Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Happy 250th, St. Louis!

Celebrate St. Louis' founding, Black History Month, Mardi Gras and our great community!

February 14, 2014 | 7 min reading time


Happy 250th, St. Louis!

This weekend local officials and visiting dignitaries will gather together to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau.  A great deal of planning has gone into the numerous events scheduled for this weekend and throughout this year to celebrate this major milestone.  A tip of the hat goes to Ann Chance and our Office of Special Events as well as the entire stl250 organization for all their hard work in planning events to showcase St. Louis at its best during the sestercentennial.  I encourage you to enjoy as many of these events as you can.

Upcoming Events

Celebrate St. Louis' Founding


Feb. 14 - 17 Biggest Birthday Bash, Missouri History Museum, 3 p.m.

 The Missouri History Museum will have a free family-friendly, weekend-long Birthday Bash starting this Friday featuring activities, exhibits and performances highlighting St. Louis' history.  Stop by this weekend for free admission to the 250 in 250 exhibit, cupcake decorating, make-and-take crafts, live music sing-alongs, a puppet show, face painting, balloon artists and more!  Visit the web site for a complete schedule.


Feb. 14 - Burnin' Love Festival, Forest Park, 4:30 p.m.

The stl250 organization will honor love in its many forms this Friday with the Burnin' Love Festival on Art Hill in Forest Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. with family-friendly activities.  Live music will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Then at 7:30 p.m. 250 couples will become engaged or renew their love just in time for the lighting of the 25-foot-tall Burnin' Love heart.  It will be a night to remember with fire dancers, light shows and awesome fireworks at 10:15 p.m. to end the event.  Show your love for St. Louis and celebrate its 250th birthday in style at the Festival!  Visit the web site for more information.

Feb 15 - STL 250 Reenactment of the Founding of St. Louis, City Hall, 10 a.m.

Auguste Chouteau began building St. Louis on Feb. 15, 1764.  This reenactment event will welcome distinguished guests and explore several key moments in the founding of St. Louis.  The program will include reenactments of the arrival of Auguste Chouteau, welcoming by and partnership with Osage Indians, return of Pierre Laclede, migration of French military and settlers, and the arrival of Madame Chouteau.  The event is free, but limited seating is available.  To request a ticket, go to  Reservations will be confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis until maximum capacity is reached.  UPDATE 2-14-14 2:00 P.M.  Maximum capacity for this event has been reached.

Feb. 15 - Founding of St. Louis Re-enactment, meet at South Leg of the Gateway Arch, 11 a.m.

In celebration of St. Louis' 250th anniversary, the National Park Service will host a re-enactment this Saturday by living history portrayers of when August Chouteau returned to the spot Pierre Laclede marked as the site of a fur trading post west of the Mississippi river.  This trading post, near where the South Leg of the Gateway Arch stands today, which Chouteau and 30 of his men went on to construct, would later become the city of St. Louis.  If you are interested in attending, meet at the South Leg of the Arch at 11 a.m.  Demonstrations of 18th century blacksmithing, log hewing techniques, carpentry, and flint and steel fire starting will take place throughout the day.  Go to for more details.


Feb. 15 - Guy Foropon presentation on Pierre Laclede, Old Courthouse, 12:30 p.m.

The National Park Service will present Guy Foropon this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the Old Courthouse at 11 North Fourth Street in Downtown St. Louis.  Mr. Foropon, whose great-grandmother, Jeanne Marie Laclede, was a descendant of Pierre Laclede's ancestors, will present, "Bedous, France, a Forgotten Village?" a brief talk on the birthplace of Pierre Laclede.  The city of Bedous has hardly changed since Laclede was alive.  In fact, the castle where Laclede was born and most of the village's homes were built before 1729 and are still standing today.  For more information, visit the web site.

Feb. 15 - Reflections-Dred Scott and Peter Blow Families, Carondelet Historical Society, 1 p.m.

The Carondelet Historical Society and The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation will present "Reflections – Dred Scott and Peter Blow Descendants" in honor of the 250th anniversary of St. Louis.  The free program will take place this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will include a dramatization reflecting on the connections between two St. Louis families whose lives and actions impacted the nation.  The event will also include a Q&A Session and book signings. The Society is located at 6303 Michigan Avenue.  To learn more, visit the Carondelet Historical Society Facebook page.

Feb. 16 -- STL 250 Biggest Birthday Ball, Missouri History Museum, 6 p.m.

While not a "ball" in a traditional sense, all attendees are sure to have a ball celebrating our region's 250 years at this cocktail party.  The STL 250 Biggest Birthday Ball will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum.  Dress appropriate to your favorite St. Louis era and mingle while exploring St. Louis' many eras, highlighted by culinary favorites, musical and cultural traditions and exhibits that will reflect on our past and celebrate our present.  Tickets start at $100 and are available for purchase at

Celebrate Black History Month


Feb. 15 -- Piano Ragtime Concert, Scott Joplin House, 5 p.m.

