Metro-East News

This weekend you can party with the Irish, fight domestic violence

Bagpipers with the Ainad Highlanders Pipe & Drums go around Public Square in Belleville during the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Bagpipers with the Ainad Highlanders Pipe & Drums go around Public Square in Belleville during the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

If you have been living under a sun-warmed rock, then it is my sad duty to inform you that your shelter is about to get much colder. You may want to go indoors for the duration.

That is, of course, only if you’re willing to miss out on these five things going on this weekend in Southern Illinois.

Erin go Bragh

Those who claim Ireland will not be late for the party — both Belleville and St. Louis are having their St. Patrick’s Day festivities this weekend rather than next, the day after St. Patrick’s Day.

Belleville starts with a 5K Lucky Leprechaun run/walk at 9 a.m. Saturday. You can sign up for $30 on race day between 8 and 8:45 a.m. at Union United Methodist Church, 712 E. Main St.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians — who will likely be wearing mostly green — starts the annual St. Patricks’s Day Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, staring at 510 W. Main St. in Belleville. It’s family friendly, and the block party starts once the parade is over.

Fight domestic violence

A panel of domestic violence experts will speak in a free, public forum from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the New Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, at 250 Lebanon Ave. in Belleville.

Yolanda Fisher, the community relations manager for The Women’s Safe House in St. Louis, says the panel hopes to involve members of the faith community to end domestic violence.

Fisher says she is often asked what someone can do to help a victim of domestic violence, of which one in four women will face during her lifetime. That abuse may be physical, psychological or financial, she said.

“Believe her story,” she said. “Especially with a faith community. A lot of times pastors want to do marriage counseling with the victim and abuser” but the two require different types of counseling.

Fisher will also discuss helping a victim create a safety plan after establishing that the victim is safe to talk.

Other speakers include a domestic violence survivor, and representatives from the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, the Belleville Police Department and St. Clair County States Attorney’s Office.

For more information about this event, visit call 618-233-7382 or 601-594-5350.

Civil Rights

“#1 in Civil Rights” opens at the Missouri History Musuem on Saturday and continues through April 15, 2018. “#1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis” includes the four Supreme Court cases that originated in St. Louis, as well as “events and battles that had significant and lasting impact.”

This weekend, Clarence Lang, professor of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas, will talk about tensions between working-and middle-class black communities. Lang wrote “Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics & Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis 1936--75. His free lectures are at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Lee Auditorium at the museum.

The exhibit is free. Go to for more information, or call 314-746-4599. The Museum is at Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park in St. Louis.

Essentially about oil

The O’Fallon Public Library is hosting a lecture on Essential Oils at 2 p.m. Saturday at 120 Civic Plaza in O’Fallon. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 618-632-3783.

Trivia night

A trivia night at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 5420 Old Collinsville Road, Fairview Heights, will benefit The Four Hearts Foundation, an animal welfare group. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and offers a 50/50 drawing, raffles and attendance prizes. It’s $10 per person, and between six and eight per table. For more information, call 618-623-9956.

Help for domestic violence victims

Here is more information if you or someone you know needs help now. Both websites have “Escape” buttons on every page that redirects to a Google search. Both phone lines are answered 24 hours a day.