Metro-East Living

Weihnachtsfest brings St. Nicholas and German heritage to area

Christmas tree shopping tips

Alex Rodriguez-Roig, President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade gives his 4 tips on buying the perfect Christmas Tree on Friday November 23, 2018.
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Alex Rodriguez-Roig, President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade gives his 4 tips on buying the perfect Christmas Tree on Friday November 23, 2018.

Noon Thursday, Nov. 29, 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 may 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.


4th Annual Winter Wonderland Vendor and Craft Fair — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Scottish Rite, 1549 Frank Scott Parkway West, Belleville. Do your holiday shopping among more than 50 vendors and crafters. Benefits the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Southern Illinois.

Celebrate the Tradition of St. Nicholas — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Jarrot Mansion State Historic Site, 124 East First St., Cahokia. St. Nick will be there 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. sharing holiday treats and sweets with visiting children. The mansion will be decorated for the holiday season. Families encouraged to visit. Free admission. 618-332-1782.

Visit with Santa — 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, through Dec. 23. Melvin Price Memorial Park, 1500 Caseyville Ave., Swansea. Each child will receive a gift from Santa and will be able to choose an ornament to take home. Pictures with Santa available for $5 donation.

Belleville Historical Society 1950s Holiday Party — 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Blazier House, 8501 West Main St., Belleville. Music, food, drinks. Period dress encouraged. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and are available at Artiste du Fleurs, Fletcher’s Kitchen & Tap, Eckert’s Country Store, Local Lucy’s, Peace by Piece and Dill’s Floral Haven.

35th Annual Country Christmas Stroll & House Tour — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Okawville. Four resident homes and a church featured as part of the Heritage House Museum hosted house tours along with the Christmas Stroll. Tours start at noon. Includes other activities and events. For more information, call 618-243-5694.

Breakfast with Santa — 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Zion Church, 117 W. White St., Millstadt. Hot breakfast, crafts, fun and games, visit with Santa. Cost: $10 for children, $5 for adults. Children under two are free. For advance tickets, call 618-795-1518. Tickets available at the door.

Millstadt Sister Cities 25th Annual Weihnachtsfest — 10 a.m. Sunday. St. James Parish Center, 423 W. Madison St., Millstadt. Holiday gifts, hand crafted jewelry, wax art, decorative items. Strudel and homemade baked goods available for purchase. German food served starting 11:30 a.m. St. Nikolaus will arrive in a parade at noon. Entertainment by the Millstadt Community Choir, Waterloo German Band and St. Louis German Cultural Society Jugendgruppe dancers. Free and open to the public.

Christmas on the Farm — 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Willoughby Heritage Farm, 631 Willoughby Lane, Collinsville. See Willoughby Farm decorated for the holidays. Enjoy hot cider or hot chocolate, nibble on holiday sweets, sing along to holiday music and visit Santa in the barn.

25th Annual Festival of Trees — 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Gateway Center, One Gateway Center Drive, Collinsville. Fundraiser and Christmas gala, semi-formal, adults only event. An evening filled with music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Valet parking available. Tickets required.

Gateway Artists’ Guild Annual Holiday Party — 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Programs and Services for Older Persons, 201 N. Church St., Belleville. Beyond a full celebratory meal, members and guests will showcase their art from the past year in hopes of winning prizes. Holiday card contest. Artist of the year awarded. RSVP by Nov. 30 at

Annual Christmas Model Railroad Show — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays Dec. 7 through Dec. 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays after Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays in December. McGinley Chrysler Dealership, 7 Shamrock Blvd., Highland. Free and open to the public. Donations welcome.

Kiwanis Club of Belleville Christmas Tree Lot — 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, until all trees are sold. Skyview Drive-In, 5700 North Belt West, Belleville. Proceeds benefit children of the Belleville area.

SWIC Pottery & Art Sale — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. Schmidt Art Center, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville. Annual sale features works created by SWIC art students and a few faculty members. Mostly pottery, includes encaustic paintings, jewelry and landscape and abstract paintings. 618-222-5278.

Dandy Dancers Square Dance — 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday. Caseyville Township Building, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Kate Garrison calling Squares. Theme: New Dancer Class. No Rounds this evening.

Craft and Vendor Show — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Maryville YMCA, 1 Town Center Drive, Maryville. Free admission. Giveaways. Wide variety of crafters and vendors offering unique items not found in stores.

Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge Dance — 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge, 2425 N. Illinois St., Swansea. Music by the Alley Kats.

Learn about Medicare — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Caseyville Public Library, 419 S. Second St., Caseyville. Learn about Medicare, make changes, enroll for Medicare Part D. Free assistance provided by Collinsville’s Faith in Action Answers on Aging representative Laura Goss. To make an appointment, call Laura at 618-344-7788.

St. Luke Perpetual Help Sodality Luncheon and Card Party — 12 p.m. Tuesday. St. Luke’s Parish Hall, 226 N. Church St., Belleville. Cards, bingo, other games, prizes. Roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, apple salad, bread, cake, coffee, hot tea, iced tea and water. Cost: $8. Please bring canned items for Community Interfaith Food Pantry. In event of inclement weather, Channel 2 will announce cancellation as St. Luke’s Catholic Church on day of event.

Memorial Hospital East Blood Drive — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. Memorial Hospital, East Community Room, 2nd Floor, 1404 Cross St., Shiloh. Must be 16 year of age or older to donate and feeling healthy and well the day of the blood drive. Photo ID required. Lunch provided to all donors. Appointments recommended but not required. For appointments, call 800-733-2767 or visit and enter sponsor code MemorialBelleville.

17th Annual Angel of Hope Candlelight Memorial Service — 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. Bellevue Park, 401 Bellevue Park Drive, Belleville. The event is for parents who have lost a child and people who support them. A brief program will be conducted at the Stone Lodge in the park and will be followed by a candlelight procession to the Angel of Hope statue.

Angel of Hope Ceremony — 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. Lake View Memorial Gardens, 5000 N. Illinois St., Fairview Heights. The event is for parents who have lost a child and people who support them.

The annual Angel of Hope ceremony will take place Thursday, Dec. 6 at both Lake View Memorial Gardens in Fairview Heights and Bellevue Park in Belleville. Ceremonies will start at 7 p.m. BND file photo


Evening in Athens — 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 405 Huntwood Road, Swansea. Authentic Greek lamb shanks, chicken, gyro, salads and many Greek sweets. Carryout available. 618-277-0330.

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. Carryout 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.


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.

Club News

Alzheimer’s Association ‘In the Moment’ Support Group — 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. Oak Hill, 623 Hamacher, Waterloo. First half will be an educational program, the second half for sharing. Anyone who cares for or has a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. 618-939-3488, ext. 1248.

St. Clair County Garden Club Christmas Party — 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Crehan’s Irish Pub, 5500 North Belt West, Belleville. Master Gardener Lisa Dean will speak about Christmas flowers. Cookie exchange by members. Return distributed mini Christmas trees to be distributed to local nursing homes. Dianna McCoy will speak about December’s birth flowers, holly and narcissus. To change lunch reservations, call Dianna at 618-791-2246.

Granite City Senior Social Club Christmas Party — 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Granite City Township Hall, 2060 Delmar Ave., Granite City. Doors open 12:30 p.m. Catered dinner 1 p.m. Entertainment and dancing. Tickets: members $12 and non-members $15. For further information or tickets, call Marti at 618-910-8198 or Diana at 618-444-6771.

Polish American Ladies Society Christmas Party and Meeting — 11 a.m. Monday. Bella Milano, 455 Regency Park, O’Fallon. Theme: Join in Reindeer Games. Christmas party luncheon. Bring toys for children’s Christmas party. Reservations required. Contact Rose Prohaska, 618-588-9028.

Madison County Retired Teachers Unit 2 Meeting — 11 a.m. Tuesday. The LeClaire Room, N.O. Nelson Campus, 600 Troy Road, Edwardsville. Registration begins 10:30 a.m. Those interested in becoming a part of the organization are encouraged to attend. Program: Musical performance by the 60’s Chicks. 618-656-8655.

Metro East Pachyderm Club Christmas Banquet — 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. Regency Conference Center, 400 Regency Park, O’Fallon. Featured speaker: Jim Holt, editor in chief of the Gateway Pundit, will speak about Internet censorship. Banquet tickets: $40 each or $75 for two. Gun raffle, silent auction, musical entertainment and more.

American Association of University Women — 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. 4204 Main Street Brewing Company, 4204 W. Main St., Belleville. Books for CASA Kids and lunch from menu. RSVP to MaryLu by Dec. 6.

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

Grief Support Group — 6 p.m. Wednesday. 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.

Reservations Required

25th Annual Festival of Trees — 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Gateway Center, One Gateway Center Drive, Collinsville. Fundraiser and Christmas gala, semi-formal, adults only event. An evening filled with music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Valet parking available. Tickets required.


Holiday Choir Concert — 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. Kaskaskia College Jane Knight Auditorium, 27210 College Road, Centralia. The third annual event will include the KC Concert Choir, KC Blues, KC Community Chorale and the 2018 High School Honor Choir. Featuring traditional and contemporary holiday carols and music representative from all over the world. Free and open to the public.

‘A Christmas Story’ — 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Wildey Theatre, 252 North Main St., Edwardsville. Live performances of the family-friendly classic. Tickets available online at

‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’ — 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 1. Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, Alton. Doors open 7 p.m. Performance by Bankside Repertory Theatre Company. Students $10, general admission Thursday $15, general admission Friday and Saturday $20.

Concert: ‘A Family Christmas’ featuring Sandi Patty — 7 p.m. Friday. St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 1200 Moreland Drive, Belleville. Doors open 6 p.m. Tickets range from $20-$30 with VIP for $75. For more information, call 618-397-5994. Tickets available online at or by phone at 800-965-9324.

Valmeyer Community Chorus — 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Monroe County History Museum Allscheid-Metzger Gallery, 724 Elaine Drive, Waterloo. A variety of holiday selections, directed by Marcia Braswell. 618-939-5008 or

13th Annual Winter Bluegrass Fan Appreciation Show — 7 p.m. Saturday. Mascoutah American Legion, 1414 West Main St., Mascoutah. Featuring George Portz and Friends of Bluegrass, Lit’l Miss Country Ruby Pearson, Thunder and Lightning Cloggers, Junior Fiddle Jam. Cost: $7 adults, $3.50 children. 618-632-1384.

The Sounds of Harmony Barbershop Chorus Holiday Concert — 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Union United Methodist Church, 721 E. Main St., Belleville. Freewill offering and reception to follow concert.

Christmas at the Cathedral — 8 p.m. Saturday. Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis. Celebrate the joy of the music of Advent and Christmas as the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs and Orchestra fill the Cathedral with the sounds of the season. Featuring Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”

Second Church Chorale and Orchestra present Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Magnificat’ — 4 p.m. Sunday. Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place, St. Louis. Conducted by Andrew Peters. Free to the community. 314-367-0367 or

Metro Theater Company presents ‘Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure’ — Dec. 2-30. 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis. Tickets start at $14 and are available online at

The Nutcracker Ballet – Arnold Food Pantry Benefit — 2 p.m. Sunday. Rickman Auditorium, 747 Jeffco Blvd. Arnold, Mo. Fully staged production with American Ballet Theater (NYC) soloists. Conducted by Robert Hart Baker.

Hett Center Film Series: ‘Throne of Blood’ — 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Russel E. and Fern M. Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, 400 North Alton St., Lebanon. Free admission.

Free Concert: Starlifter Jazz Combo of the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America — 12 to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Old Courthouse, 11 N. 4th St., St. Louis.

SWIC Holiday Concert — 7 p.m. Tuesday. Southwestern Illinois College Varsity Gym, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville.

SWIC Student Honors Recital — 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. Schmidt Art Center, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville.

Belleville Philharmonic: ‘Christmas Wonders’ — 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. St. Luke Catholic Church, 301 North C St., Belleville. Ring in the season with this annual holiday Chorale concert with chamber orchestra. Visit for tickets and information.

Worth the Drive

Annual Old Fashioned Christmas — 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Maeystown. Day to feature a variety of music and activities. 618-580-5875 or

St. John UCC Christkindlmarkt — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. St. John Evangelical UCC, 1301 Franklin St., Maeystown. Quilt show 12 to 4 p.m. All proceeds benefit church mission projects.

Elash’s Annual Home for the Holidays — 12 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Elsah, Ill. Eighteen historic buildings will be open for the event, including 11 homes, Elsah’s two-room schoolhouse, Farley’s Music Hall, the Elsah Museum, churches and village businesses. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 the day of the tour. Includes a map and tour booklet. Rides on horse-drawn carriages available at no extra charge. Visit to purchase tickets or for more information.

‘The Sheldon Art Galleries: Celebrating 20 Years’ — 12 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 12 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, through Jan. 5. The Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis. Free admission. Highlights include Josephine Baker: Image and Icon; City of Gabriels: A History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1879-1973; Imagining the Founding of St. Louis; and much more.