Metro-East News

Five things to do: Earth and sky, we’ve got it covered


According to the Old Farmers, this weekend starts off the best time to plant beans, cucumbers and our beloved tomatoes — if we want to follow the moon’s phases. Those Old Farmers also say this is the best weekend to get married, cut firewood, cut your hair and go hunting.

The Almanac says nothing about the possible afternoon thunderstorms, but we hope to get in a good amount of outdoor time anyway the weekend before Earth Day and Arbor Day. There’s plenty of opportunity for that in the mix. (But I’m not getting married this weekend, no matter what those old farmers recommend. Phooey.)

Celebrate the mother

Rain or shine, the Nature Institute, Sierra Club, Great Rivers Land Trust and more are celebrating Earth Day with music, food and arts. The Fourth Annual Riverbend Earth Day Festival promises environmental activities and a childrens’ area with nature-inspired arts and crafts.

Because it’s Earth Day, there’s also clothing swaps and electronic recycling. The festival kicks off at noon Saturday at Piasa Harbor, 10815 Lockhaven Road, in Godfrey. It ends at 6 p.m. For more information, call or email 618-466-9930 o

Look up

If noon is too late to wait, consider “Birding with Friends” from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Watershed Nature Center, 1591 Tower Ave., Edwardsville. It’s spring migration, and they say it’s one of the best times to watch our feathered friends travel through the area. It’s $5, free for Nature Center members, and advance registration is requested. Bring your own binoculars. For more information or to register, go to

Clean up

Help finish off a nature-based playground, plant flowers or install signs to help others find their way. The Bellevue Park Community Work Day wants volunteers to get the park complete. Check in starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at 401 Bellevue Park Drive’s Stone Lodge, and it should all be spruced up by noon’s ribbon cutting. Volunteers get paid with hot dogs and ice cream. Call 618-233-1416 or or email for more information.

Horse sense

Some of us couldn’t tell a Belgian from a Mustang, but that’s not the case for the folks at East Lake Farm in Caseyville. Their All-Thoroughbred Hunter Show starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, with what they call “easy and inviting” courses and classes for all. It’s a free family-friendly event, with bake sale proceeds going to Thoroughbreds Helping Thoroughbreds and Renaissance Rescue Ranch. It’s at Mark Harrell Horse Shoes, 1600 N. 81st St., Caseyville. Find East Lake Farm on Facebook for more information.

Start off swinging

The Glen Carbon Library is hosting Swords and Roses, an all-female pirate-themed stunt show filled with singing and swordplay. Real swords — which the women promise on their web site “go TING and SWISH which makes us all very happy” — are part of the show and library fans may recognize the crew from the summer reading programs. “Pirates and Superheroes” is free and starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Glen Carbon Library at 198 S. Main St., Glen Carbon. Go to or 618-288-1212 for more information.

If the wee ones can’t handle the swords or singing, head outside where the Kiwanis and police are putting on a bike and trike rodeo. Bring your own pedaled rig to the library parking lot between 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday for prizes, safety tips and more. Register at