Metro-East Living

Celebrate the season with ‘The Glory of Christmas’ at Belleville church

Hipster nativity: Joseph takes selfie with Virgin Mary

Hipster parents of Baby Jesus would certainly take a selfie and get gifts from Amazon as the Three Wise Men rode up on Segways. That is one of the nativities from around the world available through Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Bellevil
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Hipster parents of Baby Jesus would certainly take a selfie and get gifts from Amazon as the Three Wise Men rode up on Segways. That is one of the nativities from around the world available through Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Bellevil

What’s Happening for Dec. 7.

Noon Thursday, Nov. 30, was the deadline to appear in today’s What’s Happening. We must receive your event in writing with a contact phone number for questions. Due to the large number of submissions, non-profit events are run only one time in print, will be edited and appear in the week before the event date.

Email: Mail to: Lifestyle, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427. Questions, call Heidi Wiechert at 618-239-2500.

Holiday Fun

An ensemble of over 200 cast, choir and orchestra members present the story of Christ’s birth at 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, Belleville. Provided

▪ The Glory of Christmas — 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday. St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 1200 Moreland Drive, Belleville. Doors open at 6 p.m. Preproduction music starts at 6:30 p.m. Free admission, donations accepted. An ensemble of more than 200 cast, choir and orchestra members present the story of Christ’s birth. Signing for the hearing impaired will be available. The program is streamed live nightly on the church website:

▪ ‘Christmas Wonder’ — 3 p.m. Sunday. St. Luke Catholic Church, 301 N. Church St., Belleville. The Annual Holiday Chorale Concert with chamber orchestra of the Philharmonic Society of Belleville.

▪ 7th Annual Holiday on the Boulevard — 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Signal Hill School Community Center, 40 Signal Hill Place, Belleville. The Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra performs 2 p.m. at the Signal Hill United Methodist Church. Horse-drawn wagon rides from 5 to 7 p.m. along Signal Hill Blvd., cost $6 per person. Vendors open from 4 to 8 p.m. Pictures with Santa cost $5. This event also features a children’s interactive workshop and “Adopt a Pet” from Pet Guardians.

▪ The Old Belleville Historical Luminary Walk — 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Walk begins at Koerner House on the corner of Abend and Mascoutah Avenue, Belleville. A self-guided walk in Belleville. Free activities will include tours and exhibits at the Koerner House, Garfield Saloon, and Emma Kunz House; visits from St. Nicholas, strolling carolers, secret walkway to the Emma Kunz’s House, seasonal entertainment and free refreshments, and a digital historical home tour. The digital tour can be found at Walk is sponsored by the Friends of Gustave Koerner, The Belleville Historical Society, The St. Clair County Historical Society, The Belleville Historic Preservation Commission, the Belleville East High School German Club, and the residents of Abend and Garfield Streets. Additional information can be obtained at The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce Tourism Office.

▪ 24th Candlelight House Tour — 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Pick up tour booklet at Belleville Philharmonic, 116 N. Jackson St., Belleville. Tours multiple locations in Belleville. Hosted by the St. Clair County Historical Society. Must purchase a ticket to receive map. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at door. To purchase in advance, go online to Questions: call 618-234-0600 or email

The “Hipster Nativity” will be one of over 60 nativity sets on display at St. Peter Cathedral, Belleville, from Dec. 8-12. Provided

▪ ‘Nativities from Around the World’ — Noon to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 9 to 6 p.m. Sunday. 3 to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. St. Peter’s Cathedral, 200 W. Harrison St., Belleville. Traditional and modern nativities from Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Admission to the exhibit is free. 618-234-1166.

▪ Tinsel Around Town: a shopping event — Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, downtown O’Fallon. Enjoy strolling carolers of the O’Fallon Township High School Madrigals around First Street from noon to 2 p.m. Pick up a hot cider and receive a complimentary professional digital photo outside the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber office at 116 E. First St. See Santa from noon to 4 p.m. at his hut on East First Street.

▪ All You Can Eat Breakfast with Santa — 8 to 11 a.m. Sunday. New Baden American Legion, 105 E. Illinois St., New Baden. Featuring pork sausage and pancakes. $8 for adults, reduced prices for kids. 618-588-4187.

▪ ‘A King is Coming to Town’: a children’s Christmas musical — 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. Pentecostals of Troy, 8965 Route 162, Troy. For more information, go to or call 618-667-6054.

