Spring festivities, fundraisers, games top things to do in southwest Illinois this week

Noon Friday, March 24, is the deadline to appear in next week’s What’s Happening. We must receive your event in writing with a contact phone number for questions.

Due to the number of submissions received, events may run only one time in print. Submitted event info will be edited and run the week before the event date.

Email: lifestyle@bnd.com. Mail to: Lifestyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427. Questions, call Jennifer Green at 618-239-2643.

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Explore Kaskaskia College Day — 8:30 a.m. to noon Friday, March 24. Kaskaskia College, 27210 College Road, Centralia. The event is free and open to any high school student, parents, or other potential students that wish to visit KC and learn more about the college. Attendees will be able to visit three programs of their choosing to learn more about the different departments and degrees available, meet with faculty, and tour classroom areas. Attendees can learn more about the college’s services, including apprenticeships, clinicals, student life, or take an optional campus tour. Participants for Explore KC Day can register at https://form.jotform.com/220524600160136. Students will receive a free KC swag bag, plus breakfast and lunch will be provided for all attendees and their guests.

Two-Day Giveaway — 9-11 a.m. Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25. 1050 N. State, Freeburg. Free men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, toys, shoes and miscellaneous items. Sponsored by the Freeburg Food and Clothing Bank. 618-539-5070.

Pop-Up Shop — 5-8 p.m. Friday, March 24, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 25. St. Nicholas Activity Center, 625 St. Nicholas Drive, O’Fallon. Great prices on new/tagged and like-new clothing, purses, vintage items, jewelry and home decor. Friday admission for 18 and older: $3 or a pair of new/gently worn men’s jeans. Free admission on Saturday. Proceeds benefit St. Vincent de Paul Help Center/Cosgrove’s Kitchen/OverNight Center in East St. Louis.

Dandy Dancers Square Dance — 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, March 24. Caseyville Township Senior Center, 10001 Bunkum Road, Fairview Heights. Enjoy an evening of fun and exercise. Want to learn? Ask about lessons. For more information contact Rick 618-234-1311 or Mike 618-566-8752. Mark your calendar for Friday, April 28, for the next dance.

Caffeine and Chrome — 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 25. Gateway Classic Cars, 1237 Central Park Drive #1, O’Fallon. Cruise in with your collectible car or daily driver and bring your appetite. Indulge in pastries and coffee* (while supplies last). All makes and models are welcome, with plenty of parking space. This is a family and pet friendly event. Free and open to the public. facebook.com/events/1467388670415073

Hands-Free Grocery and Diaper Giveaway — 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25. Collinsville-Troy Church of Christ, 1400 Troy Road, Collinsville. This will include a two day supply of non-perishable goods for a family of four, a gift certificate for fresh meat, laundry detergent, and for those who need them, diapers and baby wipes. The giveaway will last until supplies are depleted. Please enter the church parking lot by the east entrance off Formosa Road from Commercial Drive. The clothing and coat closet will also be open for guests who wish to park and enter the building.

Wiccan Spring Story Time — 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Collinsville Memorial Public Library, 408 W. Main St., Collinsville. Join Sam as they share and explore stories about celebrating Ostara and Spring. Books being read: “Give Bees a Chance” by Bethany Barton and “Ostara” by Grani Hulda. facebook.com/CollinsvilleMemorialLibraryCenter

Central Illinois Numismatic Association 33rd annual Spring Coin Show — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Northfield Center I, 3210 Northfield Drive, Springfield. U.S. and foreign coins, ancient and modern coins, gold and silver bullion, American eagles, paper money. Admission: $1. Members of the Central Illinois Numismatic Association and children under 16 get in free. Open to the public. 217-528-7634.

Poetry at the Point — 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28. Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Ave., St. Louis. Featuring Paul Stroble, Robert Lowes & Floyd Boykin Jr. Brought to you by Saint Louis Poetry Center, Poetry at the Point invites local and regional poets to Focal Point in Maplewood for an in-person and live-stream event. Poets will read from their work, followed by a discussion with the series curator Kenneth Pruitt. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m. at Focal Point, and will also be streamed live to Saint Louis Poetry Center’s website and Facebook page. Books may be for sale from the featured poets. This event is free.

Kellsie’s Hope annual Bellegaritaville Pub Crawl - Back to the ‘80s — 6 p.m. Saturday, April 1. Downtown Belleville. Charity Pub Crawl benefitting Kellsie’s Hope Foundation giving hope to children with cancer. Includes crawl T-shirt and free drink ticket. VIP Pre-Party includes two extra hours of food and drink, two drink tickets, appetizers during event, plus everything included in the pub crawl. Ten select Downtown Belleville venues participating. https://bit.ly/3Je9J1o

Shoe Collection Drive Fundraiser — Through Saturday, May 6. Drop off at multiple locations. Fundraising for 4 Paws for Ability Autism Assistance Dog for 22-month-old Tucker. How to help: Donate new or gently worn shoes (mens, womens, or kids—no cleats, please). Pick up can be arranged for group donations. The goal is to collect 100 bags of shoes to raise funds to help cover fees for a service dog for Tucker. Drop-off locations: Tri Township Library, Troy; What the cup? (Friday-Sunday), Troy; Bulldog Barber Shop, Highland; Edwardsville Pet Hospital, Edwardsville; Papa Wally’s Produce, Shiloh. For more info: facebook.com/4paws4tucker.

Worth the Drive

Exhibit Opening: ‘Here I Have Lived: Home in Illinois’ — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Thursday, March 23, through Jan. 21, 2024. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield. The major new exhibit will explore the elusive idea of “home” and the many different ways Illinoisans have made this state their home over the centuries. presidentlincoln.illinois.gov

A bust owned by Abraham and Mary Lincoln (pictured) will be part of the exhibit opening Thursday, March 23, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.
A bust owned by Abraham and Mary Lincoln (pictured) will be part of the exhibit opening Thursday, March 23, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

River-to-River Trail Society Free Guided Hike: Gum Springs to JD Falls (Johnson County) — 10 a.m. Saturday, April 1. Meet at New Simpson Hill School, Ozark. Led by Sam Morales, 618-384-1312. These hikes are of at least moderate difficulty, and are intended for people in good health who have done some hiking. Boots or sturdy shoes and a walking stick are recommended for all hikes. Hikers should bring their own water and a snack. No dogs, please. Free and open to the public. No reservations required. rivertorivertrail.net

Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance Ostara Ritual — 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Gaia House, 913 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale. The gathering starts at 6 p.m. with the ritual to follow at 7 p.m. A potluck will follow. Please bring what you can to share. For suggestions, visit the SIPA Facebook page. This is a free public event open to all ages including well-behaved children. No pets please. Only certified service animals are allowed in Gaia House. Masks are still required in Gaia House. sipagan.com


Euchre — 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 24. Smithton Senior Center, 711 S. Main St., Smithton. Doors open at 6 p.m. Snacks welcome. Water, soda and coffee will be available for purchase. Masks not required. 618-791-8769 or 618-698-3785.

Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge Sunday Night Bingo — 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge, 2425 N. Illinois St., Swansea. Games start at 6:30 p.m. Early Bird at 6:15 p.m. Cards sold at 5 p.m. Open to the public. Bring a canned good for one free card.

Metro Cribbage Club — 12:30 p.m. Mondays. American Legion Post 365, 1022 Vandalia St., Collinsville. For more information, contact Yvonne Bright, 618-344-1521 or ybrightmail@gmail.com.

Troy Senior Center Bingo — 12:30 p.m. Mondays. Tri-Township Park, Wiesemeyer Building, 410 Wickliffe St., Troy. Includes light snack, cash prizes. No cost to play, no RSVP required. 618-667-2022.

Bunco Party — 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23. St. James Parish Center, 405 Madison St., Millstadt. Registration at 6:30 p.m. Includes 50/50 drawing, homemade dessert buffet. Everyone wins a prize. Tickets are $10 and available at the door. Proceeds benefit the Meal Program at Millstadt Township Senior Center. 618-476-3731.

Scotch Doubles Bowling Fundraiser — 9 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Camelot Bowl, 801 Beltline Road, Collinsville. Prizes for top three games and top three series. Every bowler receives an attendance prize. Cost: $32 per couple. Sponsored by Diamond Cats Ladies Softball Team. 618-345-1239 or sportyone58@yahoo.com.

Belleville Historical Society Trivia Night — 7 p.m. Friday, March 31. Union United Methodist Church, 721 E. Main St., Belleville. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Silent auction, 50/50 raffle, alive-or-dead and heads-tails contests, survivor round. Soda available and free water but no alcohol. Former BND Answer Man Roger Schlueter will emcee. Cost: $20 per person, tables up to eight players. For reservations: Larry Betz, 618-531-7753. Sponsored by Belleville Historical Society.

