An outdoor community festival, reenactment of St. Louis's founding fathers arriving on the Riverfront and a region-wide Birthday Celebration are key events being planned by stl250 for the Gateway City's 250th Anniversary next year. These events are just some of many celebrations in development by St. Louis community partners, and the festivities will only grow in the coming months! stl250 is a nonprofit organization solely focused on commemoration and celebration of St. Louis's founding on its 250th anniversary in 2014. The announcement was made today at the stl250 Launch Event.
stl250 was created by area volunteers to coordinate the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis by Pierre Laclede. The goal of the organization is to use this Semiquincentennial milestone to increase the pride in our region by building on the momentum already underway.
The 2014 celebration year will be co-hosted by City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. Ameren Chairman, President and CEO Tom Voss and his wife Carol will serve as stl250 co-chairs.
The stl250 celebration will begin at Grand Center's New Year's Eve First Night 2013 and will close on New Year's Eve 2014. Events will be held throughout the year by both stl250 and thousands of other organizations and communities. stl250 is planning a big splash for the 250th birthday weekend (February 14 – 16, 2014) which includes:
- an outdoor and environmentally friendly Valentine's Day "Burnin' Love" festival will feature concert entertainment, a hot chocolate happy hour, sweetheart's dinners, heated culinary lounges, fireworks, permanent fire sconces in the park's canals and lakes as well as a centerpiece public art sculpture of a burning heart. This sculpture will literally be on fire in Forest Park's Grand Basin Lake.
- A re-enactment of the city's founding on Laclede's Landing as well as a scholarly symposium entitled, "The Impact of the Founding of St. Louis: on the Region and the Entire Nation".
- Founders Day Gala at the Missouri History Museum with satellite galas at other locations.
- A brief celebration & an official birthday cake will immediately follow the re-enactment. Commemorative Birthday Cakes will play a key and interactive role throughout the year. A region-wide "Cakewalk" will provide an educational walk through St. Louis' history. Ornamental birthday cakes will be placed at 250 regional historical locations. Cakes will be interactive and allow those with smart phones and tablets to receive facts on their device about the location's history. Details on locations and a contest will be announced in the Fall 2013 timeframe.
"St. Louis has a long history, current momentum and a promising future," said Erin Budde, Executive Director for stl250. "It's important that we mark this major milestone in a way that engages our entire region. stl250 and its volunteer leadership have much work to do over the next seven months to finalize plans, engage partners from across the region while broadly telling the story of our past, present and future through events that range from the grassroots to grand scale," Budde continued.
stl250 encourages and welcomes individuals, organizations, as well as communities throughout the region to be an active part of the celebration in the following ways:
- Celebration Partners - From "grassroots to grand scale," organizations and groups throughout the region are encouraged to help mark St. Louis' milestone by registering their events to commemorate the celebration year. Once registered through www.stl250.org, events will be included on the stl250 official event calendar.
- Volunteers are an essential part of the success of stl250 by helping to plan and execute 2014 activities. Interested individuals should register at www.stl250.org
- Sponsors are business, foundation and individual donors that contribute resources for the celebration year. All funds raised will be used to support events, organizational, or service projects and are tax deductible.
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