▪ Metro-east Social Singles ‘Holiday Ugly Sweater’ dance — 7 to 11 p.m. Friday. Moose Lodge, 2425 N. Illinois St., Swansea. “Ugly sweater” optional. Open to the public, must be 21 years or older. Members $7, non-members $9. Featuring a cash bar, 50/50 drawing and attendance prizes.

▪ ‘Magnificat: A Masterworks Christmas’ — 7:30 p.m. Sunday. St. Clare Church, 1411 Cross St., O’Fallon. Holiday concert featuring the Masterworks Children’s choruses and professional orchestra. Tickets: 618-304-9094.

▪ Metro-east Community Chorale Christmas concert — 3 p.m. Sunday. Faith Lutheran Church, 520 E. Highway 50, O’Fallon. Free concert in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the chorale. The chorale will sing holiday classics and traditional tunes.

▪ ‘A McKendree Christmas’ — 7:30 p.m. Friday. Hettenhausen Center, McKendree University. Featuring music ensembles, dramatic readings, dance, carols and an exhibit by students of the visual and performing arts division.

▪ The Nutcracker: the stage adaptation — 2 p.m. Saturday. Katherine Dunham Hall, SIUE campus, Edwardsville. Part of the SIUE Friends of Theater Dance program “A Season for the Child,” this is a stage adaptation of “The Nutcracker,” not ballet, and is staged by the Imaginary Theatre Co. Tickets cost $7 each or $5 for children. 618-650-2774.

▪ Bethalto Spirit Christmas Walk — 4-7 p.m. Sunday. 213 N. Prairie St., Bethalto. Stroll through the downtown area, view storefront decorations. This event features children’s craft areas, snacks, costumed characters, Father Christmas and more. 618-377-8051.

▪ Triad High School presents ‘A Christmas Carol’ — 7 p.m. Monday. 703 U.S. Highway 40, Troy. Triad High School’s Drama One class will bring the classic holiday story to life. The class is taught by Shannon Mallrich. Admission is free, but the cast is collecting non-perishable food items to donate to Ministries Unlimited.

▪ ‘Celebrate Christmas’ featuring the ‘Triumphant Quartet’ — 7 p.m. Friday. First Christian Church, 1200 W. Boone, Salem. Doors open at 6 p.m. Southern gospel music concert sponsored by Southern Illinois’ Homecoming Gospel Choir. Information: John or Judy Roberts, 618-245-9133.

▪ Trinity Lutheran Church Annual Cookie Walk — 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. 503 E. Washington, Millstadt. Holiday cookies will be available by the pound. Mixed cookies $10 per pound, fancy cookies $11 per pound. For advance orders, call Shirley Boehm, 618-476-1113.

▪ Homemade Christmas Cookie sale — 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Mother of Perpetual Help Church, 200 N. Lange, Maryville. Homemade Christmas cookies for sale, $4 per dozen. Christmas items will be raffled. 618-344-6464.

▪ Plowsharing Crafts: a holiday shopping event — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Center for Spirituality and Sustainability, Fuller Dome, SIUE Campus, Edwardsville. Holiday shopping for crafted, artisan Fair Trade gifts from around the world.

▪ ‘A Christmas Carol’ — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7-Saturday. 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. Looking Glass Playhouse, 301 W. St. Louis St., Lebanon. The annual presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Tickets $5 and available online at

Tia and Tommy in Yorkton SK
Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, Alton. Provided

▪ ‘Listen It’s Christmas’ with Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham — 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, Alton. Country/folk singer Tia McGraff will perform with Tommy Parham on guitar. Tickets $10.


▪ Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration — 11:55 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Messinger Cemetery, 3450 Old Collinsville Road, Belleville. The commemoration features a color guard from the Caseyville VFW, historical readings of eye-witness accounts and a reading of the Monday, Dec. 8, 1941, editorial from the Belleville News-Democrat. The public is invited. There is no cost to attend.

▪ Blood Drive — 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Mobile donor bus, front parking lot, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, O’Fallon. Walk-ins are welcome, appointments are suggested. 866-448-3253 or, code: 10155.

▪ Harmony/Emge Music Boosters: Vendor and Craft Fair — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Emge Gym, 7401 Westchester Drive, Belleville. 24 vendors and free admission.

▪ ‘Shop Small’ event — Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Millstadt VFW, 200 S. Veterans Drive, Millstadt.

▪ Tom Qualls Foundation for People and Animals: Christmas donation event — Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. 204 John St., Collinsville. Celebrate Christmas with the Wishing Well Ministry Outreach. Collecting donations for area animals in need: U.S. flags, food items, fruits, blankets, dog and cat food, hay, tarps, dog houses, kennels and monetary donations.

