Metro-East News

Five things to do: Garage sales, gardens and good times

Mary Cooley can be reached at
Mary Cooley can be reached at

All right folks, there are five-ish things on this list and you’re not going to get to do them all. You can maybe get three of them done, but only if you plan carefully. To help you out, we’ve put them in order. (That last event starts at 5:20 a.m. Sunday, so careful how late you stay out at the homecoming and jamboree on Saturday night.)

Money talks ...

And then you can walk right off with your new-to-you stuff from dozens of garage sales. Troy has it’s twice-yearly citywide garage sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. More than 170 people have signed up to have one at home; and others will magically appear on Saturday morning at the Tri-Township Park in Troy.

The chamber doesn’t know how many will be at the park: “People will show up Saturday, unannounced, wanting a spot, and we let them in because it’s a park and there’s plenty of room,” said Kim Lange, the coordinator for the chamber.

Lange says there will be a lot of clothing, baby items, household items and oak furniture. She expects to see Longaberger baskets and Precious Moments for sale at the park.

Garden tours

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells ...” Yeah. About that. As a lifelong Mary, I can assure you the only thing accurate about that dang nursery rhyme is the quite contrary bit. But these people? They’ve got this garden thing down.

▪  Edwardsville Garden Tour — Self-guided tour on Saturday of seven residential gardens along with the gardens of the Stephenson House, 409 S. Buchanan St., Edwardsville. A master gardener will have a program on container gardening at 8:30 a.m. at the Stephenson house. Tickets are $15 on the day of the tour at the Stephenson House; children 10 and under are welcome and get in free. Go to or call 618-344-4230 for more information.

▪  West Belleville Garden Tour — Five residential and two community gardens make up this tour in Belleville from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 day of tour and proceeds will benefit the West Belleville Promotional Committee; they are available at The Abbey, Don Rodgers Ltd., Effinger’s Garden Center, Sandy’s Back Porch and Eckert’s Country Store and Farm.

▪  Jardin Potager Heirloom Just outside the walls of Fort de Chartres State Historic Site is a French-style kitchen garden where you can sample gooseberries in the tradition of the 18th Century from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Summer heirloom seed packets and plants will be also available. Call 618-284-7230 for more information, the fort is at 3550 Illinois Route 155, Prairie du Rocher.

Party time

They had me at “smash a car.” The Glen Carbon Homecoming starts Saturday bright and early with a 5K run at 8 a.m., and then re-appears at 5 p.m. with a parade and music. Smash a car is hosted by Habitat for Humanity; carnival rides, a petting zoo, games, beer gardens and more round out the evening with fireworks at 10 p.m. It’s all on Main Street by the covered bridge in Glen Carbon. Go to As part of the festivities, the Metro East Model Railroad Club will have an HO scale model running at the Glen Carbon Firehouse from 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday. (That’s trains at a firehouse. Knock off two birds with one stone there, parents of small children.)

The New Baden June Jamboree will carry on despite the rain with most events. The garden tractor and ATV pulls field is well under water and canceled, but the carnival rides and games go on. The 5K run/walk starts at 8 a.m., then the Jamboree reconvenes at 5 p.m. with a parade, food and beer stands. Rides open at 6 p.m. and the disc jockey starts at 8 p.m.


A baseball game in June may not typically be a column item, but typically we don’t get to see Superman and Batman at the same place and at the same time. Superhero Night at GCS Stadium in Sauget benefits CASA of Southwestern Illinois, which helps abused and neglected children.

The game — against the Windy City Thunderbolts for you baseball fans — starts at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10; tickets to the pregame picnic and the game are $25. At pregame, you’ll find superhero-themed games, bounce houses, giveaways, costume contest — oh, yes, you should dress appropriately for Superhero night — and more. Go to or call 618-337-3000, ext. 21 for more information.

Wake up

Hundreds of years ago, the Summer Solstice at Woodhenge would have looked a bit different. Sure, they would have been there at the crack of dawn (that’s 5:20 a.m. Sunday), but modern-day sun worshipers will instead learn more about the reconstructed Woodhenge, including more about the form and function of the ancient post circle and how the Mississippian culture may have used it. The event is free; no ceremonies will be conducted. Call 618-346-5160 or go to for more information.

While you’re out and about this weekend, watch out for bikers. The O’Fallon Grand Prix is happening Saturday in rural O’Fallon around the Edward A. Fulton Junior High School; Sunday racers will be zipping around SWIC in Belleville. These are timed races for cash prizes; no little guys on training wheels. Go to for more info.

Mary’s nosy. What did you do this weekend? Email her at or call 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND.