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Archaeology has its day at Mounds

You never know what you'll unearch at the sixth annual Archaeology Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site near Collinsville.

Sponsored by the Cahokia Archaeological Society, the event allows budding scientists to get their hands dirty by touring excavations, sifting soil from actual digs and washing 1,000-year-old artifacts turned up during the summer excavations. Archaeologists and other specialists will discuss the identification of animal bones, instruments for the remote sensing of subsurface features, plants for food and medicine and Indian rock art.

Visitors also can try their hand at playing an Indian game or throwing spears with an atlatl. If you work up an appetite, there will be food and refreshments, you can enjoy while listening to a storyteller.

All activities are free and open to the public. For more information, call 346-5160 or go to www.cahokiamounds.com.

Free concerts come in threes

HOT BRASS: The U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America's Hot Brass is offering up a tripleheader of free outdoor concerts this weekend.

The first will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday on Highland's town square; another will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Moody Park in Fairview Heights; and the finale will be at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the parade field at Scott Air Force Base.

Concertgoers will hear a mix of funk, jazz, blues, soul zydeco, swing, country and pop hits. The band's special guest artist is Tom Coster, a composer and keyboardist with Santana.

COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA: The Metro East Community Chorus and Orchestra also will perform three concerts of music from The Forbidden Mass this weekend.

They are at 7:30 p.m. Friday in room 1109 or Dunham Hall at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke's Catholic Church, 301 N. Church St. in Belleville; and 3 p.m. Sunday in Eden United Church of Christ, 903 N. Second St., Edwardsville.

They will perform four slections from Mazart's Requiem and all of John Rutter's Requiem.

Donations will go to the American Cancer Society.

Church picnics in area towns

AVISTON: Have yourself a heaping helping of fried chicken, roast beef and homemade dressing when St. Francis of Assisi parish cooks up its annual picnic Saturday.

Dinner will be served from 3:30 to 8 p.m. in an air-conditioned hal. Mass is at 4. Quilt bingo starts at 6:30. Basket booths, rafles, a country store, face painting and margaritas are also part of the action.

LIVELY GROVE: St. Anthony Catholic Church also has fried chicken on the dinner menu from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

A polka Mass is scheduled for 4 p.m. and another Mass is at 6. A quilt and cash bingo starts at 6:30 p.m. and Polka Connections will perform afrom 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Lively Grove is 4 miles south of Illinois 15 on Illinois 153.

MILLSTADT: Where are they getting all these chickens? St. James Catholic Church will get in on the fried chicken art, too, from 3-7 p.m. Saturday on the church grounds.

A household auction is at 10 a.m., cash bingo strts at 5:30; quilt and cash bingo at 6 p.m. Adult and chidren's fames are planned.

Old favorites help Relay for Life

What do Johnny Cash, Karen Carpenter and Willie Nelson have in common?

They'll share the stage at a Relay for Life fundraiser from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery near Carlyle. Well, at

The Hope for Tomorrow team will sponsor the event, which also features the Sounds of Harmony barbershop chorus, a DJ, an auction, a wine tasting, nachos and fried chicken.

Tickets are $20 in advance (call Don Koch at 227-8508 or Bill Stock at 233-0198) or $25 at the door. All proceeds benefit Clinton County Relay for Life, which will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 7 at Central High School in Breese.

Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery is 2 miles north of Carlyle on Illinois 127.

Musical, comedies on local stages

Hard Road Theatre Productions continues its musical "Once Upon a Mattress" this weekend in the Highland Elementary School auditorium.

It's a comical, off-beat version of the "The Princess and the Pea" fairytale. The tyrannical Queen Aggravain challenges princesses to pass seemingly impossible tests to show their worthiness to marry her son, Prince Dauntless.

The Highland cast of 30 includes principals Becky Fromme, Mitch England, Mary Knebel, Tom Varner, Whitney Cornick, Josh Noll, Dawna Miller, Ariel Frey and Sarah Henschen.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Highland Elementary School is at 1800 Lindenthal Ave.

Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children. Seating is general admission. Tickets are available at the door one hour before performances.

For more information, call 654-7748 or visit www.hardroad.org.

"CINDERELLA" -- You might want to nudge your prince to take you to see "Cinderella" this weekend and next at the Miner's Theatre in Collinsville.

Just make sure he has you home before midnight.

The Disney classic begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Aug. 7-8. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for kids 12 and under.

"COOKING WITH MARGE" -- The zany comedy dinner show staring Linda Spall will have its final show at 7 p.m. Friday at Fischer's Restaurant, 2100 West Main St. in Belleville.

Admission is $45 per person, including dinner, show, tax and gratuity). For reservations, call Barb at (314)-324-5449. For information, go to www.cookingwithmarge.com.

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