Last week, it was brought to my attention that some folks find a drive out of the Belleville/Fairview Heights/Swansea area to be too far. Rubbish, I say, life being a journey (even for a column dedicated to destinations) and all that. This week, five journey-destinations that will keep us close or scatter us to the winds in search of entertaining ways to fill the weekend.
BND Hometown and nearby
▪ More than 175 runners are planning to take part in the Belleville Main Street Marathon — yes, the 26.2 mile version of running — on Saturday morning and would surely appreciate some love along the way. Cheering begins with the first steps at 7 a.m. at Main and First Streets in downtown Belleville.
The racecourse includes West Main, 95th Street, Third Street, 45th Street, North Belt West, Signal Hill Boulevard and McKinley Garden. Roads will not be closed for the race. The marathon benefits the Belleville Parks and Recreation Department and The Backstoppers.
▪ The thing to do after a 5K run/walk, like the one you could run at 4 p.m. at St. Clare School in O’Fallon, is to enjoy a good stout homemade German-style dinner.
St. Clare Oktoberfest starts with food and a DJ at 4 p.m., has Off the Cuff Dueling Pianos from 7 to 11 p.m., and games and pony rides and inflatbles and more from 4 to 11 p.m. There’s a $10,000 grand prize on a raffle. The German dinner is roasted pork, German potato salad, Spaetzle and more; food available all night includes funnel cakes, spiral spuds, hamburgers and more. For more information, go to www.stclarechurch.org/ofest.
Over in Columbia they are celebrating a “FestiFall” with — “aww” with us — a “cutest baby” contest. The event, from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Metter Park, 106 N. Metter Ave. in Columbia, will also have games for the kids, wine tasting for the adults, and barbecue, brats, Cajun, chili and more.
▪ They’ll have the apples peeled by Saturday, but there’s still plenty of help needed in Maeystown to make apple butter. Stirring starts up at 6 a.m. Saturday, and they plan to cap the last jar at about 3 p.m. No word on if the folks at the Maeystown Preservation Society are allowing the butter to be taste-tested as it cooks at the 1859 Rock Mill in Maeystown. To volunteer, call 618-580-5875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ The Glen Carbon Firehouse/City Hall is again hosting a train show put on by the Metro East Model Railroad Club. It’s from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 180 Summit St. in Glen Carbon. It’s free. For more information, go to www.trainweb.org/memre.
▪ Way up in Litchfield, they’re having the Golden Eagle Intertribal Powwow to honor veterans from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; dancing starts at noon both days at Lake Lou Yeager’s Picnic Area 4 in Litchfield, take exit 52 from Interstate 55. The event has representatives of Cherokee, Potawatomi, Choctaw, Blackfeet and Lakota nations. Admission and parking are free; go to “Golden Eagle Intertribal Powwow” on Facebook for more information.
▪ Edwardsville’s City Park is hosting a juried fine art show from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. About 100 artists will share and sell their work; there will also be a Children’s Art Gallery and a Create It and Take It for children. City Park is at 101 South Buchanan in Edwardsville.
East-ish by North
Did you think you missed the balloon glow from our neighbors to the West last weekend? Try Marine instead on Saturday, where they will be launching balloons at 7 a.m. at the Marine Village Park in Marine. After the launch, they’ll have sport aviation exhibits, American bald eagle and falcon flight demonstrations, food, music and bounce houses until 10 p.m.; there will be another launch at 5 p.m. and a balloon glow at 8 p.m. On Sunday, they’re up again from 7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast, balloons and eagle and falcon flights.
While there, sign up the kids 18 and younger for a free airplane ride through the EAA Young Eagle Program.
For more information, go to www.boMarine.org.