Taste of St. Louis (Sept. 26-28)

September 22, 2008

The coming weekend is one of those where I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we cannot possibly make it to all the events I’d like to see. It looks like a great mix of high culture (dance in Grand Center) and beer drinking (Oktoberfest in St. Charles); definitely stay tuned this week as I blog about the highlights.

The place to kick off the weekend is Soldier’s Memorial Park in downtown St. Louis, at Taste of St. Louis (Sept. 26-28). For one thing, the crowds will be a little thinner Friday than the other days. (Last year’s 200,000 visitors can probably attest to that!) Lumping this in with other food-centric festivals does it a disservice, because the organizer, Davide Weaver, is himself an artist, so the ArtDimensions Village is guaranteed to be excellent. I look forward to the kids’ area in particular; for whatever reason, M. and S. didn’t get into the activities last year (I think they were too fascinated by the break-dancing, which unfortunately I didn’t find in this year’s lineup). There’ll be a petting zoo, science activities, Radio Disney, art projects, a Monster Truck … a nice diversity of activities for all ages and interests.

We’re always stoked about the music, which last year was veeeeery loud (not a bad thing, necessarily) and rockin’. I love that the whole third day (Sept. 28) is dedicated to blues. I can never get the kids to sit around and watch the cooking demonstrations or chef challenges; judging by the fans in the bleachers, though, these were popular last year.

The food will be good, no doubt, although I hope the prices have come down a little — I spoke to quite a few folks last year who limited their nibbles because they felt they were too expensive. I’m usually willing to overlook overpriced food at free festivals, but I did see their point. Perhaps this year’s new location, and its greater availability of free parking, will salve some of those complaints about prices.

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