In this baseball-believing town, it would behoove yours truly to give a nod toward some ongoing event between groups from Cleveland and Chicago. Start time is 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Chicago. (For those like me who prefer watching teams of 11 take to the fields with a pigskin, the Cleveland Browns play at noon Sunday and the Chicago Bears have the Monday night game.)
Away from the telly, here are five things to keep our weekends bustling.
Cars and coffee
This month’s Cars and Coffee at Gateway Classic Cars is accepting donations for Backstoppers, the group that supports families of police and fire personnel, including the family of Officer Blake Snyder. He was a St. Louis County police officer killed earlier this month.
Of course the other enticement is the cars. Tyler Wolk of Gateway says the showroom always has “the classics” — vehicles from 1982 and older — of Corvettes, Camaros and GTOs, but the car cruise will have plenty of privately-owned vehicles to look at.
“If you own a Chevelle, just park out in the parking lot and show off a little bit,” he said of the car cruise.
Wolk won’t be showing his own 1978 Datsun 280Z with an LS swap on Saturday (“She’s not ready for the shows yet,” he says) but he says the last couple of cars-and-coffee events have had more than 250 cars. Gateway Classics is hoping for more on Saturday, given that donations made Saturday will go toward Backstoppers.
The last Cars and Coffee of the year is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Gateway Classic Cars, 1237 Central Park Dr. in O’Fallon.
Plant a tree
Folks in Edwardsville have until Nov. 10 to apply to be partially reimbursed, up to $75, for planting certain kinds of trees — including the bald cypress, magnolia and sycamores. Go to www.cityofedwardsville.com or call the Public Works department at (618) 692-7535 for more information.
The rest of us can plant any kind of tree we want, although our reimbursement may be limited to shade and natural beauty. The University of Illinois Extension website at http://extension.illinois.edu/treeselector/ can help narrow the forest of options to those that would best fit your needs and conditions. (Psst. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says we’re in Zone 6.)
▪ Let your inner witch out from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday in downtown Lebanon for a Witches Night Out. Live music, wine, vendors and shopping in downtown Lebanon for adult women only. Costume prizes for best witch, scariest witch, best hat and more for the contest at 8 p.m.
▪ All ages welcome at Doctoberfest from 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday at the Bel-Air Bowl, Belleville. Live music with more than 25 guest musicians playing hits from ‘50s to ‘90s. Costumes optional for the dance starting at 7 p.m. Admission is free after 8 p.m.; an all day pass that includes barbecue is $20; other options are $15 and $10 for the dance only. Cash bar, free chili. Call 618-578-9765 for advance tickets.
▪ Troy United Methodist Church is holding a Tent or Treat from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at 407 Edwardsville Road, Troy. They promise festive and free fun for the whole family. Call 618-667-6241 for more information.
Chili, Soup, Cupcakes
The New Baden Chamber of Commerce is holding the 12th annual Chili-Soup Cook-Off from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the New Baden Village Park; and for good measure they’re also again holding the Cupcake Wars for the second year.
Adults can buy armbands for all-you-can-eat status for $10; $7 for those 65 and over and $5 for children 5 to 12.
New this year is a custom car and truck show from 1 to 5 p.m.; coming back are the bonfire, games, hay rides, music and a craft fair. For more information, go to www.newbadenchamber.com.
Wrestling Over Everything
Costumes are welcome for the spectators, and I’d guess the participants as well, at the Wrestling Over Everything championship tournament. The bell rings at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Swansea Improvement Hall; tickets are $10 at the door. Matchups include Billy McNeil against Leone Lenny Mephisto. For advance tickets, call 618-806-4656.