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Historic Christmas celebration this weekend in Ste. Gen

The celebration of the holiday season continues in Ste. Genevieve this weekend with the historic Le Réveillon celebration on Sunday at the Felix Valle House State Historic Site.

Le Réveillon refers to a meal historically eaten in France and French territories after attending church on Christmas Eve. Donna Rausch with the Felix Valle House State Historic Site said a meal estimating what French-Americans would have eaten in the 18th century will be on display Sunday.

“It was basically like a party they would have after they went to church on Christmas Eve,” Rausch said. “There will be food on the table they would have possibly had, according to our research. There will be music and everything will be lit by candles.”

In addition to the prepared food items and decorations adorning the house, Rausch said the site’s staff will be in period dress and explaining the significance of the food and decoration.

“The visitors will not only get to hear about some of the reasons we have the greenery and decorations, but also about what’s on the table and why it’s on the table.

“For instance, there are 13 different desserts, which represents Jesus and the 12 disciples. There’s a lot of symbolism, and people will actually get to taste some of the stuff.”

While the program is entertaining, Rausch said she and the staff try to educate the historical significance of the celebration through interpretation. She said the Le Réveillon has been held at the Felix Valle House State Historic Site for 38 years now, continuing a long tradition stretching back to Ste. Genevieve’s first settlers.

Refreshments will be available and live period music will be performed.

“Just come out and enjoy it,” Rausch said. “It’s kind of a ‘thank you’ from us, because it’s free. It’s our signature event to let everybody see what we’re about.”

The event will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Felix Valle House State Historic Site, located at 198 Merchant Street in Ste. Genevieve. For more information, visit

Senior center accepting donations for gift bags

The Park Hills Senior Center is requesting the public’s help in making the holiday season a little more special for the individuals on the center’s meal delivery routes.

Director Holly Buxton said this year’s holiday effort will look different than years past, but with the same ultimate goal.

“We’ve done ‘adopt-a-senior,’ but we’re doing it a little bit different this year,” she said. “We’ll be sending gifts to all the people that we deliver meals to.”

She said the center’s volunteers deliver meals to 242 people in the community, with each of them receiving a gift bag later this month after donations are compiled.

“Rather than people bringing us money, we’re asking the public to pick something up and bring it right to us to send out in the gift bags,” Buxton said.

She said the staff is looking for items such as toiletries, gloves, sock hats, ear muffs, fruit, candy or anything else that would go well in a holiday gift bag.

In order to give the staff time to sort the items into gift bags, the donations will need to be dropped off at the senior center by Dec. 18.

“We’ll probably send them out on Dec. 21,” Buxton said. “So that will give us a couple days to make them up.”

Buxton said efforts like this are important for the community, especially at a time when it seems like there is less and less good news.

“We honestly hear a lot of bad, but we live in a community where everybody steps up to the plate and helps people out,” she said. “So if the community would like to get involved with this and kind of get into the Christmas spirit, we would really appreciate it.”

For more information, contact the Park Hills Senior Center at 573-431-4974.

Two donations opportunities at Park Hills library

Among the many good causes to donate toward this month, the Park Hills Public Library has two donation drives of its own.

Most importantly, Library Director Lisa Sisk said the library will be accepting donations through the end of the month for Project Backpack for the third year.

“It’s a project through the foster care program and St. Francois County Family Services,” Sisk said. “It provides emergency supplies to kids that are removed from their homes and are not allowed to take anything with them. Some of the kids, when they’re removed from their homes through whatever circumstances, they only leave with the clothes on the back.”

Sisk said the donations collected by the library and other organizations help to stuff backpacks for those children, providing them with the basic essentials to start over again in a new home.

“They have to start somewhere else the very next day, and they may have only left in their pajamas,” she said. “This provides clothes, shoes, toiletries, diapers, wipes, bottles, school supplies and anything that kids would need to start fresh somewhere new.”

In addition to the previously named items, Sisk said good items to donate would be backpacks, toothbrushes, hairbrushes or combs, feminine products, sealed undergarments or socks, new or gently used clothing, gift cards for shoes, pacifiers, nightlights, books, school supplies or stuffed animals.

The donations are accepted as one of the library’s fine forgiveness drives, by which $1 of overdue fines are forgiven for each donated item.

“But most of the time the people who donate do not owe fines to the library,” Sisk said. “They just donate. And we’re happy to be able to do it around the holidays to help them however we can.”

Another donation opportunity through the library is a new one, with connections to the “library of things” offered through the library. The Park Hills’ library of things baking center includes more than 46 items that can be checked out for use, including everything from measuring spoons to cake pans.

“A patron had asked if we’d ever thought of doing a spice rack, and I said, ‘No, but that sounds like a good idea!'” Sisk said.

She said the library is accepting donations of unopened, unexpired spices that can be stored alongside the baking items in the library of things.

“Spices are expensive,” Sisk said. “You might have a recipe that you would use a spice for only one time, and you spent $6 for it, and to never use it again. So we thought if we can get the donations and add to it as we go, we’ll do it.”

Assuming the library receives enough donations to support the program, Sisk said people could bring in their recipes and show how much of a certain spice they needed. Library staff could then give the patrons the requested amount of a certain spice for use, without them having to buy an entire container.

“We’re working from the same premise as we did with our first library of things,” she said. “If we get donations then we’ll provide the service but if we don’t, then we won’t. If people donate, then they’re interested and it would be used. If we don’t get donations, then it probably wouldn’t be anything that anyone would use.”

For more information about donating to these programs, contact the Park Hills Public Library at 573-431-4842.

Community Calendar

Historical Society Meets

The St. Francois County Historical Society will meet 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Farmington Firehouse. The program will be a “Salute to Libertyville.”

Hospice Q&A

Preferred Hospice, 810 Progress Drive in Farmington, will host a Q&A focusing on the ins and out of legal issues for caregivers 6 p.m. Jan. 25.

Health Center Board Meets

The St. Francois County Health Center Board of Trustees will meet 4 p.m. Jan. 25, at the health center, 1025 W. Main St. in Park Hills.

Gospel Singing

East Bonne Terre Baptist Church will host a gospel singing featuring Squire Parsons and special guests Southern Tradition 7 p.m. Jan. 27. A love offering will be taken. For info call 573-330-3783.



Leadington VFW Post hosts Bingo every Wednesday, doors open at 3 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6 p.m.

Mineral Area Woodcarvers

The Mineral Area Woodcarvers meet 5:30-7 p.m. each Thursday at the Farmington Senior Center. All skill levels are welcome.

Al-Anon Meeting

The meetings are held on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in Farmington. Park in the rear of the building and enter through the glass door.

K of C Monthly Dinner

The Bonne Terre Knights of Columbus Council #1088 holds its monthly chicken and dumpling dinner from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Please bring a non-perishable food donation for donation to the Bonne Terre Food Pantry.

St. Francois County Democrat Club

St. Francois County Democrats meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.

Veterans Assistance

VFW, DAV and American Legion Service Officers will be available from 9 a.m. until noon each Wednesday morning at American Legion Post #416 in Farmington to assist veterans and their families regarding VA claims.

American Legion Meets

American Legion Post 416 in Farmington meets 7 p.m. on the 1st Monday of each month and holds their dinner meeting 6 p.m. on the 3rd Monday of each month.


Sayer Center, 109 Lawrence St. in Potosi, hosts a dance 6:30-9:30 p.m. each Saturday night featuring local country music artists and groups. Admission is $6, this is a smoke free and alcohol free event.

Eagles Aerie Bingo

Bonne Terre Eagles Aerie #4210 will host Bingo each Tuesday and Friday evening. Doors open at 4 p.m. and speedball starts at 6 p.m.

Eagles Auxiliary Bingo

Bonne Terre Eagles Auxiliary #4210 will host Bingo each Sunday. Doors open at 11 a.m. and speedball starts at 1 p.m.

Women’s Shooting Club

The women's shooting club meets 6-7 p.m. the 2nd Monday of each month at Ozark Thunder Indoor Gun Range, 5157 Flat River Rd, in Farmington. Women over age 21 are welcome. For info call 573-518-0500.

American Legion Dance

American Legion in Farmington will host a dance from 6-9 p.m. each Friday evening. Admission is $5, this is a smoke free and alcohol free event.

Elks Bingo

Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge 2583 in Desloge will host Bingo each Tuesday afternoon. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., speedball starts at 6 p.m.

Fish Fry

Farmington VFW Post 5896 will hold a Fish Fry (with a weekly special) 5-7 p.m. Fridays (except on Fridays that fall during a holiday week). Call 573-756-8852.

Diabetic Education Classes

Parkland Health Mart hosts diabetic education classes 1 p.m. on the 1st Thursday of each month at Midwest Health Group in Farmington; 1 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at Iron County Hospital; and 10 a.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the boardroom at Madison County Medical Urgent Care. For Info For info email

Grief Support And Loss Group

New Beginnings will host a grief and loss support group 10-11:30 every Wednesday in the conference room at Belgrade State Bank, 414 N. State St. in Desloge.

Adult Coloring Night

Bonne Terre Memorial Library will host an adult coloring night 5-6 p.m. every Wednesday.

Diabetes Self-Management Classes

Parkland Health Center hosts a diabetes self-management class 1-3 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Farmington Public Library. The class is free of charge and open to all ages. Reservations are not required. For info visit or call 573-760-8396.

Irondale Lodge Meets

Irondale Lodge #143 will meet every 1st and 3rd Saturday each month at 7 p.m., meal both days at 6:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.

Samaritan Lodge Meets

Samaritan Lodge 424 AF&AM in Bonne Terre, meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m., Dinner meeting 3RD Thursday only, meal at 6:30 p.m. and meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons welcome.

Movie Night

Bonne Terre Memorial Library will host movie night 6-8 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month. For info call 573-358-2260.

Elvins Ionic Lodge Meets

Elvins Ionic Lodge 154 AF&AM in Desloge meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Meal, both days at 6:30 p.m. and meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons welcome.

National Guard Coffee Break

Former members of the Farmington and Fredericktown National Guard units meet 8 a.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at The Dixie Café, 131 N. Front St. in Park Hills (Old Elvins). All retirees and former members are welcome.

American Legion Bonne Terre Meets

American Legion Post 83 in Bonne Terre meets 5:30 p.m. the 1st Friday of every month.

DAR Meets

The Sarah Barton Murphy chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meet 9a.m. every Saturday at the American Legion Post, 1604 W. Columbia in Farmington.


The Desloge Public Library will host storytime 10:30-11 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. The program is for children ages birth through 5 years and their parents or caregivers.

TOPS Meets

TOPS of Farmington meets every Monday except holidays at the Nazarene Church, 501 N. Middle Street in Farmington. Weigh in at 5 p.m., meeting starts at 5:45 p.m.

Leadwood Lodge Meets

Leadwood Lodge #598 meets the 2nd Saturday of each month. Meet at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are held noon-1 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 Taylor Avenue in Park Hills. For info call 573-482-4120.

Childbirth Class

Parkland Health Center offers a childbirth class from 5-7 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of each month. The class is free of charge and open to any expectant parents. Registration is suggested, for info or reservations call 573-760-8500 or visit

Breastfeeding Class

Parkland Health Center offers a breastfeeding class from 5-7 p.m. the 1st Thursday of each month. The class is free of charge and open to any new or expectant mothers. Registration is suggested, for info or reservations call 573-760-8500 or visit