Metro-East News

Make this weekend about dads and suns

Sunup to sundown, the five things to do this weekend column is here to help your weekend stay active. Now, if you’ve been waiting for the temperatures to fall short of “blazing” to merely “quite warm” to mow the lawn, this might also be the time to do take care of that. But any one of these things would be more fun. (And kids, if you made Mom breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day, perhaps dd has something he would like you to do on Father’s Day?)

Dawn, Sunday

Most days of the year, Woodhenge is a bunch of posts around a central post near Cahokia Mounds State Historic Park.

But at 5:20 a.m. Sunday morning will be one of its glory moments. Bill Iseminger, the site’s director, will be there to talk about the people who lived in the area 1,000 years ago, as well as how Woodhenge was discovered and what archaelogoists think it all means.

Visitors will stand around the center post, and as the sun rises it should line up nearly perfect with a certain post marking the summer solstice. Technically that day is Monday, but the site observes it on the Sunday closest to the event to allow more people to attend. There will be no rituals or ceremonies at the free event.

The site is typically open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information about the site, go to

International SUNday

Local astronomers are celebrating the Second Annual SUNday Festival, and are ready to share their special solar telescopes. (Kids, don’t try this at home.)

“It’s not every day you can safely view the sun with the guidance of local astronomers,” event organizer Eddie Agha, local amateur astronomer said in a news release. “Our equipment allows viewers to see into the heart of our nearby incredible nuclear furnace and how often do people have that opportunity?”

Telescopes available allow sungazers to view the star through hydrogen alpha, calcium, and white light. The astronomers will also be available from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday to answer questions at the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower at 435 Confluence Tower Drive in Hartford. For more information, call 618-251-9101 or go to

Admission to the event is free; tours of the tower are free for children younger than 2 and go up to $4 for adults. On Sunday, men who are with their families will get a free tour of the tower.

Almost Grammy

This weekend, two Grammy-nominated artists are performing in the area. For free!

▪  Peace Fest 2 from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, downtown East St. Louis on Collinsville Ave. The free event features Grammy nominated R&B artist Syleena Johnson, with special guest Fresco Kane.

▪  Youth Empowerment Arts and Harmony – better known as the YEAH Music Festival — is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, in Moody Park, Fairview Heights. The headline artist is three-time Grammy nominee Oleta Adams. Childrens activities include a petting zoo. The event is free.

Going home

▪  The New Baden June Jamboree is from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at the Village Park. The parade starts at 5 p.m., when stands and rides also open. The Beaucoup Bottom Band starts at 8 p.m.

▪  Glen Carbon Homecoming continues on Saturday, from 4 p.m. to midnight, with a parade on Main Street between School and Spruce at 5 p.m. Games include Smash-A-Car and Laser Tag.

▪  6/18 Day kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with a parade starting at East St. Louis High School and going to the Jones Park in East St. Louis. Features sandal giveaways, bounce houses, free food and haircuts.

Eat like a child

See what happens when 42 children take part in a two-week drama camp by watching “How To Eat LIke a Child” at 7 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Hall at Althoff Catholic High School, 5401 W. Main St., Belleville. The kids, ages 5 to 14 learned songs, dances, and skits. The play includes how to beg for a dog, how to torture your sister, how to act after being sent to your room, and how to laugh hysterically. Tickets are $5 each.