Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Be a Force of Nature

Celebrate Black History Month, Mardi Gras, and the St. Louis Community this weekend

February 21, 2014 | 5 min reading time

Be a Force of Nature

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were seven weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States in 2013.  During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 2-8, 2014, NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will highlight the importance of preparing for severe weather before it strikes.  Being prepared for severe weather doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.  A few simple steps, such as having a disaster supplies kit, could help save your life.  You can be a force of nature this National Severe Weather Preparedness Week by knowing your risk, taking action and being an example where you live.  For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the web site.

Upcoming Events

Celebrate Black History Month

 February - Black History Month Programs, Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse, times vary

Throughout the month of February, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will host free programs and events in honor of  Black History Month.  Want to take in a mock trial of the Dred Scott case?  The Old Courthouse hosts one at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays all month long.  This Saturday, Feb. 22, visitors can enjoy special storytelling events at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. at the Museum of Westward Expansion.  Visit for a listing of all Black History Month programs and events.

Feb. 22 -- Gospel Concert, St. Stanislaus Polish Church, 5:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to join with St. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Church this Saturday for an historic Gospel Concert with the Michael Latchison Singing Ministry in honor of Black History Month.  The concert will begin at 5:30 p.m.  The church is located at 1413 N. 20th Street in the Carr Square neighborhood.  To learn more, visit the web site.

Feb. 23 -- Family Sundays in February Series, St. Louis Art Museum, 1 p.m.

Celebrate Black History Month this Sunday at the St. Louis Art Museum's Family Sundays in February Series.  Activities and tours will highlight the artistic links between Africa and African Americans.  Learn African American cultural inheritance and history with a tour of the Museum and complete an art project inspired by the African and African American works in the Museum's collection.  The free event will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information, visit the web site.

Celebrate Mardi Gras

Feb. 21 -- Third Friday Free Party, Third Degree Glass, 6 p.m.

 The theme for this month's Third Friday Free Party at Third Degree Glass Factory is TwoFer Fun.  Smile and go Mardi mad with masks, wigs, props and more for a free Fun Photo Events photo booth picture.  Visitors will also enjoy glassblowing demonstrations, free henna tattoos and more.  The party will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Third Degree Glass Factory is located at 5200 Delmar Boulevard in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  Need more information?  Call (314) 367-4527.

 Feb. 22 -- Mardi Gras Run for your Beads 5K, Soulard neighborhood, 9 a.m.

The super-fun Mardi Gras Run for your Beads 5K will take place this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. near Soulard Market Park at 8th and Lafayette.  Cost is $25 per runner in advance and $30 the day of the event.  For all the details, visit the web site.

Feb. 22 & 23 -- Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard, participating Soulard establishments, 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the Soulard neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday for the Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard.  Several of Soulard's fine establishments will offer samples of their signature dishes in this create your own experience event.  Ticket booklets will contain seven tickets allowing the purchaser to sample six signature dishes and one taste of Southern Comfort from the participating restaurants and pubs.  The event will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.  Attendees are welcome to use the free trolley service on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For all the particulars, visit the web site.

Feb. 23 – 18th Annual PETsMART Wiener Dog Derby, Soulard Market Park, 10 a.m.

Dachshund lovers and their lovable companions will descend on Soulard Market Park this Sunday for the 18th Annual PETsMART Wiener Dog Derby.  Registration will begin at 10 a.m. at the park, and the first heat will take place at 2 p.m.  The dachshunds will race in three divisions based on age.  The cost is $10 to register your Dachshund; free to watch.   Soulard Market Park is located at 8th and Lafayette.  Questions?  Log on to

 Feb. 23 -- 21st Annual Beggin'® Pet Parade, Allen & Menard, 10 a.m.

Make plans now to join Grand Marshal Andy Cohen and musical guest Barenaked Ladies for one of the largest pet parades in the world -- the 21st Annual Beggin'® Pet Parade this Sunday.  Registration will begin at 10 a.m.  The parade will step off at 1 p.m. from Allen Avenue and Menard Street.  Price is $10 for each pet participating in the parade and proceeds will benefit the Open Door Animal Sanctuary.  The other activities will be free to parade spectators.  As the Guinness World Records ™ holder for "Most Dogs in Costumed Attire," the Beggin'® Pet Parade is one event you don't want to miss.  For more information, visit the web site.

 Feb. 23 -- Pooches Unleashed - Barkus Pet Parade Party, Frenchtown Dog Park, 11:30 a.m.

Let your dogs run free this Sunday at the Pooches Unleashed - Barkus Pet Parade Party at Frenchtown Dog Park, located at 10th and Emmett in the historic Soulard neighborhood.  Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the party will be the perfect place to meet up with your pet parade watching or walking crew before and after the parade, until 3:50 p.m.  While your well-mannered dog plays off leash, you'll be able to relax with friends in a heated tent, enjoy refreshments, music and more.  Your $10 per person donation will provide you with entrance, dog treat, a beverage and door prize ticket.  To learn more, visit the web site.

Celebrate Community

Mar. 1 -- House History Workshop, Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, 9:30 a.m.

The Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center holds a wealth of resources to help you learn about the history of your house and its former residents.  These resources include city directories, census records, neighborhood histories, photographs, maps, and more.  During the House History Workshop, Missouri History Museum associate archivist Dennis Northcott will show examples of these resources and provide instruction on how to get started researching the history of your house.  To sign up for the workshop, go to the web site.


Save the Date

Feb. 26 -- Mar. 2 -- Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat and Sportshow, Edward Jones Dome, 5 p.m.

Feb. 28 – Mayor's Mardi Gras Ball, City Hall, 7 p.m.

Mar. 1 – Mardi Gras Bud Light Grand Parade, steps off just south of Busch Stadium, 11 a.m.

March 1 – Mardi Gras Bud Light Concerts, 9th & Geyer, 2 p.m.

Mar. 1 -- 2014 Mardi Gras, St. Joseph Croatian Catholic Church, 11 a.m.

Mar. 4 – T-Mobile Fat Tuesday Parade, Broadway & Washington, 6:30 p.m.


Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight? If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration. You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


National Spay Day

The Animal House Cat Shelter will be leading St. Louis area animal shelters in observing National Spay Day on Tuesday, Feb. 25.  This annual observance on the last Tuesday of February was created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1994.  Pet lovers are encouraged to adopt from shelters like Animal House, which require spaying and neutering before an animal can move to its forever home.  Call (314) 531-4626 for more information.


Col. Richard Gray
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

Related Stories

Was this page helpful?      

Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.