Metro-East Living

Events happening throughout the metro-east

Acoustic Jams at Espenschied Chapel

Bill O’Hara leads acoustic jam sessions at Espenschied Chapel, 317 County Road, Mascoutah. All ages and all skill levels are welcome. It is limited to acoustic instruments. No sign-up or fees required, but donations are much needed and appreciated. The new schedule will be first and third Thursday evenings of the month from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For any questions, call 618-560-2030. For more information on the program, tickets, or the chapel, check or call 618-566-7425.

Belleville Parks and Recreation Basketball League

Evaluation day is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, Nichols Community Center, 515 E. D Street, Belleville. Cost: $85 per player. For grades: 1st through 8th, co-ed. Basketball is an excellent activity to develop skills at all age levels. Practices will be on weekday evenings starting the second week in February. Games are played on Sundays at 10 a.m. The first game will be on Sunday, Feb. 12. Games consist of two 15-minute halves. There is an eight-game schedule plus playoffs. Volunteer head coaches are needed. Background check required. Call 618-233-1416 or 618-277-9785 to register or for more information.

Bowl-a-thon fundraiser

Canceled because of the ice storm. Rescheduled for Feb. 4. Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower will hold a Bowl-a-thon fundraiser on Feb. 4 at Bel-Air Bowl, 200 S. Belt West in Belleville. Check-in starts at 6 p.m. followed by bowling at 7 p.m.. Scotch doubles; people can bring partners or get matched up that evening. The cost of $20 includes shoe rental and attendance prizes. To register or get more information, call 618-476-7326 or

Camp Invention

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Smithton School located at 316 S. Hickory St. Smithton, is offering the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades first to sixth. It’s a week-long summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children will work together to seek solutions to real-world problems and sharpen critical 21st century learning skills. The week begins on June 12-16 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day with teacher Sasha Courtney serving as director.

Here is how young innovators will be spending their time:

▪  Engaging creative thinking to design and build their own duct tape creations.

▪  Experiencing the power of rocket science by building and launching rubber band rockets.

▪  Exploring aerodynamics to blast water rockets made from plastic bottles more than 50 feet in the air.

▪  Taking apart nonworking machines and devices to investigate their inner operations.

One program team member is in place for every eight children. Register on or before March 20 using promo code Discover25 to receive $25 OFF the base price of $225. Information: or 800-968-4332.

Community wellness forum

The Center for Racial Harmony will present the second in a series of public forums to discuss community wellness at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Dixon Center Banquet Hall at Lindenwood University’s Belleville campus, 2600 W. Main St. Panelists and attendees will discuss ways to heal community ills by restoring faith in institutions, covering issues in education, business, non-profits and the military. It’s free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Racial Harmony is a non-profit organization that promotes understanding, cooperation, and communication among all races and ethnic groups and provides services in training and youth development, mediation and facilitation, and group dynamics. For more information, call 618-234-0508 or email to

Coliseum Revisited Dance

The Coliseum Revisited Dance is going to be held at 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Gillespie Civic Center, 115 N. Macoupin, Gillespie. Lang & McClain (formerly The Guild) and The OWLS will be playing. There are advance tickets sales only with limited seating. $20 per person and available to purchase at TJ’s, Country Corner, Benld City Hall and FNB in Benld, and Hick Appliances and United Community Bank in Gillespie. Also, by phone: call 217-835-2330 or 217-835-2130. Price includes cash bar with beer, wine and snacks. You may also bring your own liquor and snacks. Live music starts at 7 p.m. Admission by ticket only. There will be no refunds or general admission at the doors. Event sponsored by Build Benld, Coliseum Concerts and Ubben & Associates.

