Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Safety Tips for Memorial Day

RibFest St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival, African Arts Festival, free concerts, and more to enjoy

May 22, 2014 | 5 min reading time

Tips for Having a Safe Memorial Day

This weekend our Nation will observe Memorial Day and commemorate all the men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  The day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.  Many people have travel plans for the long weekend and will gather together for special family activities.  Here are some tips to ensure you have a safe Memorial Day:

  • Drive safely.  Make sure you are well-rested and alert before you head out, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road.  If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won't drink.
  • Be careful when using an outdoor grill.  Whenever someone works with an open flame, there is a chance of fire or injury.  Keep the grill out in the open and away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.  Make sure everyone, including your pets, stays away from the grill.  Use long-handled tools.  Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.  Always be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.

For more Summer Safety Tips, visit the National Safety Council web site at

Upcoming Events

May 23 –26 – RibFest St. Louis, Soldiers' Memorial Park, 5 p.m.

Everyone is invited to spend the Memorial Day weekend at RibFest St. Louis which will open at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 23 and run through Monday, May 26.  Enjoy the best of St. Louis BBQ and a great music line up every night.  For more details, visit .

May 23 – Jungle Boogie Concert Series, Saint Louis Zoo, 5 p.m.

The St. Louis Zoo's Jungle Boogie Concert Series will kick off this Friday at 5 p.m. and will feature music by Groovethang.  All summer long, from May 23 through Aug. 29, the free Friday Night Jungle Boogie Concert Series will rock 'n roar every Friday from 5 –8 p.m.  For the complete schedule of performances, visit

May 24 through June 15 – Shakespeare Festival St. Louis – Henry IV & Henry V, Forest Park, 8 p.m.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis will premier Henry V at 8 p.m. on May 24 at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park.  Preview performances will take place on May 22 and 23.  Come early to find seats and parking.  The show will rotate nightly with Henry IV, which opened last weekend.  No performances on Tuesdays. Visit the web site to plan your visit and to learn more about all the performances scheduled for May and June.

March 24 -- 1780 British Attack on St. Louis, Gateway Arch Grounds, 10 a.m.

The National Park Service will present a program this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Arch about the historic 1780 Revolutionary War battle that took place on the present-day Gateway Arch grounds.  Living history volunteers dressed in 18th-century attire will perform musket and cannon firing demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and share with visitors the story of St. Louis.  Need more information?  Call (877) 982-1410.

May 24 –26 – 23rd Annual St. Louis African Arts Festival, Forest Park, 10 a.m.

The 23rd Annual St. Louis African Arts Festival will take place this Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the World's Fair Pavilion in beautiful Forest Park.  The Festival is a family and community event featuring an African Marketplace of unique African artifacts, textiles, clothing and jewelry.  Visitors will also enjoy authentic African cuisine at the Food Court.  For all the details, visit .

May 24 – Flicks and Foodies, Gateway Arch Grounds, 7 p.m.

The National Park Service is inviting visitors to a night of music, food and film under the Gateway Arch at its Flicks and Foodies event.  Starting at 7 p.m. this Saturday, visitors may gather on the Arch grounds and enjoy live music and food trucks.  At sunset, an action-packed classic western (rated PG) will be shown under the Arch on a giant projection screen.  Questions?  Call (877) 982-1410.

May 24 & May 29 –Neighborhood Greenways St. Louis Kick-Off Meetings

With funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, Trailnet is promoting education about Neighborhood Greenways and their equity, environmental and public health benefits.  Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets transformed into low-stress, family-friendly routes that encourage walking and biking.  The project is a first step toward Neighborhood Greenways being built in the future.  If you are interested in learning more about this project, please consider attending one of the remaining kick-off meetings:

  • Saturday, May 24 – 10 a.m. to Noon at the Thomas Dunn Learning Center, 3113 Gasconade in the Dutchtown neighborhood.
  • Thursday, May 29 – 6 –8 p.m. at Joyia Tapas, 4501 Manchester Avenue in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood.

May 25 – Lindenwood Live Free Concert, Lindenwood Park, 6 p.m.

The first Lindenwood Live Free Concert of the season will be this Sunday and will feature music by The Rockhoppers.  They will be performing from 6 – 8 p.m.  Visitors will be able to purchase food from Shell's Coastal Cuisine and Zia's food trucks starting at 5 p.m.  Murray's Shaved Ice will also be there.  Bring your chairs, blankets, drinks, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, etc. and join your neighbors for an awesome evening of food and fun for everyone.  Lindenwood Park is located on Pernod, between Jamieson and Prather.

May 26 – Annual Memorial Day Concert, Tower Grove Park, 3 p.m.

The Compton Heights Concert Band will hold its 37th Annual Memorial Day Concert at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 26 in Tower Grove Park at the historic Henry Shaw Bandstand.  The Patriotic program will honor all our armed forces and those who have served and defended us, many making the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.  For a complete schedule of summer concerts, visit the web site.

May 27 –Twilight Tuesdays Spring 2014 Concert Series, Missouri History Museum, 6 p.m.

The Missouri History Museum's Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series will continue on Tuesday, May 27 with a free concert by The James Family, playing a tribute to Ike and Tina Turner.  Festivities will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Museum's front lawn on Lindell Boulevard at DeBaliviere in Forest Park.  For the complete schedule of concert performers, log on to the web site.

May 27 & May 28 – Consolidated Plan Public Meetings

The City of St. Louis is completing its Consolidated Plan and is seeking your input.  Please consider attending one of the remaining public meetings listed below and help the City set its neighborhood, community and city priorities around affordable and market rate housing, historic preservation, economic development, public safety and other services.

  • Tuesday, May 27 – 6 to 8 p.m. at SLACO, 5888 Plymouth Avenue in the West End neighborhood
  • Wednesday, May 28 – 6 to 8 p.m. at UMSL @ Grand Center, 3651 Olive Street.

For more information, call (314) 210-8120.

Save the Date

May 30 & May 31 – Thurman Loop Fest, Shenandoah & Thurman Avenues, 10 a.m.

May 31 – College & Career Readiness Resource Fair, Tandy Community Center, Noon

May 31 – Community Clean-Up Day, Fairgrounds Park, 10 a.m.

May 31 – Cherokee Street Bands Concert, Benton Park, 4 p.m.

May 31 – Bike Ride, St. Vincent Greenway, 9 a.m.

June 1 – Sunday Night Concerts, Carondelet Park, 6 p.m.

June 2 –Monday Night Concerts, South St. Louis Square Park, 7 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.

Mapping Food Access in St. Louis

Since 2010, the Saint Louis University's Department of Nutrition and Dietetics' SLU FoodCorps has been dedicated to improving access to healthy food for individuals and families.  In an effort to go beyond the USDA's definition of food deserts and better understand what access to healthy, affordable, nutritious food in St. Louis looks like, SLU FoodCorps VISTA member Aaron McMullin has researched SNAP retail locations, gardens, and food pantries and will make a presentation this Friday at 11 a.m. at the SLU Allied Health Building, 3437 Caroline Street, in the 3rd Floor Multipurpose Room.  Afterwards there will be time for questions and answers and networking.  Visitor parking will be available in the Hickory East Garage.  For more information and to RSVP, call (314) 977-8664.


Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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