Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Be Fire Smart This Holiday Season

Plenty of holiday activities for all ages in St. Louis City

December 18, 2014 | 7 min reading time


Be Fire Smart This Holiday Season   

 The National Fire Prevention Association is advising everyone to be fire smart as they deck the halls this holiday season. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. It is a fact that one of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical failures. Here are a few tree safety tips: 

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • When placing the tree, make sure it is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Be sure to add water daily to the tree stand.  Dried-out trees are a fire danger.
  • When decorating the tree, use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. 


Upcoming Events


Dec. 19 – St. Louis Christmas Chorale, St. Louis Union Station, 6:30 p.m.


St. Louis Union Station has partnered with Fresh 102.5 to present the St. Louis Christmas Chorale, a family-friendly event celebrating the region’s best Christmas voices in a spirited singing competition. Finalists will go head-to-head in a singing competition which will determine the winner of the 2014 Christmas Chorale. The event will begin at 6:45 p.m. with a performance by the Muny Kids and the choirs will take the stage beginning at 7 p.m.  Come hear wonderful holiday music and cheer on your favorite choir. For more information, call (314) 942-6942 or visit


Dec. 19 – Third Friday Party, Third Degree Glass Factory, 6 p.m.


With the holidays right around the corner, this time of year can be stressful. The folks at Third Degree Glass Factory invite you to come relax this Friday near the glow of 2000 degree glass! Invite your family and friends to join you for a fun evening of live entertainment, art, and more. Third Degree is located at 5200 Delmar Boulevard.  For more information, call (314) 367-4527.


Dec. 19 & 20 – The Choo Choo Bob Show, St. Louis Union Station, various times between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.


St. Louis Union Station is bringing Choo Choo Bob to this year’s Holiday Magic celebrations. Little kids and big kids love trains, so Choo Choo Bob and his pals will be talking about trains and having all kinds of adventures this Friday and Saturday.  Musical guests and puppets also will be a part of each fun, train-filled show. For all the details, call (314) 942-6942 or visit the web site.


Dec. 20 – The Ugly Sweater Run, Forest Park, 11 a.m.


The Ugly Sweater Run: St. Louis will take place this Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. in Forest Park. Each Ugly Sweater runner will receive a custom vintage knit hat, unlimited hot chocolate, and more! The closed course will be full of hot chocolate aid stations and the biggest Santa inflatable around. To register, visit web site.


Dec. 20 – 1864 Holiday Ball, Old Courthouse, Noon


Take a step back in time this Saturday and enjoy costumed dancers step and whirl under the holiday decorations in the grand rotunda of the Old Courthouse in beautiful Downtown St. Louis. From Noon to 4 p.m. the Independent Silver Band will perform while costumed historic characters of St. Louis’ past demonstrate the most popular dance steps of 1864. Questions? Call (314) 655-1614.


Now through Dec. 31 – Holiday Magic, St. Louis Union Station


Whether you have tickets for The Polar ExpressTM Train Ride or not, exciting Holiday Magic events and activities at St. Louis Union Station are open to all. Check the website at for an up-to-date list of events including Santa’s Mail Room where kids can write to the Jolly Old Elf; story time with Mrs. Claus; live music and dance performances; the Panoramic Light Show in the Grand Hall and more.


Now through Jan. 3, 2015 – U.S. Bank Wild Lights, St. Louis Zoo, 5:30 p.m.


Stroll through the Saint Louis Zoo’s enchanting holiday wonderland and enjoy thousands of colorful lights, animated light displays and seasonal sounds now through Jan. 3, 2015,  from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visitors will also be able to gather ‘round for fireside stories and live performances on select nights. Hot chocolate, meals and snacks will be available for purchase at Lakeside Café. For the complete calendar of events, visit the web site.


Now through Dec. 27 – Chase Park Plaza’s Annual Holiday Extravaganza, 6 p.m.


