Cities and businesses across the metro-east are honoring veterans and military personnel for their service this Veterans Day weekend with events and special promotions.
Veterans Day Events
▪ Belleville’s 19th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony — 11 a.m. Saturday. Veteran’s Memorial Monument, Downtown Belleville Public Square. Program honors the brave and loyal men and women who served and sacrificed for U.S. freedom. Public is invited. 618-233-6518 ext. 1245.
▪ The Veterans Day Honors Banquet Event — 3 p.m. Saturday. Clyde C. Jordan Senior Citizens Center, 6755 State St., East St. Louis. East St. Louis American Legion, Veterans Memorial Post 2505 in partnership with East St. Louis Township will have a dinner to honor veterans for their service. This event is free for the first 300 U.S. military veterans who call for a reservation: 618-297-4065. This event features speaker Brendan Kelly, a U.S. Navy veteran.
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▪ 8th Annual Veteran’s Celebration at the Belleville Elks Lodge — Doors open 3 p.m. Meal 4 p.m. Sunday. 1481 S. Illinois St., Belleville. All U.S. veterans and active members of all branches of the U.S. military and their families are invited. No cost but make reservations by Nov. 11. Call 618-233-0703 or text 618-719-3554.
▪ O’Fallon Veterans Day Program and parade — Program at 11 a.m. Saturday. Veterans’ Monument, 737 E. Wesley Drive. Parade at 2 p.m. beginning at the O’Fallon Community Park. Information about the program: www.ofallonveteransmonument.org. Parade information: firstname.lastname@example.org or VFW Post 618-624-6575.
▪ Annual Veterans Day service — 11 a.m. Saturday. American Legion Prairie Du Pont Post 485, 200 S. 5th St., Dupo. Questions: 618-286-3535 or email@example.com.
▪ Veterans Day Free concert — 2 p.m. Sunday. Espenschied Chapel, 317 N. County Road, Mascoutah. Free concert courtesy of the Liberty Clarinet Quartet from the USAF Band of MidAmerica. No tickets required. Refreshments will be served.
▪ ‘Pets for Vets’ Adoption Day event — Saturday. Metro East Humane Society, 8495 State Route 143, Edwardsville. Metro East Humane Society will be offering fee waived adoptions to veterans. This one-day adoption event is made possible thanks to the Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza through her program Comptroller’s Critters, in collaboration with Fifth Third Bank and Bunker Labs. Information: 618-656-4405 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ Tom Qualls Foundation for People and Animals: Veterans Day donation event — Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. 204 John St., Collinsville. Celebrate Veterans Day with the Wishing Well Ministry Outreach. Collecting donations for area animals in need: U.S. flags, food items, fruits, blankets, dog and cat food, hay, tarps, dog houses, kennels and monetary donations.
▪ Lincoln Presidential Library Veterans Day event — Saturday. Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield. The museum will offer free admission to current, past military personnel and Gold Star families. A representative from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to talk about services the agency offers. Admiral Nils Thunman, a nuclear submariner who served in the Navy from 1954 to the mid-1980s, will hold a free presentation at 11 a.m. in the Multi-purpose Room of the library, 112 N. Sixth St., Springfield. Reservations for presentation go to www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov. Click on “special event reservations.”
Where to eat
▪ Applebee’s: Veterans can choose one of seven meals for free on Saturday.
▪ Olive Garden: Veterans and current active duty military can eat free on Saturday.
▪ Golden Corral: Veterans may enjoy a free buffet from 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday as part of its Military Appreciation Night Thank You Meal.
▪ Hooter’s: Veterans and military personnal may order a free entree off a special menu.
▪ Outback Steakhouse: Offers a free Bloomin’ Onion and soda.
▪ Red Lobster: Active-duty military, reservists and veterans can choose a free appetizer or dessert on Saturday.
▪ TGI Fridays: Veterans can choose a half-rack of ribs or any entree up to $12 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
▪ Texas Roadhouse: Choose from 10 entrees and a tea, soda or coffee for lunch on Saturday for active, former or retired military. It’s dine-in only.
▪ Red Robin: Those with proof of service can have a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries.