Five Things: Jazz and monsters featured this weekend

Mary Cooley
Mary Cooley

Reporters get all kinds of super-helpful emails, like the one earlier this week that had 35 suggestions of annual maintenance homeowners need to do. So we could check and repair window screens (“Do this in the late winter right before spring,” the Thumbtack editors say) or vacuum refrigerator coils, or we could do anything else. Here are five suggestions that are surely more fun than sealing grout (“This should be done every six months,” they say) on what should be a beautiful weekend.

Drum beat

The Belleville East Marching Lancers could use some new drums. Rather than bake sales or car washes, 40-some high school musicians will be playing their best at Jazz at the B’Eastro on Saturday night, a first-ever event that the school’s director hopes to become the band’s premier fundraiser.

The social hour starts at 7 p.m. at the Bellecourt Manor at 225 East A. Street in Belleville, and continues with dinner inspired by a smoky jazz night in New Orleans, and dancing to music by the Belleville East Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble and Concert Jazz Orchestra, which will play “probably more contemporary than not,” said director Mark Tessereau.

Professionals known as Cornet Chop Suey, sponsored by the St. Louis Jazz Club, will play the more traditional songs in “that New Orleans style” Tessereau said.

Tickets are $40, or $75 for a pair. Call 618-593-1749; tickets will not be available at the door.

Think Green, Part I

The Fort de Chartres State Historic Site is holding “The Art of (Frontier) Life”, including a seed exchange from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, with gardening presentations in the afternoon. Carol Kuntz, the fort’s volunteer gardener, will teach raised garden techniques, as well as how to give fruit trees the most important pruning of the year.

Think green, Part II

The Missouri Botanical Garden has one of the largest orchid collections in the country, with about 7,000 plants representing more than 3,000 species.

The Garden’s annual orchid show is about midway through its run, and will have plants beautifully displayed in the Orthwein Floral Display Hall at MoBot at 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; orchids are on display through March 27. It’s free to members; otherwise it’s $5 plus garden admission ($5.00 per person in addition to regular garden admission of $8; free for children 12 and under.)

Think green, Part III

Even after they’re long dead and squished, plants talk to archeologists. On Sunday, an archeologist specializing in archaeobotany will translate what they’re saying.

Dr. Neal Lopinot, Missouri State University, will give a free lecture on ancient plants called “The Avenue of the Saints Archaeobotany” at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Interpretive Center at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville Road, Collinsville. For more information, call 618-346-5160 or go to

MOBot Orchid Show (with Great Green Adventures)

Dance with monsters

The Monster Jam has Grave Digger and his Monster Truck friends at the Edward Jones Dome on Saturday afternoon. The Pit Party starts at 2 p.m., and showtime at 6:30 p.m. Go to to see a complete list of all the trucks and drivers, some of which will be at the Dome. For tickets starting at $26, go to