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Radio serials will benefit food pantry

Lovers of old-time radio serials will want to tune into the next performance of the Community Players this week at St. George's Episcopal Church in Belleville.

Last year, the Community Players staged a broadcast-type version of "It's a Wonderful Life" to raise money for the St. George's/St Mark's food pantry. This time, audiences are in for twice the fun with a doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Friday.

Up first will be "Sheriff Tess Hardy in Fool's Gold," a Western-style serial written by Tim Paeltz, of Belleville.

"There are lawmen, villains, saloon girls, love interests, gunfire, horses -- all of the things I liked in the old Westerns that used to be on radio and TV," Paeltz said.

Act II will be an episode from the classic "Thin Man" series, a comedic whodunit made famous on the silver screen by William Powell and Myrna Loy in the 1930s and '40s.

Admission is $5, and all proceeds again will benefit the churches' food pantry. St. George's is at North High and East D streets in Belleville.

Dolls and toys come out to play

Let Kay Weber be your teddy bear Saturday when she hosts her big doll and toy doubleheader at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds Exposition Center in Belleville.

It's Barbie's 50th birthday this year, and Weber is celebrating with her 25th annual dollhouse and miniature show to go along with her 27th annual doll, toy and teddy bear show from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $4.

It will be like Christmas in June for shoppers walking into a room filled with antique and modern dolls of all sizes along with doll furniture toys, stuffed animals and other doll supplies. The miniature show will boast both dollhouses and house kits plus everything you need to furnish them: furniture, chandeliers, wallpaper, rungs and much more.

More than 30 dealers from five states will be represented, and a special sale table to benefit the Greater St. Louis Miniature Museum also will be available. Parking is free, and the food bar will be available.

Rendezvous at Fort de Chartres

You won't find a housing crisis in Prairie du Rocher this weekend when the 39th annual Summer Rendezvous sets up camp at the newly reopened Fort de Chartres Historic Site.

Re-enactors from across the country will be setting up tepees and tents by the hundreds to do what they love best -- take you back three centuries to show off the crafts, weaponry, and food of a bygone era.

In addition, drum and fife groups will march around the site, and center stage will showcase period bands and an 18th century fashion show.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, but there will be a $7 parking fee. For a complete event schedule, go to www.ftdechartres.com/june.html.

Are you game for DieCon9?

They're ready to let the games begin in Collinsville this weekend during DieCon9 at the Gateway Center.

DieCon is the annual St. Louis-area gaming convention where the only thing you risk losing is your mind, not your money, as you choose from among 150 interactive contests.

Board games, role-playing games, collectible card games, miniature games -- they're all here along with your game-playing friends as they fill the convention center from 2 p.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Sunday with a couple of breaks for sleep.

Mustering online for the organized role-playing games is now closed but you can sign up for events at the door if space remains. Entry fee is $30 for the weekend with daily rates available.

For information, go to www.warhorn.org/Diecon9.

We all walk for ice cream

Everybody will be screaming for ice cream Saturday during the Mascoutah Ice Cream Festival Walk.

You won't even have to worry about those pesky calories when you sign up to do the five-kilometer or 10-kilometer hike at the Visitors Center, 200 E. Main St.

Then, just take the leisurely stroll that will end on Main Street, where many merchants will be dishing out free frozen goodies for hungry walkers. Among the participants: the Silver Creek Mill at 602 S. Highway 4, which also will host its weekly farmers market complete with music by Allen and Karen Whisman from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

The walk runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the fee is $3.

Pere Marquette hosts fishing fair

Whether you're serious about fishing or just angling for a little weekend fun, you'll find it Saturday at the Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton.

As part of Illinois Free Fishing Days and National Fishing and Boating Days, the park has put together a day of activities ranging from making a cane pole to snaring bass and bluegill. Have other fish to fry? Well, they will give you tips on doing that, too.

The fairgrounds will be filled with information stations, including fish identification, cleaning, casting and other skills. Every child who completes at least seven stations will win a prize and have a chance to land a trout at the trout pond.

Other activities sure to light up your kids' faces will be the bowfishing station, virtual reality fishing and noodling demonstrations -- catching fish with your bare hands. Providing entertainment will be the Radio Disney Road crew from 10 a.m. to noon, nature enthusiast Camo the Clown and bluegrass musician and storyteller Wayne Schell.

All activities are free, no license is needed and organizers will even provide the fishing gear. For more information, call 786-3323, ext. 1, or 883-2524.

Ninja Turtles come out of shell

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will "shell-abrate" their 25th anniversary Friday night and Saturday during festivities at the St. Louis Science Center.

Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael will be arriving on their party bus at 6 p.m. for two days of Ninjutsu demonstrations, dancing and photo opportunities.

Adding to the monthly First Friday fun will be $5 admission to all Omnimax movies after 5 p.m. Friday. Current features are "Grand Canyon Adventure," "Wild Ocean" and "Fly Me to the Moon."

Parking on the center lot also will be free Friday night. For complete information, go to www.slsc.org.

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