Metro-East News

Five Things To Do This Weekend: Smash, stomp and sing

One really cool tidbit about the News-Democrat newsroom: Our office phones do not show or record phone numbers. So all of you who call and say, “well, you have my number...”. Er, no. Sorry.

Which means I couldn’t return the call of one lovely reader about her very valid “Saturday” question. Gentle reader, this is for you: When we say “Saturday” and you’re reading it in your morning paper that was tossed — I hope carefully — onto your front stoop, we mean “today.” But if you’re reading online, say on Friday morning instead of working (you slacker), then we mean Saturday, or tomorrow. Which is, again, actually today if it’s in print.

Great performances

Fans of PBS’ Great Performances might recognize Laney Jones and the Spirits, who was lauded by Allison Kraus herself, but even those who aren’t can catch the live performance at 2 p.m. Sunday at Espenschied Chapel, 317 County Road, Mascoutah. Their next stop is Nashville, Tenn.

Jones’ voice has been described as “honey and whiskey,” and the indie folk group has performed with Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and more. Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Call 618-566-7425 or go to

Support your local school

While not mutually exclusive, you can help a baseball team or a STEM club this weekend. Or both.

▪  A sports apparel sale this weekend at O’Fallon Township High School will benefit the school’s baseball team. Go for pro and college team T-shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, hats, jackets, blankets and other novelty items. All items will be up to 50 percent off retail price. The sale is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at 650 Milburn School Road, O’Fallon.

▪  The Collisville VFW Post at 1234 Vandalia St. hosts a trivia night at 7 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds are going to the Collinsville High School STEM Club — that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — although questions could be on anything. Doors open at 6 p.m., bring your own food but buy drinks at the bar. Reserve a table for $80 at

Football Saturday

Saturday looks to be sunny with highs in the 60s, and you know what football coaches say about that? It’s good hittin’ weather. Three teams in the metro-east remain in contention for state championships and will take their shots at the final four of their respective classes Saturday.

▪  Expect a no-huddle offense from five-time defending state champions Rochester Rockets as they take on the Althoff Crusaders at 3 p.m. Saturday at Lindenwood in the Class 4A quarterfinals. Althoff senior Jordan Augustine set a new school record with 179-of-246 passing for 2,988 yards and 36 passing touchdowns. Rochester’s QB is pretty close to that, at 152-of-232 for 2,872 yards and 35 touchdowns.

▪  Mater Dei Catholic High School takes on Taylorville at 2 p.m. Saturday at home in their quest for the Class 4A state title. The Knights are coming off a 45-22 win over Columbia High School. Tickets are $6.

▪  In Class 2A, the Nashville Hornets are taking on the Athens Warriors at home, 1300 South Mill St. in Nashville. The Hornets are coming off a 45-18 win over SangamonValley/Tri-City, part of which Hornet coach Tim Kuhn described as “just playing downhill.” Kickoff is 2 p.m. Saturday.


Take some friends and stomp out your aggressions on some nice squishy grapes at the Toast of Marissa. They’ll start off with a Grape Stomp 5K and 1-mile fun run at noon, along with a stomping contest at noon, before opening the stomping to all from 1 to 2 p.m.

A vintage racing car show and cookie contest take place from noon to 3 p.m., and live music goes from 1 to 7 p.m. The full annual toast kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with food and vendor booths, some of which feature wine-related gear.


The Fairview Elks Lodge 664 hosts a free-throw contest at 10 a.m. Saturday at Grant Middle School on Old Lincoln Trail. The contest is open to all — as long as you are 8 to 13 years old. The Belleville Elks will host one in December.