Gotta get away? Stay safe and have some fun with any one, or all, of these weekend events.
1. Where they belong
Catch the mighty Panthers marching band -- along with the professional cast -- at "Hello, Dolly" at the last Muny production of the summer season. Tickets start at free for those who get there early enough; paid seats range from $14 to $85. Show starts at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at The Muny in Forest Park. Go to www.muny.org for more information and ticket links.
2. Just try a bite
Taste of Southern Illinois is 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in Lebanon's Horner Park. Sample from one or all of 20 area restaurants and wiggle off the calories with help from four bands.
Admission, parking and shuttle service from the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink station are all free. Forks are not; pricing is up to each vendor.
3. Come home
Freeburg is hosting a homecoming and craft fair with something for just about everyone at the Freeburg Recreation Park. Send Grandma to the craft fair, the kids to the carnival rides and Dad to the tractor pull. There's a parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and a truck pull at 6:30 p.m., washer tournament, children's matinee, a chicken dinner and cold beer. All proceeds go to the park's upkeep.
4. Watch out for bikes
Professional wheel turners will be racing at 3:15 p.m. Sunday through historic downtown Belleville. If you want in on some real racing action, check out bellevillebicyclerace.com and join your age group for a race of your own. On-site registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and prize pots range from ribbons for the children's race to $600 for the pros. A license with USA Cycling is required to race; join at registration at 104 W. Main St. in Belleville.
5. Stop and smell the flowers
Need something more sedate after a hectic week? Try the Iris Sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Caseyville Township Center on Bunkum Road in Fairview Heights or the Book Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tri-Township Library at 209 S. Main St. in Troy.
For more things to do, go to bnd.com/events.