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For ISU students looking for something to do this weekend can watch "Coming to America" at 7 p.m. Sunday in Braden Auditorium.

Don’t have any plans for the weekend? Here are five things to do in the Bloomington-Normal area.

Enjoy some local music

Whether you’re the biggest country music fan or not, cover band Hillbilly High-Rise has something for everyone. From country and pop hits to rock and roll classics, this Bloomington-Normal based band is sure to impress. Started in 2019, Hillbilly High-Rise has made it their goal to perform and bring joy to people across the community that raised them. Reservations for this event are highly encouraged as those wanting to attend must be seated at a table; standing room has been removed due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Without a reservation this event is first come first serve, so call ahead to save your seat or stop by Windjammer Lounge from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Feb. 19 for their free and highly anticipated first performance of the year.

Have fun and get competitive

If you’re looking for something more interactive to do this Friday, drop your controller and jump headfirst into a battle royale yourself at Iron Coyote Challenge Park. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19 participants age eight and up are invited to take part in a night of Nerf wars, giveaways, dance parties and much more. Nerf blasters, darts, and masks will be provided to those attending; Iron Coyote Challenge Park requests leaving personal blasters at home, though will allow attendees to bring their own masks. The cost to participate is $33 a person and tickets can be bought on the company website.

Embrace the chill and give back

Gill Street Bar and Restaurant is hosting their 16th annual charity volleyball fundraiser tournament “Polar Bear Volleyball” this Saturday, Feb. 20. Starting at 10 a.m. a limit of ten teams will be competing throughout a brisk morning full of food and drink specials, live music and giveaways for the chance to represent a local charity of their choosing. Registration to participate is $60 a team with 100% of the entry fees going to the local charity of the winning teams’ choice. Each team must be co-rec and have at least two females. Pre-registering by calling Gill Street Bar and Restaurant is highly recommended as spots are filling up quickly.

Laugh the week off

With unpredictable weather and businesses closing early, this week has been far from ideal. Join Eric’s Restaurant at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 20  to let loose and laugh some of that built-up stress away. The Bloomington-based organization Love of Sports is hosting comedian Mike Sampson as he performs his hit standup routine for the first 50 ticket holders that place their order. Tickets are $25 for the main show that goes from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and $35 for those who want access to the main show as well as the after party that starts at 10 p.m. Those wanting to attend can contact Love of Sports CEO Kendrick Carr to purchase tickets.

Cozy up for a movie

Feeling more of a laid-back night? At 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21 Illinois State University students can visit Braden Auditorium on for a showing of Eddie Murphy’s 1988 film “Coming to America”, the prequel to his latest film “Coming 2 America” released in Dec. 2020. This event is hosted by Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality who aim to provide students with safe, encouraging and beneficial gathering spaces and events. Attendance to this event is completely free but is only open to ISU students and an RSVP is required in order to maintain the COVID-19 guideline limit of 50 people per gathering. Masks are required at all times while inside the auditorium and social distancing measures will be in place. Drinks with a lid are allowed however food is not.

GRACE DOYLE is a Features Reporter for The Vidette. She can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter at @Amaaziinggracee

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