Metro-East News

This weekend, fund justice, find peace, plant flowers and cheer on the pet parade

The Belleville Mosque and Islamic Education Center will have an open house 1-3 p.m. Saturday for people interested in learning more about the center.
The Belleville Mosque and Islamic Education Center will have an open house 1-3 p.m. Saturday for people interested in learning more about the center. dholtmann@bnd.com

It’s supposed to be lovely weather this weekend. Of course the weekend’s event planners couldn’t have known that weeks or months ago when they picked these dates, but luckily enough for us they planned some outdoor activities.

Justice for All

It’s not often I get to write “Black Tie” and “Funky Butt” in the same sentence, so be prepared to clutch those pearls. The Justice For All Ball, a black-tie dinner, will feature music from The Funky Butt Brass Band. Proceeds from the silent and live auctions and event will go to the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, which is a nonprofit group that provides legal assistance to low-income people. The 27th annual event starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch, 315 Chestnut St., St. Louis. The $200 per person tickets can be purchased at www.lsem.org. For more information, go to www.lsem.org.

Open house at mosque

The Belleville Mosque and Islamic Education Center has had such interest from the community that they are hosting an open house on Saturday. The open house Saturday will include a prayer and guest speaker. Worship will be led from 1 to 1:20 p.m. followed by a guest speaker from the St. Louis office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Refreshments will be served until 3 p.m. Saturday at the Belleville Mosque and Islamic Education Center, at 4525 Old Collinsville Road in Belleville.

Think summer

The folks at Prairie du Rocher’s Fort de Chartres State Historic Site are thinking ahead with a garden event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday with a seed exchange. Carol Kuntz, the site’s volunteer garden curator, will provide free heirloom seeds and sample seed packets. At 1 p.m., Kuntz will lead a discussion on which vegetables and flowers can be planted in February. For more information, go to www.fdcjardin.com/ or call 618-284-7230. The historic site is at 1350 Illinois 155, four miles west of Prairie du Rocher. The site requests a donation of $4 for adults, $2 for children, or $10 per family.

Pups on parade

Does your pet love to dress up? Do you love to dress up to match your pup? Then head to 12th and Allen streets in St. Louis at 10 a.m. Sunday to register your pet for the Beggin’ Pet Parade, part of the Soulard Mardi Gras celebrations. The actual parade starts at 1 p.m.

Most of the pets are dogs, but canine-hood is not necessary to participate. Go to stlmardigras.org for more information.

Run for beer

As part of the Soulard Mardi Gras festivities, the Missouri Lottery is sponsoring a 5K. That sounds easy enough. The stations along the route in Soulard will have water, as well as beer and hurricanes. And beads.

Even with the beer and hurricanes, Mark Bradley, president of the Mardi Gras Foundation, says it’s a “legitimate, honest-to-goodness race.”

The legit race also has costume categories, and a $500 prize for the winners. For more information, go to www.stlmardigras.org.

The race starts at 9 a.m., race-day registration is starts at 8 a.m. at the Bud Light Party Tent on Ninth and Lafayette streets in St. Louis for $35.

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