Optimist Club of Belleville Foundation Trivia Night — 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1. Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge, 2425 N. Illinois St., Swansea. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. BYO food and snacks. Cash bar. No outside drinks allowed. Cash prizes, 50/50 raffles. Cost: $15 per person, tables of six to eight players. Proceeds to support programs for area youth. For reservations and info: 618-741-3345 or barbaraannhohlt@icloud.com.

Rock and Roll Bingo — 7 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Swansea Improvement Hall, 216 Service St., Swansea. Rock and Roll Bingo is bingo, but not as you know it. The numbers have been replaced with the names of singers and bands, and the caller has been replaced with rapid-fire song clips. Rock and Roll Bingo features a wide variety of musical genres, including classic rock, oldies, disco, country and hip-hop. Players must identify the artists on their bingo card to win! Prizes will be awarded for the winner (s) of each game. Cost: $25 per packet of cards; 12 games. Proceeds will go towards expenses for the IL Dyehards Softball Team to participate in the National Senior Games in Columbus, Ohio, in May. 618-345-1239.


Elizabeth Lakamp’s Tribute to the Troops — 12:30-4 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Belleville Union United Methodist Church, 721 E. Main St., Belleville. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. with presentation of colors and show at 2 p.m. Join the nonprofit event in honor of Vietnam Veterans Day with this tribute and long-awaited “welcome home” to our Vietnam era vets. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased online at https://bit.ly/3YVYQHl.

Heartland Community Chorus Spring Concert: ‘Celtic Celebration’ — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26. St. Paul Church, 1411 Main St., Highland. Enjoy traditional Irish folk music in wonderful choral arrangements. The singers will be joined by a fiddle, penny whistle, bodhran (Irish drum), and additional percussion instruments. In addition to folk songs, there will also be choral settings of poems by William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet who is one of the foremost figures in twentieth century literature. Tickets for the concert are $15 (16 and under are free) and are available from any chorus member, or use your credit card to purchase tickets on the website: heartlandcommunitychorus.org.

Evangel University Sinfonia performs at O’Fallon Assembly of God in O’Fallon on Sunday, March 26.
Evangel University Sinfonia performs at O’Fallon Assembly of God in O’Fallon on Sunday, March 26.

Evangel University Sinfonia — 10 a.m. Sunday, March 26. O’Fallon Assembly of God, 1400 N. Green Mount Road, O’Fallon. The repertoire of the Sinfonia includes classical, sacred and contemporary Christian arrangements for orchestra, as well as various arrangements for voices with orchestral accompaniment.

St. Paul Fine Arts Series: SWIC Jazz Band — 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26. St. Paul UCC, 115 W. B St., Belleville. The program will include traditional and contemporary music for the jazz band, with guest studio orchestra musicians from the St. Louis area. For more information, call the church office 618-233-3303. A free-will offering will be received. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the St. Paul Fine Arts Series and the Foundation of SWIC.

The St. Louis Black Repertory Company presents ‘Skeleton Crew’ — 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 (opening night). The Black Rep, 813 N. Skinker, St. Louis. The Great Recession threatens the future of one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit, and with it—the future of those whose jobs are on the line. Each worker must grapple with how to move forward if the plant goes under. But plant manager Reggie has a unique set of challenges as his role in the leadership painfully separates him from those in his work family. “Skeleton Crew” is the third of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit cycle trilogy. For additional performance dates and ticket info: theblackrep.org.

Clubs & Support Groups

Highland Garden Club — 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23. Latzer Library Auditorium, lower level, 1001 Ninth St., Highland. Randy Harrison, Master Gardener, Naturalist and Astronomer will talk about Astronomy and Moon Gardens. If weather permits, telescope viewing will be available following the program. Guests are always welcome.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Family Support Group — 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23. Online via Zoom. These support meetings are for family members, significant others and/or friends of persons with a mental health condition. Facilitators: Pat Rudloff and Beverly Churchill. Held the fourth Thursday of the month. For information: kelly.nami.swi@gmail.com or 618-798-9788.

Granite City Senior Social Club Spring Dance — Sunday, March 26. Granite City Township Hall, 2060 Delmar Ave., Granite City. Featuring: Frankie and the Houseshakers. Refreshments included. Cost: $10 per person at the door. For more info: Diana, 618-444-6771; Marty, 618-797-6749; Granite City Township Office, 618-877-0513.

