© 2023 WSIU Public Radio
WSIU Public Broadcasting
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A busy Memorial Day weekend in Southern Illinois

Original artwork by Feri Saputra

Commentary: HerrinFesta Italiana, launched in l991. Here comes a wonderful weekend in Herrin for the entire region. It’s a family affair and a different twist with FREE entertainment in the Entertainment Tent next to Herrin Civic Center, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Check out the schedule on FB HerrinFesta. The Grand Parade is Saturday at 11 a.m. from Anderson State Farm north to Ron Ward Chevrolet. Golf and Bocce, Poster contest winners, road races, a Festa Grand Carnival, and yes, there are armbands for sale. Food and drink throughout the Festa. Welcome.

MAYOR STEVE FRATTINI in one of the busiest weeks of the year in his City of Herrin, celebrated his birthday, Thursday, May 25. He will blow out the candles with his family and friends. Happy Birthday Mayor, a wish for easy roads ahead.

MARKET STREET MUSIC CONSERVATORY presents their Community Choir Memorial Day Concert Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m.  Tremendous talent.  Location across from Bennie’s Restaurant and #2BlocksFromTheClock

 HERRIN CITY LIBRARY presents a "History of Herrin” Movie and Museum Tour (perfect for Festa and Reunion visitors), 2 p.m. Friday, May 26 in the Tony Galines Room. Free admission. It is 41fascinating minutes of Herrin, combining rare archival footage, vintage photos and contemporary interviews. Produced and directed by Gordon Pruett. Tour the newly expanded Herrin History Room after the film.

 DOUGHBOY MEMORIAL SERVICE: This annual event is set for 9 a.m. Memorial Day, May 29 at the Doughboy monument, across from Herrin City Hall. Herrin American Legion hosts their annual Memorial Day BBQ from Noon to 4:30 p.m. BBQ sandwiches with sides. Active military and their families eat free. Veterans with ID $3.00, and Non-Veterans $6. Entertainment by Tom Wallace.

GARDEN WALK:  Mandala Garden is the most unique 7-acre garden in southern Illinois. An urban farm at l704 North State Street in Marion. Just minutes from downtown, perfect for a picnic, a siesta, a stroll, a photographic wonder. Open to the public daily 8 a.m. to dark. Look for special events this Memorial Day weekend. Bring a pet, a person, yourself. Look for hidden benches. Escape the noise of noon.

NEW VENTURE:  Grand opening of retired Judge Paul and Susan Jones Murphy’s daughter-in-law’s new business, Stone Hall Cabinetry, Clayton Rd., in Ladue, Mo last week. Rebekah Moore Murphy, wife of their son Greg Murphy and daughter of Appellate Judge James R. Moore and Cindy Moore of Carterville. Rebekah is an SIU graduate with an advanced degree from Webster University in St. Louis.

She has received numerous design awards for her work in the St. Louis area. The business is located in the recently restored Ladue Market, formerly a grocery store. The remodeling work was designed by Rebekah and executed by Period Restoration, owned by Randy Renner and sons, who partner with Rebekah on projects. Cheers.


MOVING: For many people La Fiesta is a favorite Mexican restaurant moving to just off Rt. 13 in the former Pizza Hut building with a new look and restoration in Marion. Cheers for their Grand Opening May 22. Plenty of parking.

NEED ADVISEMENT: Small Business Advisement at EThOs Friday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Small Business Development Center at SIU will hold FREE advisement appointments at EThOs at the Citadel on Tower Square in Marion, above The Vault Restaurant. Schedule an appointment with the SBDC call 618-536-2424.


 MUSIC:   Johnathan Len and the Double Edge Band will be at VFW Post 1301 in Marion on June 2. Tickets $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. Music 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Len was a singer with the Blend group. Contact 618-203-7790 for tickets.

 DUELING PIANOS:  Coming to Herrin Civic Center Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Some of the finest pianists in the area will be playing the keys. Host is Kent Zimmer. Tix $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Reserve a table for 8 if you wish. Tickets available at Baldwin Piano and Organ Center in Herrin or Herrin Civic Center. For information call 618-942-6115 or 618-942-5115. All proceeds go to Herrin House of Hope. Stay tuned.

 SNAPSHOTS: Coming up. Are you brave; do you want to do this? At Southern Illinois Veterans Airport June 23-25, fly in the Midwest Aviation FBO during the B25 Tour. Check it out on their Facebook page. Book now, there is a cost. It’s not for everyone.

Gene Stiman, the legendary trombonist, 99 years old and Herrin native, was honored Tuesday night with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Mayor’s HerrinFesta Honoree Banquet at Herrin Civic Center. Many of his students, band mates, family and friends were on hand to honor him. Champagne and Roses for spectacular Stiman who played for all of us with The Festa Trio. Stiman and his trombone- making magic. Check out the Stiman exhibit which heralds his long musical career at Herrin City Library.

Wonders happen. Our Swinford Publications publisher, Bill Swinford, is taking to the stage August 11-13 at Skyline Creek Productions of “Oklahoma” at MCCC. What a lark, many will be on hand to witness this one.

MEMORIAL DAY ~ We remember those who served and remain with us, and those who served and rest in cemeteries across the land. And our own loved ones who sleep now where silken green grass tickles their tombstones. They remain in our minds and our hearts. Wishing you and yours a fine holiday weekend.  Let’s talk next week.


Cheryl is a freelance columnist who writes about her native southern Illinois. A Mid-Western woman through and through. Contact her at CRTheSouthern@aol.com or 618-993-8173.

Cheryl is a freelance columnist who writes about her native southern Illinois. She left for college and came right back. Home is home in her heart. Contact her at 618-993-8173 or CRTheSouthern@aol.com
As a WSIU donor, you don’t simply watch or listen to public media programs, you are a partner. By making a gift, you help WSIU produce, purchase, and broadcast programs you care about and enjoy – every day of the year!