Public Safety Director's Spotlight on Neighborhood Activities

Holiday Decoration Safety Tips and Weekend Neighborhood Events

December 3, 2010 | 6 min reading time

If your neighborhood is like mine, the holiday decorations are either already up or are in the process of being put up. Some of our neighborhoods go all out each year decorating for the Season and visitors from the metropolitan area make it a point to come into the City to see their creative efforts. I tip my hat to them for making St. Louis bright and festive during this special time of the year.


I do want to pass along, though, some holiday decoration safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because public safety never takes a holiday.


  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. These can be identified by the label from an independent testing laboratory.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
  • Place Christmas trees away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
  • Look for non-combustible or flame-resistant materials used for trimmings or candle holders or paper decorations.

Remember, always plan for safety. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplaces, trees, and/or electrical connections.


Last week I mentioned that St. Louis has many wonderful, unique shops and restaurants, and if you’re looking for a gift for that certain someone, a gift card to one of these might be ideal. Let’s start with Downtown. The Downtown Gift Card program may be the perfect gift for a family member, a co-worker or a friend. Downtown Gift Cards are accepted at more than 130 Downtown locations. Visit for all the details about the Downtown Gift Card program.


Listed below are some of the neighborhood activities and city events that you, family and friends may find of interest. I encourage you to stop by those in your neighborhood as well as consider exploring neighborhoods new to you. They are perfect places to meet friends and neighbors or go to in support of worthy causes. See you in the neighborhood!


Holiday Open House


St. Louis Union Station Holiday Open House is this Saturday, Dec. 4. The Fox Kids Christmas Tour will be featured at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. @ Santa’s Toy Shop in the Station. For more details, visit .


St. Louis Blues Watch Party at Steinberg Rink

If you’re a hockey fan, love ice skating and enjoy a good party, then this is the event for you. Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park will be the site for a huge outdoor Viewing Party on Saturday, Dec. 4 starting at 6 p.m. Pre-game and post-game shows will originate from the rink. Watch the St. Louis Blues take on Edmonton during a live TV broadcast on a 35-foot screen.


Christmas on ‘The Hill’


The Hill neighborhood will be celebrating the Christmas season with a variety of events, many of which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4 at St. Ambrose Parish, 5130 Wilson Avenue.   Activities include: storytelling with La Befana, hourly Noon – 4 p.m.; tours of the Hill, hourly, Noon – 4 p.m.; carriage rides; the Fourth Annual Chill on the Hill 5K / 1 mile fun run/walk that will begin at 8:30 a.m. at St. Ambrose; and stores will be open late for shoppers. For more information, go online at .



Fete de Noel Soulard / 35th Annual Soulard Holiday Parlour Tour


The 35th Annual Soulard Holiday Parlour Tour and Taste of Soulard will be Saturday, Dec. 4 and 5. To kick off the weekend of festivities, on Friday, Dec. 3 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. the Fete de Noel Soulard will take place at Soulard Market. This family event will include the arrival of Santa Claus by horse-drawn carriage, caroling and a holiday tree lighting ceremony. On Dec. 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. enjoy guided tours in heated shuttle buses starting and ending at the Tour Center at Gene Slay’s Boys’ Club of St. Louis, 2524 S. 11th. Guests will view homes decorated in their holiday best and homeowners will be on hand to give insight into the history, architecture and holiday displays at the home. For pricing information and more details, visit .


CWE Window Walk


The Central West End North Community Improvement District will hold its 2010 Window Walk from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Come see the holiday window decorations throughout the Central West End business district. If you stop by this street event, be sure to enjoy some roasted chestnuts, see Bojangles the Reindeer, Bob Kramer’s Marionettes, ice sculptures, dancers and more.


Cherokee Street Antique Row Cookie Spree


Cherokee Street will be humming with activity this weekend. The 27th Annual Cookie Spree will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5. Also, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 more than 40 artists at a dozen venues on Cherokee Street (from Lemp to Gravois) will be holding a holiday sale. The event will feature art, gifts and fun! Be sure to check out some of the new, cool shops that have opened such as St. Louis Curio Shoppe, Peridot and Gallery AM. For all the particulars, visit .





The Department of Public Safety’s City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through  Through the Nixle service, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as e-mails on your computer. If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to visit the Nixle webpage and sign up for the service today. Note: in addition to CEMA, you may also sign up to receive messages from other St. Louis area entities that are on Nixle. If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.


Having an event in your neighborhood that we can support? Either e-mail the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at


And remember, if you see something in the neighborhood that just doesn’t look right, REPORT IT!



Charles Bryson

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis


Related Stories

Was this page helpful?      

Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.