Happy 2nd of July!

July 1, 2010

What sets hard-core St. Louisans apart from the rest of us is this: True natives will brave the heat of summer for the VP Parade. The rest of us will wait for a cooler holiday — say, Mardi Gras — to make our parade appearances.

But I’m looking at the forecast and thinking I can stomach the heat this year, especially if we plan to arrive early and get the prime viewing spots right along CityGarden at Ninth and Market. The parade starts at Fourth and Washington around 10 a.m. and travels toward the end point at 20th and Market, so the plan is to arrive early with a box of donuts, let the kids play awhile, then sit down, relax and watch the parade pass by.

It looks like it will be a good one, too — marching bands (always my favorite), floats, helium balloons and “unique vehicles,” whatever that means. One hundred units total, stretching five miles in length. And, of course, it’s the kickoff to Fair St. Louis, the free event under the Arch. Even a non-native can appreciate those concerts and fireworks after the hot sun goes down.

Destination windows (Nov. 21)

November 20, 2007

Many people have very fond childhood memories of going downtown to see the Famous Barr window displays during the holidays, and I fully expect there will be a crowd when the displays open once again on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., this time under the Macy’s logo.  It’s a shrewd marketing move — Macy’s across the country are getting media buzz about their displays, like the Chicago one that was on NPR this morning.  But it’s also a nice touch for our own downtown.

My kids LOVE to go downtown.  The toddler is entranced by the unaccustomed textures of granite and glass alongside him as he walks; the preschooler loves the way the buildings swallow each other up so quickly, making the skyline come alive.   I suspect that some of the wonderment about the department store windows comes from the effect downtown has on children.  I’m sure the moving characters and elaborate vignettes are cool too, and I’m curious to see them for the first time, but I mostly plan to simply stroll with the kids.

If you go to the opening, there’s a nice writeup here with all the details of which windows will have the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” display and which will have the toy train, plus info about the children’s festival beforehand.  But the exhibit is on until early January, so there’s no rush.