Metro-East News

Five things: Bike ride, plant sales, beer on tap this weekend

Some Friday mornings, your intrepid Five Things columnist checks the weekend’s forecast and sighs a heavy, defeated sigh. Then she starts looking for indoor activities.

This was not such a week. It’s going to be gorgeous and springlike (complete with tree pollen, of course) and as the list below shows, some planners were very busy when the rest of us were merely dreaming of spring.

Move it

▪  Intelligent imbeciles who favor bicycles will be quite at home at the annual Tour De Stooges on Saturday. Registration is from 7 to 10 a.m. at McKendree’s University’s Melvin Price Convocation Center, and you can take off on your route of choice right away. Choose from 10-, 15-, 20-, 46- and 63-mile spins that are fully supported with snacks and rest stops. Lunch is included in the day-of-ride cost: $30 adults; $15 for ages 5-12. Take the family of four for $75. For more, go to or Registration includes fully supported bicycle ride through beautiful countryside, snacks, rest stops and “Three Stooges” shorts shown following the ride at McKendree’s Ames Dining Hall.

▪  The first leg of the Belleville Triple Crown starts off at 9 a.m. Saturday with the Law Day 5K Run. (Those who participate in the Tour de Belleville bike ride on July 10 and the Gingerbread Run on Dec. 5 are awarded the crown.) Proceeds from this race benefit the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. Entry fees are $30 for adults and $15 for ages 18 and under for the 5K; $12 for ages 13 and under for the 1K. For more information, go to

Brew it

Home brew — and tasting — and a backyard rib competition — again, with tastings — are on tap Saturday at Sparta City Park in Sparta. Meat inspections start at 6 a.m. and judging is at 2 p.m. Homebrew competition is from 1 to 4 p.m.; and there’s a blessing of the bikes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The kids also get a bounce house. Proceeds go to the Sparta Park Planning Committee.

Plant it

Shovel ready? Let’s go:

▪  Perennials, daylillies, irises, hostas, daisies, canna and more at the Collinsville Garden Club, 303 N. Morrison & Johnson, Collinsville from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

▪  Member-grown plants from the Edwardsville Garden Club go on sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at St. Mary’s Church, 1802 Madison Ave., Edwardsville.

▪  Annuals and perennials from the O’Fallon Garden Club starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Community Financial Center parking lot, 800 S. Lincoln and Highway 50, O’Fallon.

Buy it

There’s something in Millstadt that really belongs elsewhere, perhaps even in your home. Begin your search at 8 a.m. Saturday at the village-wide yard sale, where more than 100 residents and businesses are literally on the map that is available at the Millstadt Community Center, 102 S. Jefferson. Sale is over at 2 p.m. Prices may vary.

... and enjoy it

The Fort de Chartres Historic Site — from when the French thought they were in charge of the land — opens its doors Saturday for 18th Century-style games, contests and crafts for the kids from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the site, 1350 State Road 155, Prairie du Rocher.

Share your tales of having conquered the weekend with reporter Mary Cooley at or 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND. As always, share your plans for the coming weekends, too.