Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Happy 251st, St. Louis!

Valentines, Mardi Gras, SLSO Lift Every Voice Concert and #STL turns 251 this weekend.

February 12, 2015 | 6 min reading time
Birthday balloons


Happy 251st, St. Louis!

This weekend will mark the 251st anniversary of the founding of our great city by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau.  From a small fur trading post, the City has grown to a thriving metropolis rich with diverse cultures, all contributing to the fabric of the region.  I encourage you to celebrate St. Louis this weekend and to visit one or more of our historic neighborhoods and cultural institutions.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 13 – 2015 Rise and Shine "Have a Heart & Heat a Home" Fundraiser, at participating Hardee's locations, 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

This year marks the 15th year that Heat-Up St. Louis has been helping the needy with utility assistance in the St. Louis region, impacting the lives of more than 300,000 people.  You can help support this effort by stopping by a participating Hardee's restaurant during breakfast hours this Friday and ordering a Sausage and Egg Biscuit Sandwich for the special price of $1.00, with 100% of the sales proceeds going to Heat-Up St. Louis.  For more information about the 2015 Hardee's Rise and Shine for Heat Fundraiser, visit the web site.

Feb. 13 – Citizens for Modern Transit's First-ever Transit Crush, Along the MetroLink Alignment, 4 to 6 p.m.

Citizens for Modern Transit and the Saint Louis Football Club will team up this Friday for the first-ever Transit Crush event.  Transit enthusiasts will have the chance to unite in support of their love for the region's transit system through a flash mob-style "crush" on board the train during the evening commute.  To register, visit  Follow CMT on Twitter @CMT_STL for more details on #cmttransitcrush.

Feb. 13 – STL Symphony Concert, Powell Symphony Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to Powell Symphony Hall in Grand Center this Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the annual Lift Every Voice Concert in celebration of African-American culture and music.  Join conductor Kevin McBeth, the STL Symphony IN UNISON® chorus and special guest Patti Austin.  Tickets are $25.  Need more information?  Call (314) 534-1700 or visit the web site.

Feb. 13 – Mayor's Mardi Gras Ball, City Hall, 7 p.m. to Midnight

The hottest event of the Mardi Gras Season will take place this Friday at City Hall – the Mayor's Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball.  The festivities will run from 7 p.m. to Midnight and will feature food, cocktails, dancing and spectacular entertainment by That 80's Band.  To purchase tickets to this creative black tie gala, or for more information, visit or call (314) 771-5110.

Feb. 13 – Pre Grand Parade Mardi Gras Party, BallparkVillage, 8 to 11 p.m.

Ballpark Village and the Mardi Gras Foundation have teamed up to kick-off the Mardi Gras 2015 weekend with a $35 all-inclusive package from 8 to 11 p.m. this Friday.  Your ticket will include access to Cardinals Nation, Howl at the Moon, PBR St. Louis, Budweiser Brew House and FOX Sports Midwest Live!, a selection of beverages, plus a free live performance by Jana Kramer.  Go to the web site for all the details.

Feb. 14 – Run for the Chocolate 2015, Laclede's Landing, 9 a.m.

Spice up your Valentine's weekend by participating in the exciting and fun 4-mile Run for the Chocolate from Laclede's Landing to Crown Candy Kitchen and back this Saturday.  The race will step off at 9 a.m.  All participants will have access to Lumiere Casino before and after the race.  For more information, visit

Feb. 14 – Mardi Gras at The Biergarten, Anheuser-BuschBreweryTourCenter, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Anheuser-Busch will be celebrating Mardi Gras this Saturday with a New Orleans inspired party at The Biergarten, 1200 Lynch Street in the Soulard neighborhood.  For $25, guests 21 and older can come by The Biergarten from 8 –11 a.m. to enjoy a classic breakfast, all day parking in the Tour Center parking lot, the comforts of a heated tent and more.  From 12:30 to 8 p.m., all visitors are invited to enjoy classic Mardi Gras fare including Shrimp and Grits, Red Beans and Rice, Jumbo Coconut Beer Shrimp, Saffron and Crawfish Risotto, and Apple Beignets  .Questions?  Call (314) 765-3118.  Tickets are available online at:

Feb. 14 – Mardi Gras Bud Light Grand Parade, starting at Busch Stadium, 11 a.m.

The 1.5 mile Mardi Gras Bud Light Grand Parade this Saturday will feature floats, marching bands, colorful masks and outlandish costumes.  Invite your family and friends to join you for the Midwest's largest and most spectacular pre-Lenten celebration.  The parade will step off at 11 a.m. from just south of Busch Stadium and wind its way through Soulard to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.  The Mardi Gras celebration will continue post-parade with a fun-filled street party featuring live music.  For all the details, visit the web site.

Feb. 14 – Sweetheart Dance, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 7 to 11 p.m.

Adults (21 and older) are invited to attend the Valentine's Day Dance at Most Holy Trinity this Saturday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Entrance fee is $10 per person.  Several raffles will be held throughout the evening to benefit this local 167-year-old parish.  The dance will be held in the lower level Church hall, at the corner of 14th Street and Mallinckrodt in the Hyde Park neighborhood.  For more information, call (314) 241-9165 or visit the web site.

Feb. 15 – Le Jazz Hot!, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 to 5 p.m.

If you enjoy jazz, then consider attending the free Le Jazz Hot! Concert this Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  The ensemble's musical selections range from Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to Stevie Wonder and Henry Mancini.  For more information, call (314) 367-0367 or visit

Feb. 15 – Delta Dental Mardi Gras, St. Louis Zoo, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring your kids to the best family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration in town this Sunday at Dental Dental Mardi Gras at the St. Louis Zoo in beautiful Forest Park.  The Zoo-style party will include mask-making, beads and a grand finale parade.  Visitors will be able to enjoy live performances in the Anheuser Busch Theater in The Living World, Keeper chats in Red Rocks and outside of Penguin and Puffin Coast, live music in Lakeside Cafe and turn their child's wagon or stroller into a Mardi Gras parade float for the Grand Finale Parade that will step off at 3 p.m.  For all the details, visit

Feb. 17 – Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday Parade, Washington & Broadway, 5:30 p.m.

The final Mardi Gras St. Louis revelry will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 17 in exciting Downtown with the Light Up the Night Fat Tuesday Parade.  The pre-party will start at 3 p.m. on Washington Avenue and at the Old Post Office Plaza on Locust Street.  The parade will step off at 5:30 p.m. from Broadway and Washington and proceed west on Washington to 14th Street where it will disband.  Invite your friends and co-workers to join you as St. Louis says goodbye to Mardi Gras for another year.

Save the Date

Feb. 20 – Lenten Fish Fries, various locations, times vary

Feb. 21 – Family Days, World Chess Hall of Fame, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Feb. 21 – Sixth Annual African American Genealogy Conference, Central Baptist Church, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Feb. 21 – Book Signing:Famous-Barr, St. Louis Shopping at Its Finest, Walgreens, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Feb. 21 – Wall Ball, Third Degree Glass Factory, 7 p.m. to 11 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.

Enroll by Sunday!

A reminder from the Team:Sunday is the last day to enroll in a health insurance plan for 2015.  If you miss that deadline, you may not be able to get coverage until 2016.  And while you may not get sick in 2015, if you don't have health insurance, you will pay a hefty penalty when you file your federal income tax return next year.  While the penalty is a minimum of only $95 per adult without coverage in 2014, that fee rises to a minimum of $325 per adult without coverage in 2015, and to $695 per adult in 2016.  Put your dollars towards premiums, not penalties.  Visit to find the coverage option that works best for you.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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