Metro-East News

Five things to do: Memorials, Maifest and more

Lest we forget, this three-day weekend is brought to you by some very special people.

Memorial Day

First known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day was set to decorate the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers. It later came to include honoring all those who served in the military and have died. (Veteran’s Day honors the living military.)

Join the honors by watching the Base Honor Guard from Scott Air Force Base perform at 11 a.m. Monday, after Belleville’s Memorial Day Parade. The Memorial Day parade starts at 9:30 a.m. along Main Street. The Base Honor Guard will also perform during O’Fallon’s Memorial Day Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at the O’Fallon Veteran’s Monument.


Why Maifest? Well, those Maifest-founding Jaycees would “normally have a little bit to drink,” said Gary Malawy, president of the Nashville Lions Club, which eventually took over the event. “They always had it on Memorial Day Weekend in May, they thought they would get creative and call it the Mayfest and spell it differently.”

Now, however one pronounces that — “May-” or “My” — the fest is the Lions Club’s biggest fundraiser, and Malawy says they hope to bring in more than $10,000.

“That allows us to do all the things we do throughout the year,” he said, which includes fireworks in the summer, lights in the winter, and glasses and hearing aides to those who need them all-year round.

This year’s Maifest runs through Sunday and has a little and a lot of everything for everyone. There’s a 9-and-under little league tournament, a men’s softball tournament, inflatables and soda for the kids, a car show and beer wagons for the adults, and food and music for all. It’s all at Memorial Park on 533 E. Legion in Nashville.

Go sailing

If everything you know about sailing can fit on the tip of a jib, check out the Carlyle Sailing Association’s open house from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 20960 Hazlet Park Road in Carlyle. The association promises knowledgeable and friendly CSA members and perhaps even a ride out on the water if the weather cooperates. They prefer that you register online at or by calling 314-485-9011.

Meatballs and music

Carnivores, the Italian Club of Benld has a preview of some of their homemade salami, meatballs and sauce for the Italian-American Days Festival on its Facebook page. Careful where you drool.

The festival opens at 4 p.m. Saturday at Benld City Park with music by Agent 99 at 7:30 p.m. They’re giving away a ton of spaghetti from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, and live music runs just about straight from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Carnival armbands are $20 and are good from noon to 4 p.m.; a Bocce Ball tournament starts at 1 p.m. On Monday, ride armbands for $20 are good from 1 to 5 p.m.

Grow the garden

Master gardeners aren’t just people who really like plants — they are people who have had 11 classes in things like botany and soils and insects and diseases and promise to share all that information with the rest of us dirty souls. So when you get a plant grown in a master’s own garden, you cherish it.

Be ready to cherish as the Clinton County Plant Sale opens from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday in Breese’s North Park. The masters themselves will be there to answer questions and hand out advice.

After a three-day weekend, contact well-rested reporter Mary Cooley at or 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND. She might even have a clean house and weed-free garden to chat about too, but let’s not get any crazy ideas.