Aug. 12, 1999
Football Saturdays at the University of Illinois will take on a new look during the upcoming season as Illini Street Fest '99 will line Kirby Avenue before each home game. Billed as Champaign-Urbana's largest street party, in the hours leading up to each home football game, Kirby Avenue will be blocked off between Oak Street and First Street to accommodate the Fighting Illini fans.
During each Illini Street Fest, a free, public concert will be held at one main stage, which will be located at the corner of First and Kirby facing west. Prior to the home opener, Sept. 4 vs. Arkansas State, the Grammy-award winning Commodores will perform between noon and 2 p.m. "The Legends of Motown" are famous for songs such as Brick House, Night Shift and Lady (You Bring Me Up). A different band will perform each additional gameday Saturday prior to kickoff.
In addition to the free concert, Illini Street Fest '99 will become the main meeting area for all Illini tailgaters. Group and corporate tents will now line the north and south sides of Kirby Avenue between Oak and First Streets. The street will be open to pedestrians with interactive balloon games and other activities positioned on Kirby Avenue. At the Sept. 4 Fest, the world's largest television screen will be along the street. Several other attractions will also be available free-of-charge on a weekly basis.
Another exciting feature of Illini Street Fest '99 will be the ability for the public to purchase food from restaurant tents and carnival-type vendors. Chevy's Fresh Mex, a new Mexican Restaurant opening soon in Champaign, will be selling nachos and fajitas in a tent at the corner of Kirby Avenue and First Street.
"This is really an exciting opportunity to make Illinois football Saturdays more enjoyable for the whole family," says UI Director of Marketing Dave Johnson. "Illinois has had a great tradition of tailgating for years and this will just add a new dimension to that experience. Having Chevy's on board also meets a need we've had as far as providing food to tailgaters who are not invited to a special tent party."
Illini Street Fest '99 is presented by Chevy's Fresh Mex. Other event sponsor include WDWS/WHMS Radio, WPGU Radio, WKIO Radio, and WGKC Radio. Additional sponsors may also be announced in the near future.