Little Pig Cookoff
Jim Knapp would be proud that Beckemeyer is pulling together again Saturday with the Jim Knapp Memorial Little Pig Cookoff.
It starts at 3 p.m. at BCDC Park, Second and Murray streets in Beckemeyer. Admission is free. People’s Choice sampling for the pork steak cookoff starts at 5:15 p.m.; $10 per person includes a cupcake. Winners will be announced at 7:30 p.m.
Load-in for the cardboard regatta is at 3 p.m., followed by best-of-show judging at 3:30 and races at 4 p.m. Other attractions include Cupcake Wars and a vendor fair.
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Music will be by the Jim Miller Band, Davis Brothers Band, Riverside Tavern Revival, Feedback and Wrath of Khan.
The event honors Jim Knapp (1930-2004), a fixture of the Beckemeyer community for years who was president of the Beckemeyer Community Development Club. He was instrumental in developing BCDC Park. He and his smoker/grill, emblazoned with “Jim’s Little Pig Bar-B-Q,” could be seen working fundraisers and other functions around town.
Holy Family Parish in Cahokia will celebrate its annual festival from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the grounds of the historic church in Cahokia.
You’ll find carnival rides, raffles, cake and bake booths, Big 6 Wheel and 5-Card Poker, plus beer and margaritas for sale. Roy-El Catering food truck will provide food both nights.
Cash bingo starts at noon Saturday, and an Alumni Musician Mass is at 5 p.m.
Music will be by The Cardboard Room from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Rock Solid from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Holy Childhood Parish in Mascoutah will have a fish fry at 5 p.m. Friday, with live music.
On Saturday, Mass is at 4 p.m. An all-you-can-eat chicken dinner will be served from 4 to 7:30 p.m., with carryouts available. A lightning raffle starts at 5:45 p.m, followed by quilt and cash bingo at 6:30 p.m.
Darth Vader’s head will lead a force of more than 40 hot air balloons glowing and flying in Centralia’s annual Balloon Fest Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Foundation Park.
Admission is $3 adults and students; children 6 and under get in free. A 3-day pass is $6.
On Friday: Gates open at 3 p.m. A balloon race is at 6 p.m., followed by tethered balloon rides ($10 adults; $5 children) and a balloon glow at 7:30 p.m. The Invaders 2.0 will perform from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Fireworks are at 10 p.m.
On Saturday: Gates open at 6 a.m. and the balloon race is at 6:30 a.m. A Karaoke contest is from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A car show is from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Tethered balloon rides are from 6 to 9 p.m. and a balloon glow is at 7:30. Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble (U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America) plays from 8:30 to 10 p.m.
On Sunday: Gates open at 6 a.m. and a balloon race is at 6:30 a.m. Cardboard boat building is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Catfish Pond, followed by boat races at 2:30 p.m. The final balloon race is at 6 p.m.
There is a craft fair all three days, continuous entertainment and a chilren’s activity area Saturday and Sunday.
Freeburg will roll out its 91st annual homecoming Friday and Saturday at Freeburg Recreation Park.
On Friday, you can get up close and personal with a Budweiser Clydesdale from 6 to 8 p.m. A tractor and truck pull starts at 6:30 p.m. and Stump Water Shine will provide the music from 8 p.m. to midnight. Carnival rides, food, games and drinks are available both nights.
On Saturday, a children’s ride matinee is from 1 to 4 p.m., the parade steps off at 5:30 p.m., a truck pull starts at 6:30 p.m. and Turnpike Cruiser will perform from 8 to midnight.
All proceeds go toward the park improvement project.
Fun in the sun
The St. George Knights of Columbus Council 10311 will stage the Fun-In-The-Sun BBQ & Cruise-In Car Show from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at New Baden Village Park.
All vehicles are welcome in the car show. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon. Cars will be on display from noon to 4 p.m. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m.
What’s on the grill? Pork steaks, bratwurst patties and hot dogs. Sides include potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and dessert. No alcohol will be served.
A raffle drawing, 50-50 drawing, music and attendance prizes are also part of the action.
Proceeds benefit Knights of Columbus Veterans’ and Fallen Heroes’ Tribute and other Knights of Columbus charities and projects.