Grief Share Seminar/Group — 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through April 4. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fellowship Hall, lower level, 1300 Beltline Road, Collinsville. Weekly seminar and support group for those grieving the death of a loved one. Featuring practical suggestions and reassurance through video interviews with counselors, grief experts and others who experienced the death of a loved one. There will be 13 sessions that can be started any session. Fee: $20 for the workbook. For info or to register: 618-344-3151 or bklee54@yahoo.com.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group — 6:30-8 p.m. Online via Zoom. Free peer-to-peer support group for adults with a mental health condition working towards recovery. Every Wednesday. Open the Zoom app and enter 3914844542. For information: kelly.nami.swi@gmail.com or 618-798-9788.


Waterloo VFW Post #6504 Fish Fry — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays. Waterloo VFW Post #6504, 406 Veterans Drive, Waterloo. Traditional Menu of cod, walleye, catfish, shrimp, chicken, chicken strips, hamburgers, fries, slaw, hush puppies, onion rings, fried green beans and fried mushrooms. Cash bar available. Dine-in or carryout. Credit/debit cards accepted. Orders can be called in at 618-939-7999.

O’Fallon Fish K of C Fry — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. Fridays. Knights of Columbus Hall, 402 E. U.S. 50, O’Fallon. Traditional menu of cod and several side dishes. Dine-in and carryout. Credit cards accepted. Orders can be called in at 618-632-6229. facebook.com/KnightsOfColumbus4239

Swansea Fish Stand – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays. 216 Service St., Swansea. Cod, walleye, catfish, shrimp and more. Open for carryout, call-in and dine-in orders. 618-222-7171. facebook.com/swanseafishstand

KC Club and Event Center Fish Fry — 3-7 p.m. Fridays. 5420 Old Collinsville Road, O’Fallon. Catfish plates, cod plates, barbecue chicken, fries, cole slaw, hush puppies, baked beans, potato salad. Dine in or carryout and drink specials. 618-632-5222 or facebook.com/KCClubEastStLouis.

St. Mary’s Fish Fry — 4-6:30 p.m. Fridays during Lent. St. Mary’s Church, 1706 W. Main St., Belleville. Freshly prepared fish and choice of sides. Drive-thru only. Cash, credit/debit or check accepted. Enter the campus via 17th Street, order when you arrive and your take-home feast will be hot-and-ready when you drive around to the food preparation area.

Highland Knights of Columbus Fish Fry — 4-7 p.m. Fridays during Lent. Highland Knights of Columbus, 12454 IL Route 143, Highland. Fried and baked fish, fried shrimp, chicken strip dinners, two sides from fries, cole slaw, macaroni salad, applesauce, plus hush puppies, bread, iced tea, coffee. Cash bar. facebook.com/HighlandKnightsofColumbusCouncil1580

Maryville MPH Church Knights of Columbus Fish Fry — 4-7 p.m. Fridays during Lent. MPH Parish Center, 200 N. Lange, Maryville. Costs: $12 for two pieces of cod fish, choice of fries or onion rings, cole slaw (homemade), bread, two hush puppies (homemade) and a drink; $8 for one piece of cod fish, fries or onion rings, cole slaw, bread, two hush puppies and a drink. mph.dio.org

St. Joseph Church Fish Fry — 4-7 p.m. Fridays through March 31. St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 6 N. Alton St., Freeburg. Fried cod loins (plate, sandwich or pound), baked cod, shrimp, green beans, fries, homemade slaw, stewed tomatoes, mac and cheese. Orders taken in person or by calling 618-539-4720. Sponsored by the Support Committee.

St. Henry Lenten Fish Fry — 4-7:30 p.m. Fridays through April 7. Msgr. Voss Parish, 5303 W. Main St., Belleville. Fried cod, baked salmon, fried shrimp, cole slaw, French fries, onion rings, mac n’ cheese, hush puppies, spaghetti, soup, dessert. Cash or credit cards accepted. Dine in and carryout. No call-in orders. 618-233-2423.

St. Teresa Men’s Club Fish Fry — 4-7:30 p.m. Fridays, March 24 & 31. St. Teresa School, 1108 Lebanon Ave., Belleville. Fish, shrimp, spaghetti, sides. Sandwich or dinner plate. Dine in or carryout. facebook.com/stteresamensclubfishfry

Friday Fish Fry — 4-8 p.m. Fridays. Millstadt Sportsmen’s Club, 4915 Schmidt Lane, Belleville. Cod, shrimp, walleye, salmon patties. Carryouts available. 618-476-1891.