▪ Whiteside Middle School: Hour of Code Night — 3 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. 111 Warrior Way, Belleville. An after school program, students will be learning to code and basic programming. Speaker Jesse Cook of O’Fallon from Rackspace will talk about his job in computer software development. This is a global event supporting computer science education week hosted by

Club News

▪ American Association of University Women — 11:30 a.m. Saturday. 4204 Main Street Brewery, 4204 W. Main St., Belleville. Program: “Books for CASA Kids” and lunch. Reservations: 618-234-9698.

▪ Addiction Loss Support Group — 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday. Family Hospice office, 5110 W. Main St., Belleville. The Heartlinks Grief Center of Family Hospice hosts a monthly grief support group for parents and adult siblings grieving the death of a child or sibling due to addiction. 618-277-1800.

▪ Belleville Metro-east Christian Women’s Club — 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Dec. 13. Bellecourt Place, 120 N. Jackson, Belleville. The program is Christmas caroling and Christmas trivia. The speaker is Connie Beard who will present “How to Handle the Unexpected.” Cost $13. Reservations are due by Dec. 11 to Sue Anderson, 618-444-0867.

▪ Caseyville Christmas Light Decorating Contest — Caseyville residents who want to participate in the annual Caseyville contest can sign up by calling 618-344-1234, ext. 220, before 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Judging will take place from Dec. 9-15. Winners will be contacted Dec. 16 and presented with prizes at village board meeting on Dec. 20. Cash prizes for top three finishers.

▪ House Rabbit Society — 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. The public can bring pet bunnies for free nail trims. Meeting is free and bunny care information will be available. 618-632-2940.

▪ L.I.F.T.: a club for widows and widowers — Christmas party 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Valhalla Funeral Home, 3412 Frank Scott Parkway West, Belleville. Transportation provided to lunch at Kemoll’s Restaurant, St. Louis and a Christmas concert at Powell Hall. Return around 5:15 p.m. Cost $80. 618-233-9818.

▪ Main Street Community Center: Evening Book Club — 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. Main Street Community Center, 1003 N. Main St., Edwardsville. The group will discuss “The First Inspector Wexford Mystery” by Ruth Rendell. The book club is open to all and costs $1 for non-members or is free for members.

▪ Optimist Club of Belleville — Club meeting: Noon Tuesday, Bellecourt Place, 120 N. Jackson St., Belleville. Guests always welcome. Christmas party at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bellecourt Place. This event features entertainment and games. For party reservations, call 618-910-3454.

▪ St. Clair County Genealogical Society — 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. St. Luke’s Parish Hall, 226 N. Church St., Belleville. Installation of officers and annual Christmas party. Members should bring small treat to share and a show-and-tell item or talk about a project. or society Facebook page.


▪ Aviston Legion Fish & Chicken Fry — 4:30-7 p.m. Friday. American Legion Post 1239, 601 S. Clinton, Aviston. Cod, catfish, shrimp, chicken strips, sides. Eat in or carryout. 618-228-7311 or

▪ Caseyville Fish Fry — 4-7 p.m. Friday, Caseyville VFW Post 1117, 415 N. Long, Caseyville. Fish plates, desserts, sandwiches, burgers and more. Bingo at 7 p.m.

▪ Collinsville Fish Fry — 3-8 p.m. Friday, Collinsville VFW Post 5691, 1234 Vandalia, Collinsville. Eat-in or carryout. Cod, catfish fillets, tilapia, sides.

▪ Collinsville Fish Fry — 3-8 p.m. Friday, Collinsville American Legion, 1022 Vandalia St., Collinsville. North Atlantic cod, whole catfish, sides, desserts. 618-345-2508.

▪ Collinsville Fish Fry — 4-7:30 p.m. Friday. Knights of Columbus Hall, 1 Columbus Plaza, Collinsville. Eat in or carryout. Fried/baked cod, catfish, sides. 618-345-1492.

▪ Freedom Farm Fish Fry Fridays — 4-8 p.m. Friday. Freedom Farm, 6355 Hilgard Memorial Drive, Freeburg. Due to popular demand, fish frys are back every Friday. 618-539-6095 or

▪ Highland Fish Fry — 4-7:30 p.m. Friday, VFW Post 5694, 1900 VFW Road, Highland. Eat in or carryout. 618-654-6367.

▪ Mascoutah Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Friday, Mascoutah VFW Post 7682, 620 Donaphan St., Mascoutah. Dine in or carryout. 618-566-2288.

