Metro-East News

Five Things to Do: Salute some arts, eat some injera, make some rope

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

Need some weekend plans? We’ve got them, both near and far.

You know what art shows and festivals have around here — dozens of artists specializing in buckets of media with some live music and food and things for the kids to do, too. Except that statement really does a disservice to the festivals around here.

Salute those arts

Yes, dozens of artists will be at the annual Midwest Salute to the Arts in Fairview Heights. Yes, specializing in all manner of media — clay, paint, pencil, jewelry, glass, photography — that in lesser hands would end up splattered or shattered. And yes, of course, live music and food and children’s activities.

But yes, too, to ceramics that look like metal ( ) and cat art, ( ) hearts and flowers ( and “Where did you take that?” photography ( )

The show is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Fairview Heights’ own Moody Park. The Children’s Gallery is $5, but it’s free to gawk elsewhere. Go to for a music lineup and more.

Go home

Waterloo’s Homecoming is an annual event in the Monroe County town and always on the last weekend of August. Different this year is Saturday night’s parade theme: favorite movie or movie character. I’d expect Minions walking along Moore Street to wind up at Main and First streets during the parade.

Food vendors open at 4 p.m. Saturday and parade kicks off at 5 p.m.; expect craft vendors and carnival rides as well. Music starts at 6 p.m. with Budlight Brigade and Amber Fade Band takes over at 8 p.m.

“It’s pretty packed usually,” said Sarah Deutch of City Hall. The Waterloo Lions and Optimists clubs are in charge of the event, so Deutch and other city employees will be just as surprised as the rest of us on which characters are in the parade.

Music and wishes

Adults can enjoy some bands and beverages and bid for a guitar signed by 32 country music artists; and kids can enjoy carnival games and inflatables and glitter tattoos. Any money raised goes to Wishes with Wings, a Make A Wish Event at the St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Enter your vehicle into a car show for $10, which lasts from noon ’til 6 p.m. Saturday.

Let them make rope

Admit it, you’ve long wondered how stuff is made. And how those settlers way back when got anywhere without wagon tie-downs and bungee cords and, good grief, they lived without Scotch tape.

So they made rope. Go to a rope-making demonstration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday and Sunday at Fort de Chartres State Historic Site, 1350 Illinois Route 155, four miles west of Prairie du Rocher. Visitors can help make the rope, and keep any they make. The fort, museum, reconstructed guard house and power magazine, possibly the oldest building in Illinois, will all be open too. Cost is $4 for adults, $2 for children, or $10 for the whole family.

Belly dance

Take a trip all the way across the big muddy to see parts of the whole world in one place. The annual International Institute’s Festival of Nations is this weekend from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis. Been craving Ethiopian injera? It’ll be there. How about some Turkish jewelry from the world bazaar? Want to learn to belly dance? It’s all part of the more than 40 food booths, 35 gift booths and nonstop music and dance.

Reporter Elizabeth Donald likes Alton’s Food Truck Festival this weekend; while Joseph Bustos, Alexis Cortes, Pat Kuhl and Maureen Houston liked the Festival of Nations. But reporter Tobias Wall is having a garden party. These are the things one learns about coworkers when one asks about weekend plans. What are yours for next weekend? Contact reporter Mary Cooley at or 618-239-2535. Follow her on Twitter: @MaryCooleyBND.