Metro-East Living

Christmas events begin to dominate the calendar in Southern Illinois

Previous gingerbread contest winner no stranger to best of show

Susan Rogers of O’Fallon, Illinois won the Best of Show award in the 27th Annual Belleville, Illinois, Gingerbread Contest for “The Ghouls Next Door.”
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Susan Rogers of O’Fallon, Illinois won the Best of Show award in the 27th Annual Belleville, Illinois, Gingerbread Contest for “The Ghouls Next Door.”

Noon Thursday, Nov. 15, is the deadline to appear in next week’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 Jennifer Green at 618-239-2643.


49th Annual Way of Lights Display — 5-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 through Tuesday, Jan 1, 2019. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. DeMazenod Drive, Belleville. Over one million white lights are featured along a 1.5-mile route depicting the Journey of Bethlehem. Free admission.

Tail lights streak through one of the first displays at the The Way of Lights. The display opens Friday and continues nightly from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 1. The 1.5-mile drive through scriptural Journey to Bethlehem features over one million lights, electro-art displays, and life-size biblical statues. Derik Holtmann

29th Annual Belleville Gingerbread Contest Awards Ceremony — 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Nichols Community Center, 515 E. D St., Belleville. Prize money and awards presented in each category. See this year’s creations from 1 to 3 p.m. before they are distributed to downtown storefronts along Main St. Open to the public.

Hands to Help 2018 Holiday Craft & Vendor Fair — 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Main Street Brewing Company, 6435 West Main St., Belleville. Entry fee: $5. Shop with 40+ vendors. Swag bag for first 100 shoppers. Bags include samples and coupons, gift cards, raffle tickets and free drink ticket. For more information: or 618-604-2796.

Whiteside Holiday Market — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Whiteside Middle School, 111 Warrior Way, Belleville. Multiple crafts and vendors available for holiday shopping. Sponsored by Whiteside PTC.

Night music: “Old Lamplighter” Dick Boyd, left, tapped on shop windows along West St. Louis Street in Lebanon as part of a previous Victorian Holiday Celebration. Darlene Lancer accompanied Boyd on violin. This year’s event takes place Friday through Sunday. BND file photo

26th Annual Lebanon Victorian Holiday — 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday. 221 W. St. Louis St., Lebanon. Carriage rides, lamplighter, live entertainment, mistletoe gazebo, photos with Father Christmas. or

St. John’s UCC Winter Wonderland Bazaar — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. St. John’s UCC, 7 South St., Smithton. Christmas décor, gifts, homemade candy, cookies and baked goods. Café serving chicken and dumplings, roast pork, chicken salad, pies and desserts. 618-233-8496.

Millstadt Gardens Open House — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Millstadt Gardens, 6667 Route 158, Millstadt. Visit and tour the greenhouses. Entertainment, refreshments, retail outlet, Santa Claus and more.

Centennial Park Children’s Nature Playground Cleanup Day — 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Centennial Park, 311 N. Belt E., Swansea. Hot dogs, chips, cookies and water provided at noon. Please email with questions or number of people attending.

Harvest Night 2018 — 6 p.m. Saturday. Hecker Community Center, 230 E. Washington St., Hecker. Doors open 5 p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m. Silent and live auctions. For more information, or 618-939-3434.

A Night of Music — 7 p.m. Sunday. St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 6325 W. Main St., Maryville.

Square and Round Dance — 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday. Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Tom Murray calling Squares. Pat Hilton calling Rounds.

Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge Dance — 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday. Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge, 2425 N. Illinois St., Swansea. Music by Michael Lacey.

Senior Swing Timers Harvest Dance — 7 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. American Legion Post 137, 109 N. Penn St., O’Fallon. Featuring DJ Dr. Dee. Cost: $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Open to the public. 618-277-4540.

Bicentennial Performance: ‘Two Faces of Illinois’ History’ — 2 p.m. Saturday. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Interpretive Center Auditorium, 30 Ramey St., Collinsville. Featuring the recreation of a dramatic debate between Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards and Potawatomi Chief Gomo. 618-346-5160 or

9th Annual Girls Day Out — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, 442 S. DeMazenod Drive, Belleville. Get a jump on holiday shopping with more than 60 vendors, artisans, crafters and businesses from the metro-east area. Free admission. 618-397-6700 or

Downtown Diva Night — 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Register at Local Lucy’s, 310 E. Main St., Belleville, between 5 and 7 p.m. Receive a passport map of open businesses. Complete passport by 8 p.m. and end up at Margaritas for prizes. Theme: Cammo or Glammo.

Historic Maeystown Annual Frauenabend — 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. Downtown Maeystown. Enjoy this ladies’ night event with village shops, eateries and vendors. Chair massages available. Complimentary carriage rides offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Luminaries will guide visitors to various vendor locations and shops. 618-580-5875 or

Local Authors Market — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Caseyville Public Library, 419 S. Second St., Caseyville. Meet local authors who will be signing and selling their books. Books for children, youths and adults and a variety of genres.

In this BND file photo, Belleville city employees deliver a Belleville Gingerbread contest entry to a business on Main Street two years ago. You can attend this year’s awards ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Nichols Community Center at 515 E. D St. Derik Holtmann


Thanksgiving Dinner — 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. Cosgrove’s Kitchen, 3718 State St., East St. Louis. Free hats and gloves.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner for the Needy — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22. St. Luke’s Parish Hall, corner of N. Church and East C streets. No carryouts. No deliveries. Sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

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

Caseyville Fish Fry — 4 to 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 to 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 to 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.

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

Mascoutah Fish Fry — 5 to 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 to 8 p.m. Friday, Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt. 618-476-1180.

All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken – 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Millstadt VFW Post, 200 Veterans Drive, Millstadt. 618-476-1180.

O’Fallon Fish Fry — 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. U.S. 50, O’Fallon. Cod and tilapia, burgers, hot dogs, pork steaks, pizza, sides. Eat in or carryout. Now accepting credit cards. 618-632-6229.

O’Fallon Fish and Chicken Fry — 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. O’Fallon American Legion, 109 N. Penn, O’Fallon. Carryouts available. 618-632-8879.

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

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 to 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.

Waterloo VFW Fish Fry — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. Metzger Crook Post 6504, 406 Veterans Drive, Waterloo. Sold by the pound, sandwich or plate. Cod, catfish, walleye, salmon and shrimp. Carryouts. 618-939-7999.


Kiwanis Trivia Night — 7 p.m. Saturday. St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church, 155 N. Main St., Glen Carbon. Doors open 6 p.m. Teams of eight can register for $100 by contacting Mark at 618-346-0051 or Christi at Players can register on the night or at

St. Agatha Basket Bingo — 1 p.m. Sunday. St. Agatha Parish Center, S. Market St., New Athens. Doors open at noon. Twenty-five bingo games for baskets. One 50/50 coverall game. Raffles, food, refreshments. Ages 18 and older.

Elks Meat Shoot — Noon Sunday. Elks Lodge #664, 9480 Old Lincoln Trail, Fairview Heights. Practice 11:30 a.m. Meat and cake raffles. Free food.

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. Partner night. 618-233-3370.

Reservations Required

A Winter’s Aire — 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Corpus Christi Catholic Church Parish Center, 205 Rasp. St., Shiloh. Doors open 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include food, wine tasting and entertainment for the evening. Silent auction. Featuring the Washington University Concert Choir. For ticket reservations: 618-632-7614.

9th Annual JOY FM and BOOST 101.9 Red Cross Blood Drive — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Faith Family Church, 704 N. Green Mount Road, Shiloh. Everyone who attempts to donate blood will receive a special edition “Give Together” long-sleeved T-shirt (while supplies last). To make an appointment, visit and use sponsor code joyfm/boost or call 800-733-2767.

Club News

Parents Without Partners Meeting — 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Fortel’s Pizza, 10716 Lincoln Trail, Fairview Heights. Orientation at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Janet at 618-234-5937.

Fairview Heights Woman’s Club — 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. President Tina Friederich has a veteran to be that evening’s speaker. Hostesses: Teri Moore and Mary Beth Turner.

O’Fallon Woman’s Club Meeting — Noon Thursday, Nov. 15. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 111 O’Fallon Troy Road, O’Fallon.

O’Fallon Sunrise Rotary Meeting — 6:45 a.m. every Wednesday. O’Fallon Township Building, 801 E. State St., O’Fallon.

