Metro-East News

On tap this weekend: maple syrup, trivia, archaeological dig, Polar Plunge

Archaeologist to discuss East St. Louis excavation

Archaeologist Tamira Brennan is giving a presentation at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic site on Feb. 26 at 2p.m. to discuss the East St. Louis excavation where the approach to the Stan Musial bridge is.
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Archaeologist Tamira Brennan is giving a presentation at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic site on Feb. 26 at 2p.m. to discuss the East St. Louis excavation where the approach to the Stan Musial bridge is.

Granted, it is true that the temperatures Saturday and Sunday will be significantly cooler than those of the workweek. For that, we are — hey Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, what’s a good word for “a bit disappointed but we’ll get over it?”

Any of these ideas for things to do this weekend will surely ease any atmospheric angst.

East St. Louis vs. Cahokia

Only an archaeologist would get excited about digging into old toilets. Find out why when archaeologist Tamira Brennan shares secrets of the not-too-deep dirt from East St. Louis when she presents the Illinois State Archaeological Survey’s work at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site’s Interpretive Center. The “Insights and Updates on Greater Cahokia from Excavations at the East St. Louis Precinct” is free.

The ISAS, including Brennan and her team, excavated in the East St. Louis area in preparation for construction of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, and what they found had a lot to do with Cahokia Mounds. Those findings include the breadth of the peoples who lived in the area more than a thousand years ago. Those who lived nearest the Mounds have long had our attention, but those who lived around East St. Louis appear to have had the numbers.

Sweet trees

The Nature Institute is awfully sweet, promising an afternoon of maple tapping at the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, at 4350 Levis Lane in Godfrey. At 1 p.m. Saturday, Ramona Puskar will take guests through the biology of maple trees and the history of tapping before showing how to tap with everyday items and boiling and tasting the syrup.

Cost is $10 per person, or $8 for The Nature Institute members, proceeds go to the Institute’s mission of preservation, restoration and education.

Police take the plunge

The O’Fallon Police Department and the Collinsville Police Department are among those taking the Polar Plunge this weekend for Special Olympics. Earlier this week, O’Fallon led the group donations and had a goal of $7,500, Collinsville’s goal is $3,000. Plunge organizers hope to raise $105,000.

Anyone who raises at least $100 can jump into Carlyle Lake and come out to a blue brag-worthy sweatshirt. Plunge registration starts at 10 a.m., with the entry into the chilly waters at noon.

Our local plunge at Carlyle Lake also features a Donut Dash, in which the 5K is interspersed with doughnut decadence. For each doughnut consumed, a minute is knocked off your running time.

For more information, or to find warmer and less sugary ways to help the Special Olympics, go to the Special Olympics Illinois website at

Feeling funny

Dave Landau, from “Last Comic Standing” and a regular on the “Bob & Tom” radio show, will be at the Hey Guys Comedy Club at 5225 N. Illinois Street in Fairview Heights at 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15; for more information call 618-416-6434 or go to

You can check out his brand of comedy at

Trivially speaking

Feeling smart? Plenty of trivia offerings this weekend:

▪  Holy Trinity Men’s Club 3rd Annual Trivia Night — 7 p.m. Saturday. Holy Trinity Church Parish Center, 505 Fountains Parkway, Fairview Heights. Mulligans and 50/50 drawings. $12 per person. 8 per table. Information: 618-980-1014.

▪  Millstadt Historical Society Trivia Night — 6:30 p.m. Saturday. St. James Parrish, 405 W. Madison St., Millstadt. $120 tables for 6-8 people. Cash and attendance prizes. Information: or 618-531-5648.

▪  Sixth Annual Youth Ministries’ Trivia Night — 6:30 p.m., Saturday. First United Presbyterian, 1303 Royal Heights Road, Belleville. $10 per person with eight per table. Silent auction, raffle, 50/50 drawing. 618-233-0295.

▪  Trivia Night — 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Althoff Catholic High School, 5401 W. Main St., Belleville. $15 per person with 8-10 per table. Mulligans, 50/50, silent auction, show ticket raffles. 618-660-5618.