Dunham Centers Meet and Greet

4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Katherine Dunham Museum, 1005 Pennsylvania Ave., East St. Louis. Open house, meet and greet fundraising celebration kick-off of the 50th Anniversary of Miss Dunham’s arrival in the metro-east. Admission $10 and refreshments will be served. Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities is a non-profit, multidisciplinary arts organization founded by and operated under the memory and legacy of dance legend Katherine Dunham. Information: 618-795-5970 or online

Life Experienced – A Senior Art Competition

Senior art competition looking for entries. Southwestern Illinois College and the St. Clair County Office on Aging are once again partnering with the Gateway East Artists Guild and Art on the Square for this unique art competition and exhibition. Artists 60 and older who reside in the SWIC district or are members of the GEAG are invited to showcase their artistic abilities and have a chance to win prize money. Selected entries will be displayed at an exhibition March 3-6 at the Schmidt Art Center, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville. An opening reception will be held Thursday, March 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Categories for submission include: painting and mixed media; drawing and printmaking; fine crafts; photography and digital art; and sculpture and ceramics. Applications are due by Friday, Jan. 20 and an entry fee ($10 for one piece; $15 for two pieces) is required for each artist. For more information or to get a copy of the application form, visit or or call 618-234-4410, ext. 7044.

Open House Dinner Theater

Open House Theatre, 208 Kaskaskia St., New Athens,will perform, Ding Dong Dead, a comedy of mystery. The play starts at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20, and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21 and 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22. Tickets are $10. Seats will be reserved in the order sold. General admission can be purchased at the door. More information and tickets: 314-216-1653.

The Golden Age of Exoplanet Discovery

7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, McDonnell Hall, Room 162, on the Washington University campus, St. Louis. McDonnell Hall is accessible from Forsyth Boulevard via Tolman Way. Yellow zone and street parking are available to the audience. The event, cosponsored by NASA’s Missouri Space Grant Consortium, is open to the public free of charge. Dr. Peter Plavchanan, assistant professor at Missouri State University, will talk about how exoplanets planets are detected and why so many planets have been found during the past few years. For more information, visit or call 314-962-9231.

Tamales and Salsa from the Pentecostals of Troy

The Pentecostals of Troy, 8965 Rt. 162, Troy, will be taking orders for homemade authentic tamales and salsa until Feb. 1. Tamales will be chicken or pork, $15/dozen, $8/half-dozen. Salsa will be mild, medium or hot, $8/quart, $4/pint. Order some for your Super Bowl party and pick them up on Feb. 4 at noon. For more information, visit or call 618-667-6054.

A Taste of Lincoln Place

12 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21 at Granite City Township Hall, 2060 Delmar, Granite City. An extravaganza of ethnic pastries and foods will be presented by the Lincoln Place Heritage Association. The event features authentic old country foods and pastries of the immigrants from Armenia, Macedonia, Mexico, Hungary and Italy who settled in the Lincoln Place neighborhood in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Admission to this fundraiser event to benefit the Lincoln Place Heritage Festival is free and open to the public. Parking is free and available adjacent to the Township Hall. Eat in and carry out available. Contact Lincoln Place Heritage Association at 618-451-2611 with any questions.

Tour de Romance Marriage Concert Event and Brunch

Concert, Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 1111 E. Hwy 50, O’Fallon. Join singer/songwriter Michael O’Brien, wife, Heidi, and Michael’s band for this ultimate date night: a time to reconnect with each other and with God. Michael, former lead singer for the band NewSong, takes all his passion and skills and creates a inspirational, fun and romantic time for couples of all ages. Brunch, Saturday, Jan. 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., also at the First Baptist Church. Join Michael and Heidi O’Brien for an informal brunch as they share their personal marriage story and the truths that God has taught them. Limited seating for brunch: 70 couples. Brunch ticket must be purchased with concert ticket. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to or call 618-632-6223.

Tri Township Library Book Sale

9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 21 at Tri Township Public Library, 209 South Main, Troy. Books, magazines, puzzles, games, DVD, and CD donations are accepted during regular library hours or on the day of the sale. The book sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. During inclement weather, call the library 618-667-2133 after 9 a.m. to see if the book sale is canceled.