets before they sell out. What a way to close out Pride Fest with a bang!

Don’t miss out! Save the date in your calendar now and plan to cruise down to W Nevada St between Goodwin and Matthews anytime between 1 and 4pm on Saturday, September 24th.

For more info and tickets, click here.



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