Metro-East News

Five things: Set sail or drive your sister to the circus

Buckets of ink are shed weekly in newsrooms in arguments over things momentous and minute. A small skirmish here in Belleville has involved this column — is it “Top Five” things to do this weekend, or “Five Things” to do? The editor, who buys his newsroom ink by the toner cartridge these days, technically, rather than the proverbial barrel, came down on the side of “Five Things.” So that’s the way it is.

Between you and me, what follows is the tops, in no particular order.

Set sail

Boy, the Carlyle Sailing Association really knows how to sucker us in. Last weekend, they had an open house for all of us who know nothing about sailing. This weekend, it’s a fundraiser for FOCUS Marines Foundation that serves Wounded Warriors and the Greater St. Louis Honors Flight, which gets veterans to the memorials in Washington, D.C. The annual event is always the weekend after Memorial Day.

They’ll have a full day of sailboat racing — that’s a “regatta,” for us newbies — as well as a dinner and music with a silent auction on Saturday and lunch and awards ceremony on Sunday. It’s all at the Carlyle Sailing Association, Philippi Harbor at Carlyle Lake. Go to for more information.

Truck stop

“It still surprises me how many people, even older people, really enjoy it,” said Lisa Burt of the annual Touch-a-Truck event the Cornerstone Mothers of Preschoolers uses as a fundraiser.

Why be surprised? The name is a slightly inaccurate, it’s not so much “touch” a truck as it is a “climb on,” “sit in” or “pretend to drive your sister to a new home far away” kind of event. These vehicles can take whatever a kid of any age can dream up.

It’s not limited to trucks, either. Burt says there may be a helicopter if the weather permits, as well as a race car from Gateway Motor Sports and a Hummer from Scott Credit Union. That is in addition to trash trucks from Waste Management, fire trucks from East Side Fire Department in Belleville, police cars from Shiloh and Fairview Heights and even a street sweeper, a backhoe and a bucket truck. It’s $5 per person with a maximum of $20 per family (free for the 2 and under set) for all the climbing, sitting and exploring you can fit in from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Christian Church, 775 N. Green Mount Road in Shiloh.

But wait, that’s not all. Face painting. Bounce house. Even Fred Bird makes an appearance from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Proceeds go to MOPS, which will use it to provide scholarships for membership and child care for meetings.

Three rings

Tiger trainers may get the glory, but contortionists get the audience to gasp in amazement at the annual Shriner’s Circus in Belleville. There are four shows this weekend that all benefit the Ainad Shriner operations: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Belle-Clair Fairgrounds. Tickets are $15 adults and $10 children. Go to for more information.

Super and scholarly

Run with your feelings this weekend, whether you’re feeling super or scholarly.

▪  Superhero 5K and Mile Fun Run — 9 a.m. Saturday, Klucker Hall, Shiloh. Pancake breakfast. Prizes in age groups and special categories. Entry fee: $25. Presented by Boy Scout Troop 40. Wear your cape and show off your super powers. Awards for best costume and most original. Online registration at

▪  Rotary Scholarship 5K Run/Walk — 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Wolf Branch Middle School, 410 Huntwood Road, Swansea. Proceeds will benefit The Chad Wood Memorial Scholarship fund supporting college scholarship programs for qualifying graduates of area high schools. Information: Jim Riess, 618-920-9698; Steve Pulley, 618-530-3143;

How would you rate your pain?

It’s not every day you can watch a film heralded by international festivals such as the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. Such entertainment as this must be out of our Midwestern reach — but wait. Collinsville invites you to bring a picnic and watch “Big Hero 6” at dusk Saturday at Main and Seminary streets. It’s free. (Fist bump! Balalalala.)

Once reporter Mary Cooley gets “Balalalala” out of her head, she’ll be better at discussing her favorite topic: Next weekend. Email her at or 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND.