Category: Life & Culture

Jan 18

2017 Soulard Mardi Gras Festivities

When you mention Mardi Gras in St. Louis, most of us think of Soulard, home to one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans. The Soulard festivities last for weeks, beginning with Twelfth Night in January and ending with the Bud Light Grand Parade on February 25. Here are the top events and activities during the 2017 Soulard Mardi Gras.

Family Winter Carnival – January 21

The Family Winter Carnival is a chance for everyone to get into the Mardi Gras spirit. There are live performances, arts and crafts and a children’s parade. The carnival is held at Soulard Market Park.

Snowman Softball Tournament – January 28 – 19

Snow or Shine! The region’s premier winter adult softball tournament returns for its sixth year at Central Fields in Forest Park. This year, over 90 teams will compete for the title in their respective division. The coed division plays Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 a.m., and the mens division plays Sunday, January 29 at 7:30 a.m.

Wine Beer and Whiskey Taste – February 10

Spend the evening sampling beverages and meeting the makers of more than 50 beverages from Missouri and beyond. From 7 p.m. – 11 p.m., Guests can enjoy samples of award-winning barbecue from a variety of Award Winning BBQ. Music for the evening will be provided by DJ Quain. Tickets are 40 in advance; $50 at the door

Cajun Cook Off – February 11

You are sure to get your fill of Cajun and Creole food at the Cajun Cook-Off. Learn the secrets of Cajun cooking from the best chefs in St. Louis while enjoying complimentary dishes prepared by them. In addition from learning from the professionals you can also check out the amateur chef scene in st. louis as they display their skills and compete against other amateur chefs. Everyone who attends gets food, Bud Light and hurricanes. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.

Missouri Lottery 5k Run for Your Beads – February 18

Get your exercise, St. Louis Mardi Gras style! Show up in your best purple, gold, and green costume and race your way through the historic Soulard neighborhood. In true Mardi Gras spirit, pit stops along the race route will hand out complimentary beer and hurricanes (for runners 21 and older). All registrants will receive a limited edition 5K Run for Your Beads t-shirt. Tickets are $25 until February 10; $30 after February 10 to race day; $35 on Race Day

Cruzan Rum Taste of Soulard – February 18 – 19

This unique self-guided tasting and pub crawl has become one of the most popular events of the Mardi Gras season. Every $25 ticket includes one drink voucher and six food vouchers. You choose the six dishes you wish to sample from a range of Cajun-inspired options.  Saturday attendees can enjoy complimentary trolley rides from one establishment to the next, guided as always by the world famous Soulard Trolley Tramps. Tickets are $25

Beggin’ Pet Parade  – February 19

The Guinness World Record holder for largest costumed pet parade in the world celebrates its 24th year!  Thousands of festive four-legged (and other animal friends) strut their style as they step off at 1 p.m. from 12th and Allen. Those deemed best dressed are selected as members of the Court of the Mystical Krewe of Barkus and make the cut to be part of the Coronation pageant (8th and Lafayette) where the King and Queen of Barkus are crowned.  Of course, the party continues after Coronation with a free concert in the Soulard Market Plaza.

Wiener Dog Derby – February 19

The longest-running dachshund derby in America is back. Enjoy the Sport of Weenies as wiener dogs compete in three age-based categories: Cocktail Weenies, Ballpark Franks, Wiener Wannabe and Hot Dogs, for the title of fastest Weenie! The races take place over a series of elimination heats until we have the Dash of Champions in each age category.

Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball – February 24

The Mayor’s Ball is one of the year’s most anticipated social events. The Black Tie Gala in the Rotunda of St. Louis City Hall is a one-of-a-kind fairy tale evening of great food, cocktails, dancing, and spectacular entertainment.  The night always culminates with a packed dance floor of energized, blissful revelers dressed in alluring gowns and modish tuxedos pulsating to the beat of the music and glittering in the mesmerizing, brilliant light show illuminating the rotunda.  Tickets are $150 for General Admission

Bud Light Grand Parade – February 25

This is the big event of Mardi Gras, bringing tens of thousands of revelers to the streets of Soulard. Some 130 Krewes spend months building their floats, hoping to win prizes and bragging rights at the parade. In addition to the floats, there are also marching bands and, of course, millions of beads flying through the air. The parade begins at 11 am Busch Stadium, makes its way into the heart of Soulard and ends at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

 

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Jan 03

City Museum: Endless Fun

Visitors have dubbed St. Louis’ City Museum many things—a warehouse of fun, a jungle gym of exploration, a playground for all ages.

No matter what you call it, one thing’s certain: City Museum can be described in two words — “Endless fun.”

This is a “museum” like none other. Don’t ask for a map—there aren’t any. That just enhances the sense of adventure as visitors explore and experience surprises around virtually every corner.

With several stories in the massive former International Shoe Company; an outdoor, mega-story playground and rooftop full of the unexpected, plan to spend a day—or days—exploring and having fun.

Climb, skip, slide, crawl, jump, swing and sweat your way through the museum as you:

  • Slide down 24 (count ‘em—24!) slides including two that whisks visitors 10 stories down to the bottom
  • Swoop down ramps in the skate-less skate park
  • Spin around on a human hamster wheel

  • Climb your way to new heights through slinky-like metal coils
  • Get lost in a five-story outdoor maze of metal called MonstroCity with corkscrew climbers, two Sabre 40 airplanes, castle tower, treehouse and more
  • Explore a labyrinth of other-wordly caves, tunnels and chutes
  • Gaze in awe as the “Puking Pig” dumps 88 gallons to a stream below every 90 seconds.
  • Stroll through a life-sized kaleidoscope
  • Watch in awe as kids fly in all directions at Everyday Circus performances.

Those wanting a less physical visit can marvel at the millions of mosaics on the museum’s floors, enjoy the St. Louis Art Centre, watch a vintage machine make shoelaces and gape the recycled and repurposed items of some of the museum’s walls. Or they can scrutinize griffins, gargoyles and grotesques and facades of vintage buildings, then kick back and enjoy an alcoholic beverage at a museum cafes.

At Beatnik Bob’s Museum of Mirth, Mystery and Mayham, visitors can gawk at an oddities including a trailer owned by Elvis, the world’s largest pair of underpants, robots and vintage pinball machines.

Young visitors get their own kicks in Toddler Town designed for kids six and under and a mini train for kids 48 inches tall and under.

When the body screams for a break from climbing through coils, stop by Art City where you can tap into your creative side. Add a room to the castle-in-progress, fashion an origami Pikachu or engineer a creation of your imagination. Stop by Miss Marion’s to make intricate snow flakes and hear ghost stories. Miss Marion also gives free classes in rag-doll making and copper tooling.

Come early, stay late at City Museum and you still probably won’t have time to see and do everything.

One visitor commented as he left the building at closing recently, “That was (dramatic pause) exhuasting!”

“And,” his companion added enthusiastically, “amazing.”

If you go, here’s the lowdown:

City Museum

701 N. 15th Street is the official address but the entrance is on the 16th Street side.

Admission: $12 per person plus tax; kids two and under, free; $10 plus tax after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

Parking: $5

Hours: The museum observes “build season hours” in winter when it’s closed Monday and Tuesday. Open 9 a.m-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursdays; 9 a.m.-midnight, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday. Architectural Museum is temporarily closed.

Check the website, citymuseum.org for holiday hours. MonstroCity is closed during precipitation; the rooftop (additional admission) is open May-mid-November.

Advice from past visitors: Dress as if you’re going to the gym, wear kneepads if you have them and bring as little as possible to leave your hands and body free to climb. A flashlight comes in handy in the caves and tunnels. Some people find gloves helpful when climbing the coils.

Additional Photos Below:



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