Metro-East Living

Enjoy authentic German food and watch wiener dog races at Belleville’s Oktoberfest

A day at the (wiener dog) races

About 50 dogs on Saturday participated in wiener dog races and costume contest at the Belleville Oktoberfest. The participating dogs were divided by age into several groups for the competition.
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About 50 dogs on Saturday participated in wiener dog races and costume contest at the Belleville Oktoberfest. The participating dogs were divided by age into several groups for the competition.

Here’s a list of festivals, picnics and events going on in September in Southern Illinois:

Sept. 1-2 — Millstadt Homecoming.

Park opens 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Liederkranz Park, 301 N. Jefferson, Millstadt. Event features rides, food and games. Parades on both days at 5 p.m.

Sept. 3 — Belleville Labor Day Parade and Picnic.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. 101 S. Illinois St., Belleville. Picnic at Hough Park following the parade.

Sept. 7-8 — 66th Shiloh Picnic.

5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, 4 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Shiloh Community Park, 1 Park Drive, Shiloh.

Sept. 7-9 — 31st Annual Homestead Harvest Days.

7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Latzer Homestead, 1464 Old Trenton Road, Highland. Admission $3 on Friday and $5 on Saturday and Sunday. Event features parades of equipment at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Craft, flea and vendor market on all three days. Silent auction from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Activities for children, living history, food and more.

Sept. 8 — Music Festival.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, One Lewis and Clark Trail, Hartford. Performers, some in period clothing, will play traditional music throughout the site.

Sept. 8-9 — 12th Annual Grafton Art in the Park.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Grove Memorial Park, Market Street, Grafton. The event features live music, vendors, art activities, fine art, demonstrations and more.

Left to right: Staci Brown and Heather Krause stomp grapes during the annual Italian Festival in Collinsville. Derik Holtmann

Sept. 9 — 32nd Annual Biddleborn Schlachtfest and Wurstmarkt.

Serving from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Trinity United Church of Christ, 5698 Biddleborn Road, Marissa. Buffet meal served. Tickets cost $12 adults, $6 children, ages 5 and under are free. Event features a country store, live music, free kid’s corner with face painting artist and more. For information, call Ray Swedo, 618-443-7931.

Sept. 9 — 7th Annual September 11 Memorial Walkway 5k Run/Walk.

9:11 a.m. Sunday. Hough Park, 417 N. 3rd St., Belleville. Proceeds benefit the September 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois. Race day registration and packet pickup at Hough Park Pavilion from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Entry fee on race day is $25. For more information or to register:

Sept. 14-15 — Caseyville Frontier Days.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Village Park, 40 W. Reynolds St., Caseyville. Re-enactor encampment, demonstrations.

Sept. 14-16 — Okawville Wheat Fair and Festival.

Friday through Sunday. Community Park, Okawville. Event features carnival rides, free entertainment, food and more. Parade at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Sept. 21-22 — 38th Annual Belleville Oktoberfest.

11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Downtown Belleville. A traditional German festival that features live entertainment, authentic German cuisine, and a children’s area. Weiner dog race and costume contest at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Cornhole tournament registration at 9 a.m. Saturday and start time 10 a.m. Car show on Saturday. Information:

The Belleville Oktoberfest, a traditional German fall festival, will take place during September in downtown Belleville. Derik Holtmann

Sept. 21-22 — ‘ItalianFest’ 2018.

Friday and Saturday. Collinsville. This festival features a Little Mister and Miss Pageant, bocce ball tournament, Italian films and exhibits. 5k run at 8 a.m. Saturday which starts at the corner of Clay Street and Clinton Street. Grape stomp at noon Friday. Parade at 4 p.m. Saturday. Information:

Sept. 21-22 — 4th Annual Balloons Over Marine Festival.

Friday and Saturday. Village Park, 155 N. Duncan St., Marine. The festival features balloon launches at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a sunrise launch on Saturday. Aviation activities and displays, food, drink, vendors, live music, bounce house and more.

Sept. 22 — Lincoln Place Heritage Festival.

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lincoln Place Community Center, 822 Niedringhaus Ave., Granite City. Festival celebrates the cultures of immigrant groups that settled in the historic Lincoln Place Neighborhood. Ethnic foods for sale. Free entertainment including folk dancers, musicians playing ethnic folk music. Crafters, vendors, historic displays. There will also be a childrens area and apple pie baking contest. Pies must be submitted by 1 p.m., winner announced at 3 p.m. No alcohol, pets, glass containers or tobacco allowed. Information: 618-451-2611

Sept. 28 — Wolf Branch PTC Fall Festival.

5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Wolf Branch School District, 125 Huntwood Road, Swansea. Festival is open to the public. Event features carnival rides and games provided by Tribouts. Tickets cost 50 cents each for rides and games. Armbands for unlimited rides are available for $15. There will also be food trucks, most accept cash only.

Sept. 29 — 18th Annual St. Clare Oktoberfest.

3 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Third and Cherry Streets, O’Fallon. The outdoor festival features food, drinks, live music, games, pony rides, inflatables, bingo, raffle and more. 5k run/walk at 4 p.m. German dinner 4 to 7 p.m. Free admission. or 618-632-3562.

Sept. 29 — Freeburg Fall Festival featuring the Chili Cook Off.

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Village of Freeburg Square Park. Festival sponsored by the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce. This event features contests, VFW barbecue, a kids activity area, pumpkin and face painting, and more. All proceeds benefit the Freeburg Food and Clothing Bank and utility assistance fund. Information: or

Sept. 29 — 2018 ALFA Oktoberfest.

5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Trinity Farmstead, 11858 Zimmermann Road, Mascoutah. Tickets cost $45 each or $85 for two. Event includes beer truck, courtesy beer and wine tastings, live polka and an auction. Tickets can by purchased by emailing ALFA Oktoberfest is sponsored by the non-profit Abundant Living For All Foundation in support of Trinity Services programs for people with developmental and physical disabilities.

Crowd shot
Main Street in Collinsville gets packed during Italian Fest, which features Italian food, live music, demonstrations, contests and other activities. Provided

Here’s a preview of the October festival calendar. It is not a complete list. If you have an event coming up, email it to

Oct. 5-6 — 35th annual Belleville Chili Cook-Off. Hosted by the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce.

Oct. 13 — ‘PumpkinFest’. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Downtown Waterloo. 5K run or walk, music, craft and merchant booths, pumpkin painting, games, contests, washer tournament, face painting, food and more.

Oct. 13 — ‘BaconFest’ 2018. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. West 1st St., O’Fallon. Event features music, food and vendors. To participate, the food vendors must have at least one item on their menu with bacon. Hosted by VFW Post 805.

Oct. 13-14 — 15th Annual ‘Art in the Park’. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Lindendale Park, Highland. Festival showcases original works of art from nearly 70 artists. Event also features an ice sculptor, youth art from local schools and more.

Oct. 14 — Maeystown Oktoberfest. 9 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Maeystown. Event features arts, crafts, antiques and food.

Oct. 17-20 — Haunted Belleville Walking Tour 2018. 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Belleville. Hosted by the St. Clair County Historical Society. See the event’s Facebook page for more details.

Oct. 20 — Mascoutah Illinois Fall Fest. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Mascoutah. Event features arts, crafts, cars and more.

Oct. 26 — 31st Annual Halloween Party. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday. Caseyville Community Building, 909 S. Main, Caseyville. Free admission. Game tickets are 4 for $1. Hayride, weather permitting. Event also features a costume contest and food. Sponsored by the Caseyville Fire Auxiliary. Receive one special raffle ticket for can goods or monetary donation to the Caseyville Food Pantry.