Metro-East Living

Best Bets: Scary stories and lots of chili

Do you have an award-winning scarecrow idea? Try your luck at the Midtowne Scarecrow Harvest Festival in Belleville.
Do you have an award-winning scarecrow idea? Try your luck at the Midtowne Scarecrow Harvest Festival in Belleville. Tribune News Service

Haunting stories

You might want to bring an extra pair of socks to the Haunted Happenings storytelling tour Friday and Saturday in Lebanon.

Costumed storytellers at local haunts along the way will do their best to scare your socks off during the event presented by the Looking Glass Playhouse.

Costumed guides will escout you through downtown Lebanon between 7 and 9 p.m. both nights to hear stories of the unusual, the creepy and the downright scary. But not to worry — material is suitable for Halloween lovers of all ages.

Tours will leave every 15 minutes from the Looking Glass, 301 W. St. Louis St., and last about 1 1/2 hours. Wearing a jacket and gloves (and socks) is encouraged.

Tickets are $5. Call 618-537-2544 or email to reserve your special tour.

Make a scarecrow

The first Midtowne Scarecrow Harvest Festival is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday on the parking lot across from 907 West Main St. in Belleville.

The lineup includes a scarecrow-building contest from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rainbow Ranch bring farm animals, including sheep and alpacas, to the site at 3 p.m.

Also, there will be artists, crafters, raffle prizes, face painting, craft beer, the Red Delicious food truck, bakery treats, massage, and live music (Monkh performs at 2 p.m.). Art projects for kids include making maracas, masks and dreamcatchers.

For more information, look for the Midtowne Scarecrow Harvest Festival on Facebook.

Getting goosebumps

You can celebrate the big-screen release of the “Goosebumps” movie with a “Gooosebumps” party at the Collinsville library at noon Saturday.

The movie is loosely based on the classic creepy stories of R.L. Stine, author of “Goosebumps” and “Fear Street Stories.” Children and their families are invited to make slime, play “Goosebumps”-themed games, eat creepy snacks and hear a scary story or two.

Seating is limited and advance registration is required at 618-344-1112 or stop by the children’s floor. The Collinsville Memorial Library Center is at 408 West Main St. in Collinsville.

Leclaire Parkfest

Friends of Leclaire want to share their proud heritage with you at the 24th annual Leclaire Parkfest from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Leclaire Park in Edwardsville.

Food booths run by local non-profits will offer a variety, including Italian beef, steak kabobs, chicken and dumplings, walking tacos and funnel cakes. Wine and beer also will be available for purchase.

The Daughters of the American Revolution will be selling thousands of books, and craftsmen will be selling their wares. A children’s area will include pony rides, art activities and games.

A display of vintage tractors and farm equipment will be on the Madison Avenue side of the park.

The purpose of the festival is to promote the Leclaire neighboorhood’s ethinic history, so there will be displays of photos and a narrated trolly tour of the historic district. Tours will run throughout the afternoon on the half-hour from the Leclaire Friends booth.

Leclaire was founded in 1890 as a model cooperative village by N.O. Nelson, a St. Louis plumbing manufacturer and visionary. Nelson emphasized the six principles of work, education, recreation, beauty, homes and freedom when designing the village. Leclaire was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Mascoutah Fall Fest

Follow the aroma of chili to downtown Mascoutah on Saturday for the Mascoutah Fall Fest, Chili Cook-off and Car Show.

A craft fair, vendors and concessions will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., along with chili sampling. There will be a free children’s area, entertainment all day and a 50-50 drawing. Downtown merchants will be open all day.

Car show registration is from 9 a.m. to noon. Trophies to the top 30 entries and five special awards will be given at 3 p.m. Entry fee is $10 ($5 for display only), and dash plaques will be given to the first 60 entries.

Dupo Fall Festival

A Chili Pepper Run, and Arts and Crafts Festival and a Chili Cook-Off are all packed into a Fall Festival on Saturday at Dupo Village Park.

The 5K run/walk starts at 9 a.m. from 900 Bluffview Elementary Drive, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Relay for Life. Call 618-540-8242 or

The Arts and Crafts booths open at 10 a.m., and the Chili Cook-Off begins at 11 a.m. A Walk of Honor program will begin at 12:30 p.m. Cow Patty Bingo is at 2 p.m. There also will be live music by the Sofa Kings, wine and concessions.