Metro-East News

Five Things To Do This Weekend: The hot air blows and the Germans drink beer, but the mice race on

Sunny and in the 70s this weekend, let’s shake off the back-to-school sniffles long enough to enjoy it, shall we?

Of mice and mustangs

▪  It’s a lot like betting on a horse race, says Dawn Trame, president of the Wesclin Middle School Boosters, of the mouse races the organization plans for 7 p.m. Saturday at the New Baden American Legion Hall.

“You bet on these mice, and you have odds, and there’s a payout,” Trame said of the 10 races, each featuring six contenders. “They’re supposed to go from one end to the other, and that’s not always the case. That’s when people get really excited.”

Admission is $15 a person or $25 per couple, snacks are included but betting is extra. All money raised goes toward a playground (for the kids, not the mice) at Wesclin. Boosters want to raise $125,000 for basketball hoops, swings, a fitness climber and more.

▪  Rescued Mustangs will be available for petting (and planes available for riding if you’re age 8 to 17 and sign up on Saturday for a ride Sunday) at the St. Louis Regional Airport Wings and Wheels Fly-In. The Legendary Mustang Sanctuary will have Scooter and Nellie at the airport from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, and are selling food to raise money for their rescue efforts. Legendary co-founder Kathy Lewis said staff “really bonded” with Scooter and Nellie after they acquired the horses six years ago, but they have Frankie and Smokey Joe ready for adoption back at the ranch. They’ll be at the fly-in from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday as well, when aircraft and automobiles are the main attraction.

Still not October

But it is Oktober at St. Clair School in O’Fallon and Trinity Gardens and Farmstead in Mascoutah on Saturday.

▪  St. Clare School kicks off its Oktoberfest with a “5K Rennen and Weg” for $25 at 4 p.m. Saturday at Third and Cherry streets in O’Fallon. There’s a Mass at 4, along with kids games, inflatables, bingo and more – yes, that means beer. Music starts at 7 p.m., the fest shuts down at 11 p.m.

▪  Trinity Gardens and Farmstead, 11858 Zimmermann Road in Mascoutah, is holding an Oktoberfest from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday featuring music by Danny Krause Band and a wine and beer tasting and silent auction. They’ll also have barn quilts and crafts made by adults with disabilities. The $10 admission benefits Trinity Services programs.

Festival Hispano

Over in Soulard Park at Seventh Street and Lafayette Avenue in St. Louis, the Hispanic Festival is going on this weekend to “unite all Hispanics regardless of their social, economical and political background” while sharing their rich cultures.

According to, its mission is not only to preserve tradition, but also to educate those who have come to the area by adoption. Check it out from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; admission is free.

The education this weekend includes live bands, folk dancing, arts and crafts, a low rider car cruise at 1 p.m. Sunday, kids corner and, or course, food. And if you’re looking for alcohol other than beer at your festival, try the margaritas.

(And because some of us struggled in high school Spanish, the website also translates: Festival Hispano, Septiembre 26, 27; Sabado 9 a.m. - 10 p.m., Domingo 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Parque de Soulard, 7th y Lafayette Ave. Musica Latina en vivo, danzas folkloricas, comida autentica, artesanias hispanas, actividades para ninos, show de vehiculus low rider, margaritas y cerveza. Entrada gratis.)

Take a walk

You’ll miss the hour of good and evil, but not encounters with the dead from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Freivogel Cemetery, 5727 Saxtown Road, Millstadt. About 12 members of the Zion Evangelical Church will be providing appropriately attired first-person accounts of the men and women buried there.

Portrayals include those of the Stelzenriede family, mysteriously killed with strokes of an ax in 1874. The Stelzenriedes are no longer buried there, Pastor Darrell Weber says, but their tombstones and stories remain. Weber says folks of all ages are welcome to the cemetery walk with the actors providing a “first person presentation of their life and times” taking place at their own tombstones. Cost is $5.

Hot Air Balloon & Sport Aviation Show

Keep your eyes open and looking up around the skies of Marine on Saturday. First launch of the four hot air balloons is 7 a.m. Saturday, and exhibits on the ground include helicopters, gliders and home-built airpolanes. Keep an eye out for the sky divers and gyro copters, too. Exhibits and souvenir stands, complete with face painting and raffles to raise money for the Marine Elementary Parent Teacher Organization and the city for sidewalk improvement, start at 7 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. Parking and admission are free, as is offering free airplane rides to kids 18 and younger, too, from the EAA’s Young Eagle Program.

The hot air balloons will launch again at 5:30 p.m. and show their glow on the ground at 7:30 p.m.

The canoes are filled for Saturday morning’s Piasa Creek paddle with HeartLands Conservancy and the Sierra Club, but you can still bring your own canoe and kayak for the trek. Go to for more info.