Metro-East News

Five Things To Do This Weekend: Bundle up for more chili, it’s starting to get scary

Before I die, I want to spend a workday reporting that every foster child is happily and safely homed; and that all children in the metro-east are above average, all the men are good looking and all the women are strong. Write your own “Before I die” statement with chalk on an interactive wall exhibit by Candy Chang at the Schmidt Art Center patio at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. You have until Dec. 4, there’s no limit to word count or to dream level. More pressing are five things that must be done this weekend, or we miss out.

Chili daze

▪  Keep track of the time at the Chili Cookoff and Arts and Crafts fair Saturday at Dupo Community Park. Start off with a Chili Pepper Run at 9 a.m., browse the craft booths at 10 a.m., eat your way through the chili cookoff at 11 a.m. and work it off with the Walk of Honor program at 12:30 p.m. Top it all off with cow patty bingo at 2 p.m. Thrown in the mix are live music, a craft contest and chili cookoff contest.

▪  Over in Mascoutah, the chili cookoff from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area features more than 20 kinds of chili. There’s also a car show, children’s area, crafts, food and entertainment. Car show trophies are awarded at 3 p.m.

Just how evil is it?

The Nature Institute’s “Evil Forest” is so demented they aren’t providing any details of the scares that await the brave souls who hike the trails Saturday evening. Admission is $10 for the challenge between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. at 2213 Levis Lane in Godfrey. The only hint: It’s not recommended for those younger than 13.

Scare up kids fun

▪  Build your own scarecrow from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Belleville, or enjoy artists and crafters work at the parking lot across from 907 W. Main in Belleville. Organizers hope they’re starting an annual tradition with the Midtowne Scarecrow Harvest Festival, running from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rainbow Ranch will provide some farm animals; Red Delicious will provide a food truck; and there will be bakery treats and live music as well. Once the kids tire of the scarecrow, they can make maracas, masks and dream catchers as well.

▪  The Highland Civic Woman’s Club is hosting two days of PumpkinFest at the VFW Post in Highland, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. In addition to carnival rides and bounce house, look to paint baby pumpkins (or wine glasses) and enjoy kettle corn or pumpkin-spice Cappuccinos and more. The pie-eating contest is from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday with a $5 entry fee; a carved pumpkin contest is free.

Trivia for food

Costumes are encouraged at the fourth annual Halloween Trivia Spooktacular. Proceeds from the $10 admission (or $5 with two food items) goes toward the Belleville Community Interfaith Food Pantry. Beer and wine are allowed but not served; expect raffle baskets too. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at Trinity United Church of Christ, at 47 N. Douglas Ave. in Belleville. Call 618-233-2941 or email for more information.

Wear a mask

The East Carondelet Community Center plays host to pro wrestling at 8 p.m. Saturday with Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling champ Flash Flanagan taking on Ron Powers. Seven other matches will include “Relentless” Shane Rich making his SICW debut. Doors open 6:30 p.m., Tickets are $11 for adults and $6 for children under 12. On Saturday, four men will be inducted into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame, including author Bill Apter and Ed Smith, the late referee for the National Wrestling Alliance.