Metro-East Living

Look for sales, special events from Cahokia Mounds to downtown Belleville

Check out the Mariana Trunk Show at Basket Case in Belleville on Saturday.
Check out the Mariana Trunk Show at Basket Case in Belleville on Saturday. Provided

Spring brings all manner of annual sales, specials and even a sparkling trunk show.

Neighborhood nursery open

Star Greenhouse & Florist at 518 Scheel St., in Belleville (near the MetroLink station) opened for the season Tuesday. I was one of the neighborhood gardeners —ready to do some plant-picking — who arrived at the nursery last weekend only to find it still closed for the winter. Well, let’s face it, we’re all revved up to dig in the dirt early this year because of the warm weather. But, no disappointments now. The business, run by the Santanello family, is well known for its asssortment of beautiful geraniums, but there are plenty of flowering annual and perennials to see in the greenhouses, too.

Trunk show shines

Basket Case in Belleville is having a Mariana Trunk Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Mariana has been creating unique and original jewelry since 1997, using Swarovski crystal elements and semiprecious stones. The pieces I’ve seen are simply stunning and the spring line includes colors in rose and turquoise. On Saturday only, spend $150 or more on pieces from the line and receive a free pair of Mariana earrings worth $37. Spend $300 or more and take home a free bracelet worth $124.

Dig the SWIC Plant Sale

Time for the annual Plant Sale at Southwestern Illinois College’s Belleville campus. From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, head to the college greenhouse, located on the southeast corner of campus behind the baseball fields. That’s where you’ll find the Horticulture Program selling reasonably priced tropicals, perennials and annual flowers, plus herbs and a few water flowers — all grown by students over the winter. Only cash and check payments will be accepted. Proceeds benefit the Horticulture program.

Flowers, cupcakes say thanks

Bosses, take note: Grimm & Gorly in downtown Belleville has a special offer for Administrative Professional’s Day, which is Wednesday. Order a spring bouquet and get six cupcakes or 10 truffles to go with it for $35. Choose a planter instead of flowers and the cost is $45. A spring bud vase with one cupcake is $20. You need to order now for pick up Wednesday. There is an additional charge for delivery. Call 618-234-4455.

More women’s apparel

Ben’s is working hard at being the place in downtown Belleville to find a wide variety of merchandise. I say this because the retailer has been adding more tops, tunics and other women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry since the beginning of the year. I spotted some of the popular new longish, gauzy vests (I’m not sure that’s the best word) that can convert to scarves. Each is $14.99 in a variety of pretty patterns and colors.

Indian Market Days

Expect the parking lot to be full this weekend as Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville holds its Spring Indian Market Days beginning Friday and running through Sunday. Native American artists will sell paintings, jewelry, beadwork, pottery and much more.

The event is inside the Interpretive Center and is from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission fee, but a suggested donation is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students or $15 for families.

Donation earns Cards voucher

MERS/Goodwill and the St. Louis Cardinals have a deal for you: Make a donation and get half-off vouchers for most Monday-Thursday St. Louis Cardinals’ home games during the 2016 regular season. Just ask for the Cardinals’ ticket voucher when you donate. The voucher is good for up to six half-price tickets (some restrictions apply). You can redeem it online at or at the Busch Stadium ticket windows.

Pick your cap style

JC Penney at St. Clair Square has wisely forsaken some of its homegoods space on the main floor by the escalator for St. Louis Cardinals merchandise. I thought a Cards logo baseball cap was, well, red. My mistake. I spotted, among many MLB-approved versions, hats in gray, mesh and camouflage styles, about $22 on up. You’ll find youth sizes as well.

Derby-style chapeaux

Dillard’s at the mall is trying to entice you with a 40 percent off sale on its leftover Easter hats. They’re perfect to wear to the Kentucky Derby, a spring wedding or a really special occasion. There are fascinators (small but vertical), cloches (close to the head with smallish side decoration) and big-brimmed beauties with bows, feathers and bands. Colors range from classic black, white and navy to look-at-me hot pink and lipstick red. Sale prices are in the $40 range, with some hats higher and some lower.