Aviston Legion Fish Fry — 4:30-7 p.m. Fridays. American Legion Post 1239, 601 S. Clinton, Aviston. Cod (baked or fried), catfish, shrimp, hush puppies, chicken strips, fries, baked potato, slaw, applesauce. Dine-in and carryout. 618-228-7311. avistonlegion.com

Queen of Peace Fish Fry — 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, March 24. Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 5915 North Belt West, Belleville. Enjoy cod, fish (baked) tacos, peel-and-eat shrimp, salad, homemade sides – French fries, QP slaw, mac & cheese, potato salad. Dine in/carryout. facebook.com/QPRaiders

St. Joseph Lenten Fish Fry — 5-7 p.m. Fridays through March 31. 901 N. Alton St., Lebanon. Fried cod, catfish, shrimp, French fries, cole slaw, potato salad, applesauce and desserts. Dine in or carry out.

Okawville American Legion Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Fridays. American Legion Post 233, 205 N. Hanover St., Okawville. Dine in or carryout. Also serving lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday with a salad bar. Pizza made fresh and served every day. facebook.com/OkawvilleLegion

Quail Club Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Fridays through April 7. Quail Club, 8303 Concordia Church Road, Belleville. Cod cut-ups, walleye, shrimp, burgers. Sides and desserts available. Carryout available. No phone orders. quailclub.com/fish-fry

Smithton Turner Hall Fish Fry — 5-8 p.m. Fridays during Lent. Turner Hall, 115 N. Julia, Smithton. Baked and fried cod loins in both plates and by the pound, grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, fries, baked potato, cole slaw, stewed tomatoes, mac and cheese and hush puppies. Plus desserts provided by the Smithton Turner Ladies. Dine in with plenty of seating or call in a carryout. 618-277-9690.

St. Stephen Church’s Men’s Club Chicken Dinner — 3-6 p.m. Saturday, March 25. Voigt Hall, 901 S. Main St., Caseyville. Eat in or carryout. For more info, call 618-398-9928 on day of event.

St. Paul United Church of Christ Chicken Dinner — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 26. St. Paul United Church of Christ, 123 E. Dee St., Lebanon. Menu: Fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, slaw, Texas gooey cake/gooey butter cake. Cost: $13. Drive-thru only. 618-537-4991 or 618-537-4182.

Reservations Required

AARP Tax Aide — 9-11:30 a.m. Fridays, March 24, 31 and April 7 (by appointment). Glen Carbon Centennial Library, 198 S. Main St., Glen Carbon. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program provides free tax preparation assistance to anyone. IRS-certified volunteers make filing taxes easy for you. Call 618-288-1212 to schedule an appointment during library hours. glencarbonlibrary.org

Boat America Course — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lake Lou Yeager Beach House, 4943 Beach House Trail, Litchfield. This exciting, in-depth boating safety course will give you knowledge to enhance your boating experience. It will cover general boating terms, boating laws and regulations, boating equipment, navigation rules, operating your vessel safely, anchoring, personal watercraft and so much more. The boating class will give you the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification. In Illinois, those born after Jan. 1, 1998, need to have one to pilot a boat. Cost: $25, includes the course book, boating safety certificate, boating safety wallet card and end of course exam. A $5fee for each additional person, after a book has been purchased, includes the certificate, wallet card and end of course exam. To guarantee a book and seating, register by contacting Public Education Officer Larry Miller at 618-616-9415, eljayem@gmail.com.

Virtual Evening Flow Yoga — 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29. Online via Zoom. A Slow Flow mixed levels practice that will lead you through a series of yoga poses that focus on strengthening, lengthening, and stretching. Requires registration. Instructed by Anne Hughes. Register at glencarbonlibrary.org.

Virtual Saturday Morning Yoga — 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 1. Online via Zoom. Get fit and healthy when you join us for an energizing session of yoga with instructor Sarah Hartwig. Space is limited. Registration required. Register at glencarbonlibrary.org.

Community Link Run for Possibilities Gala — 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1. American Legion, 575 N. Main St., Breese. The evening will kick off with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. The silent auction, photo booth, and horse wheel will be available. Dinner, catered by Cygan and Delaney, will begin at 6 p.m. with the games and celebration commencing about 7:15 p.m. The night will round out with a live auction followed by the drawings for the race winners at 10:15 p.m. For tickets and info: commlink.org/gala.