The Friends of Scott Joplin and the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site will present "Perfessor" Bill Edwards performing piano ragtime this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the New Rosebud Café, 2658 Delmar in the Midtown neighborhood.  Mr. Edwards has played at various venues, including ragtime festivals all over the country.  Suggested donation is $20.  For more information, call (314) 852-4735.

Feb. 16 -- Black History Month Concert, Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal-Anglican, 13th & Locust, 2 p.m.

The Cathedral Choir and soloists will present a free concert of African-American spirituals this Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal-Anglican, located at Locust & N. 13th Street in exciting Downtown St. Louis.  The Black History Month Concert will honor the memory of Rosa Parks by including the premiere performance of "A Hymn for Rosa," words and music composed by Canon Precentor William Partridge.  Questions?  Call (314) 255-1634.

Celebrate Mardi Gras


Feb. 14 - Mardi Gras Wine, Beer & Whiskey Taste, Soulard Market Park, 7 p.m.

This big fun-filled Mardi Gras happy hour has grown in popularity greatly since its inception.  Guests that purchase a ticket will receive a bracelet once they arrive at the event in Soulard Market Park at 8th and Lafayette, giving them the opportunity to explore the wide array of libations.  In addition, guests will receive four food tasting tickets that can be redeemed for samples of various scrumptious delicacies, all while enjoying entertainment from one of St. Louis' hottest DJs and some of the most talented and creative local artists on the St. Louis scene.  For ticket information, parking options and more, visit the web site.


Feb. 15 - Cajun Cook-Off, Bud Light Party Centre in Soulard Market Park, Noon

Ten professional and 10 amateur chefs will compete for the best Cajun/Creole dish in this Saturday's Lumiere Cajun Cook-Off from Noon to 4 p.m. at the Bud Light Party Centre in Soulard Market Park, 8th and Lafayette.  Attendees will be able to purchase sample tickets for food and beverages.  For all the particulars, visit the web site.

Celebrate Community

Feb. 14 – 14th Annual Hardee's Rise & Shine for Heat Fundraiser, at participating Hardee's restaurants, 6 a.m.

The 14th Annual Hardee's Rise & Shine Fundraiser to benefit Heat-Up St. Louis will be this Friday, Valentine's Day,  from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at participating Hardee's restaurants in Missouri and Illinois. Heat-Up St. Louis is a regional utility assistance and public education charity covering the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan area in Missouri and Illinois.  If you are not able to stop by during the Valentine's Day special promotion, you will be able to make a canister donation at all 60 Hardee's this weekend or in Heat-Up's virtual canister on line at

Feb. 15 -- Run for the Chocolate, Laclede's Landing, 9 a.m.

The exciting and fun 4-mile Run for the Chocolate run/walk returns to the streets of Downtown St. Louis to spice up Valentine's weekend for couples and singles alike.  The race will be a chocolate extravaganza complete with customized chocolate finishers medals, 500 pounds of chocolate fondue and more than 125 gallons of hot cocoa.  Race Day registration will be $40 per person.  For more information, call (636) 527-9700.


Feb. 15 --- St. Louis Youth Sports Summit, Rams Park, 9 a.m.

The St. Louis Youth Sports Summit will take place this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rams Park in EarthCity.  The Summit is a must-attend event for coaches, parents and league administrators.  Those in attendance will come away with valuable tools, knowledge and resources to help improve the athletic experiences for children.  The Summit is free to youth sports coaches, parents and all who care about the well-being of children.  The guest speaker will be Isaac Bruce.  To register, call (314) 345-5130 or email

Feb. 16 – All You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner, PNA Sports Club, Noon

Bring your sweetheart and celebrate Valentine's Day at the Polish National Alliance Sports Club this Sunday from Noon until 5 p.m. The afternoon features an All You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner which will include spaghetti with meat sauce, salad and bread, cake/dessert and coffee, all for $7.50 per person.  The Club is located at 3606 Bates Avenue (at Grand) in the Holly Hills neighborhood.  For advance tickets or more information, call (636) 938-4641.

Feb. 16 -- Love Songs, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 p.m.

In honor of Valentine's Day, tenor Cole Seaton and Pianist Andrew Peters will present a program of love songs this Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5 pm. at Second Presbyterian Church located at 4501 Westminster Place in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  Admission is free.  Go to the web site for more information.


Save the Date

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

Feb. 22 -- Mardi Gras 5K, Soulard neighborhood, 9 a.m.

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

Feb. 23 -- Wiener Dog Derby, Soulard Market Park, 10 a.m.

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

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


St. Louis Police Citizens Academy

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is once again offering its free 12-week Citizens Academy.  The academy gives residents an insider's look at some of the Department's activities and operations.  Classes will be held at the St. Louis Police Academy, 315 S. Tucker Boulevard, each Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning March 5.  To learn more, or to apply for the course, visit the web site.

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

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