93rd Wednesday Club of St. Louis Original Poetry Contest — Entry deadline Feb. 1, 2019. For adults over 18 living within a 50-mile radius of St. Louis. Any person having won first prize in the contest twice in the last five years is ineligible for further cash awards but may be cited for honors. Prizes of $500, $300 and $150.

Grief Support — 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday. Washington County Hospital, lower level conference room, 705 South Grand Ave., Nashville. Meeting on the third Monday of the month. Open to all adults coping with grief. or 618-277-1800.

Grief Support Group — 6 p.m. every Wednesday through Dec. 5. Sterling Baptist Church, 9204 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Help and encouragement after death of loved ones. 618-530-0338.

TOPS IL592 weight loss group — 7 p.m. Every Thursday. St. John UCC, Faith Hall Entrance, 307 West Clay, Collinsville. Weigh-in 6:30 p.m. 618-345-6218.

Dupo Classmates and Friends Meeting — 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Roundtable Restaurant, 6400 W. Main St., Belleville.


Department of Theatre at Lindenwood University-Belleville: ‘Medea’ — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 18. Lindenwood Auditorium, 2600 W. Main St., Belleville. The Greek tragedy centers on a wife’s desire for revenge against her unfaithful husband. Tickets: $10 general admission, $5 students and seniors. Lindenwood students and employees are free. 618-239-6175.

The Tamburitzans — 7 p.m. Saturday. Edwardsville High School Performance Theater, 6161 Center Grove Road, Edwardsville. Doors open 6:15 p.m. Founded in 1937, the Tamburitzans got their name from a stringed folk instrument called the tamburitza that is predominant in the music of Balkan cultures. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, and must be purchased in advance. For tickets, call the SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus at 618-931-0600, ext. 7192 or 7346; or Norma Bellcoff at 618-692-6150 or 618-978-1522. For credit card purchases, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5663.

SWIC Concert Band: Salvation is [Re]Created — 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. St. Clare of Assisi Church, 1411 Cross St., O’Fallon.

The St. Louis Jazz Club presents Pat Joyce & Scott Alberici — 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Doubletree Hotel, 1973 Craigshire Road, St. Louis. Admission: $15 members, $20 non-members. Students with valid ID are free. Free parking. Snacks and beverages available. Open to the public. 314-972-8298 or

Couts Music Series: Silent Movie — 4 p.m. Sunday. Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place, St. Louis. “The Freshman,” starring Harold Lloyd, will have live accompaniment by organist Andrew Peters. 314-367-0367 or

Concert: ‘Words to Music: Songs of Eugene Field’ — 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis. Cocktail hour 5 p.m. Dinner 6 p.m. Performances by Grammy Award-winning soprano Christine Brewer and renowned St. Louis tenor Scott Kennebeck. Proceeds to benefit The Field House Museum. 314-421-4689 or

Worth the Drive

Taste of Downtown Alton — 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Argosy Casino Music Hall, 1 Piasa St., Alton. Sample a variety of local flavor from 18 dining establishments all under one roof. Cost: $15. Must be 21 or older with a valid ID. Tickets still available at the Alton Visitors’ Center, 200 Piasa St. Credit, debit, cash or check payments accepted. Order by phone and have your tickets waiting at the gate by calling 618-465-6676.

Nashville Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market — 7 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. In front of the Washington County Courthouse, 163 East St. Louis Street, Nashville.

8th Annual Calhoun Art Guild Art & Craft Sale — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Center for American Archaeology Visitor Center and Museum, 101 N. Broadway, Kampsville. Start holiday shopping early. Everything made by local artists: jewelry, gourds, photographs, wood carvings, pottery, journals, quilts, painting, glass work and more. 217-653-2098 or 618-653-4511 (day of sale).

Drag Queen Bingo — 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The Varsity Center, 418 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. Doors open 1 p.m. Two sessions with an intermission featuring drag performances. Cost: $20 per session for approximately 15 games. Refreshments and snacks available for purchase. Hosted by The Rainbow Café and Gaia House Interfaith Center. 618-513-9336, or

Illinois Bicentennial presentation: ‘At Last We Are a State: Illinois Territory’s Quest to Enter the Union in 1818’ — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15. Farley’s Music Hall, 37 Mill St., Elsah. Presented by John Parker, director of the Madison County History Museum in Edwardsville. Free and open to the public.