The legendary Chase Park Plaza hotel is hosting an Annual Holiday Extravaganza now through Dec. 27 to celebrate St. Louis’ most beloved Holiday traditions. The month-long event will feature Christmas carolers, cookie decorating, a gingerbread house, elves, a Hanukkah Celebration, a special Kwanzaa display, and free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Throughout the month, Mrs. Claus will be available Friday and Saturday evenings (6-8 p.m.) to read Holiday stories and pose for free photos with visitors in the Chase’s lobby.  On Sundays, other events will take place including a special Hanukkah Celebration in the main lobby (Dec. 21, 2-4 p.m.) Need more information? Visit the web site.


Now through Dec. 24 – 5th Annual Window Walk, Central West End, 1 to 6 p.m.


The 5th Annual Central West End Window Walk is currently underway. Enjoy family-friendly festivities, stroll amidst beautifully decorated windows, watch live entertainment and discover special promotions throughout the District. Enjoy entertainment throughout the neighborhood on Dec. 19, 20, 21 and 24. Visitors to the area can vote on their favorite window by visiting participating businesses. The People’s Choice Winners will be announced at the end of the season, and voters will be chosen at random to receive a $50 gift certificate that may be used at select CWE businesses. Celebrity judges will determine their top three window winners as well. Go to for all the details.


Dec. 14, 21 & 28 – Family Sundays, Saint LouisArt Museum, Noon


Everyone is invited to stop by the Saint Louis Art Museum every Sunday afternoon in December from Noon to 4 p.m. for Family Sundays: Winter Celebrations. Experience a different culture each week with art activities, scavenger hunts, performances, and special treats. For a complete calendar of activities, log on to the web site.


Now through Jan. 4, 2015 – Anheuser-Busch Holiday Lights 2014, Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour Center, 6 to 10 p.m.


The Anheuser-Busch holiday lights display offers more than half a million lights and a variety of new experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy. This family-friendly event offers free self-guided walking tours, warm and cozy fire pits for making s’mores and more! Guests can enter through the Tour Center, located at 1200 Lynch Street, and park for free in designated Tour Center parking lots. The season-long activities take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. through Jan. 4, 2015. For all the details, visit


Now through Dec. 31 – The Polar ExpressTM Train Ride, St. Louis Union Station, 4:30 p.m.


All aboard for The Polar Express Train Ride departing St. Louis Union Station with service to the North Pole on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday season! The magical story of the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, is told during this ride on real trains.  Families will drink hot chocolate, enjoy cookies, sing Christmas carols, play with elves and meet Santa Claus, who will give them the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Trains depart at 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. for an hour-long journey. For ticket information and more details, visit the web site.


Now through Jan. 3, 2015 – Garden Glow Holiday Light Exhibit, Missouri Botanical Garden, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.


The Garden Glow Light Exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden provides visitors a spectacle of unique light displays, with hundreds of thousands of lights adorning some of the Garden’s most widely recognized locations including the Dec. The Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard.  To learn more, visit the web site. 


Save the Date


Dec.  26 – 29 – 72 In 72, Urb Arts, 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.


Dec. 27 – Family Days, World chess Hall of Fame, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Dec. 27 – Raja’s Birthday Celebration, St. Louis Zoo, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Dec. 31 – First Night, Grand Center, 6 p.m. to Midnight


Jan. 1 – Commitment Day 5K, Soldiers’ Memorial, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Jan. 3 – 12th Afternoon Ball, Old Courthouse, Noon to 4 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 th the information about it to me at or to Cathy GrayR 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.



stl250’s “Take the Cake” Online Auction is Now Open


stl250’s Cakeway to the West project has provided St. Louisans and visitors alike with a year’s worth of fun exploring our great region during its 250th anniversary. Now is your chance to “Take the Cake” and get your very own Cakeway to the West sculpture. The online auction is currently open and will run to Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, with proceeds contributing to the 1764 Society and the development of Founders Plaza. The plaza will be located around the statue of Pierre Laclede that stands west of St. Louis City Hall. For more information, visit the web site.



Laclede. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis


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