▪ Millstadt Fish Fry and Jam Session — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4-8 p.m. Friday, Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt. 618-476-1180.

▪ O’Fallon Fish Fry — 4-8 p.m. Friday, Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. U.S. 50, O’Fallon. Cod and bluegill, burgers, hot dogs, sides. Eat in or carryout. 618-632-6229.

▪ O’Fallon Fish Fry — 4-8 p.m. Friday, VFW Post 805, 221 W. First St., O’Fallon. Fried and grilled fish, chicken, sides and desserts. Carryouts. 618-624-2651.

▪ Okawville Fish & Chicken Fry — 5-8 p.m. Friday, 205 N. Hanover St., Okawville. American Legion Post No. 233. Eat in or carryout. 618-243-6545.

▪ Shiloh Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Friday, 100 Eagle Drive, Shiloh. Cod, walleye, shrimp, chicken wings. Eat in or carryout. Auxiliary bake sale for charity. 618-624-5412.

▪ St. Joseph Church Fish Bake and Fry — 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 6 N. Alton St., Freeburg. Cod, shrimp, sides, desserts. Eat in or carryout. Sponsored by the Support Committee. 618-539-4720.

▪ Swansea Fish Stand — 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 216 Service St., Swansea. Cod, walleye, catfish, shrimp and more. Saturday: fried chicken. 618-222-7171.

▪ Troy VFW Fish Fry — 4-7 p.m. Friday, Troy VFW Post 976 and Auxiliary, 123-A W. Market St., Troy. Cod, catfish, jack salmon, baked fish, chicken strips, shrimp. Dine in or carry out. 618-667-8387.

▪ Walton’s Chicken Dinner — 4-7 p.m. Tuesday. Knights of Columbus, 5420 Old Collinsville Road, Fairview Heights. Homemade desserts. Carryout, 618-632-5222.

▪ Walton’s Fish Fry — 3-8 p.m. Friday, Knights of Columbus, Hall, 5420 Old Collinsville Road, Fairview Heights. Homemade desserts. Carryout, 618-632-5222.


▪ Bridge — 11:45 a.m. Thursday. Collinsville Senior Center, 420 E. Main St., Collinsville. To participate, must have played bridge before. 618-310-1289.

▪ Bridge — 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. Senior Center, 10025 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Sponsored by Caseyville Township. 618-310-1289.

▪ Cribbage Club — 6:30 p.m. Thursday. 1 Columbus Plaza, KC Club, Collinsville. Nine games played against nine different opponents. Yvonne Bright 618-344-1521 or John Bilski 618-398-1029.

▪ Euchre Tournament — 7 p.m. Friday. Everyone welcome. Smithton Senior Center, 711 S. Main, Smithton. 618-233-3370.

▪ Indoor .22 Rifle Shoot — Noon, Sunday. Millstadt Sportsmen’s Club, 4915 Schmidt Lane. Iron sights only. Refreshments available.

▪ St. Pancratius Euchre Tournament — 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. 2213 N. 2nd St., Fayetteville. $5 per player.

▪ Six Mile Regional Library District: Teen Uno Tournament — Noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday. 2001 Delmar Ave., Granite City. For grades 7-12. Battle for the title of “Uno Champion.” No experience necessary. 618-452-6238 ext. 755.


John O'Hagan
John O’Hagan will perform the American premiere of “The Devil’s Passion” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at the Jacoby Arts Center, Alton. Provided

▪ ‘The Devil’s Passion’ — 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, Alton. John O’Hagan will perform the Easter story told from Satan’s perspective in a one-act play by Justin Butcher.

▪ Auditions for ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’ — 1 p.m. Saturday. Looking Glass Playhouse, 301 W. St. Louis St., Lebanon. Candidates should prepare 16 measures of an irreverent rock ‘n’ roll song, do a cold reading from the script, and do a short dance combo. Only adults or teens 16 and older with written parental permission are allowed to audition. Production dates are Jan. 25-28 and Feb. 1-4, 2018. Information: contact the director, Gigi Dowling Urban, at or 618-530-6124.

Worth the Drive

▪ Arrival at Camp River Dubois — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Lewis and Clark State Historic Ste, 1 Lewis and Clark Trail, Hartford. Celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois at this annual event. Site admission is free. Donations accepted. 618-251-5811 or

▪ Great Rivers Choral Society: Music for Choir and Brass — 7:30-9 p.m. Saturday, 3-5 p.m. Sunday. First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road, Godfrey. The choir will be joined by a brass ensemble to help celebrate the holiday season. 618-466-3624.