Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Saluting Our Heroes

Plenty of fun and exciting events in City neighborhoods this Memorial Day Holiday weekend.  Enjoy!

May 24, 2012 | 7 min reading time
Eddie Roth, Director of Public Safety
Photo by Kara Bowlin Title: Portrait of Eddie Roth, Director of Public Safety, appointed Feb. 27, 2012.
Source: Kara Bowlin

National EMS Week

National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week always falls on the third full week of the month of May.  This year it is being observed from Sunday, May 20 through Saturday, May 26.  Every day, we can take comfort in knowing that if an accident occurs or an illness strikes suddenly, well-trained, caring men and women are only a phone call away.  The timely actions of EMS personnel often make the difference between life and death.

It was fitting that the St. Louis Fire Department Lifesaving Foundation held its annual Lifesaving Awards Ceremony this week.  A number of St. Louis firefighters, paramedics and EMTs were recognized for their bravery and for the quick actions they took when responding to calls.  These calls could have had a much different, probably fatal, outcome.  Congratulations to all 2012 Lifesaving Awards recipients!  Job well done! 

Memorial Day

Come honor our veterans at the Memorial Day Ceremony on Saturday, May 26.  The ceremony will take place at 10:55 a.m. the Blues Festival Main Stage by Soldiers' Memorial, located at 1315 Chestnut in Downtown St. Louis.  The program is free, open to the public, and will feature guest speaker James Casey from The Mission Continues. 

Still often called Decoration Day, the Memorial Day observance began after the Civil War ended as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress.  Then in 2000 "The National Moment of Remembrance Act" was passed and signed into law to ensure the sacrifices of America's fallen heroes are never forgotten.  The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.  I encourage you to join in recognizing those who placed their lives in harm's way to protect American values and preserve democracy for the world. 


Upcoming Events

May 25- 27 – Bluesweek Festival, Soldiers' Memorial Park

This year's Bluesweek Festival will be truly amazing, bringing in artists from Chicago to Clarksdale and beyond, and fans from all over the world.  In fact, the celebration of Blues music through Bluewsweek was part of the very energy that led the National Blues Museum project here in St. Louis – all driven by a passion for the music!  The free Festival will run from 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 25 through 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27 at Soldiers' Memorial Park, 14th and Chestnut, in beautiful Downtown St. Louis.  For a complete schedule of performances, go to the web site at .

May 25 – June 17 – Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Forest Park

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis will return to Forest Park Friday with the bard's tale of Othello.  Admission is free and open to the public.  Performances will begin at 8 p.m. and continue nightly (except Tuesday) through June 17.  For more information, visit the web site at .

May 25 – June 26 – Cinema at Citygarden

St. Louis-area filmmakers were invited to let their imaginations blossom by creating short works that incorporate Nature as a key element.  The results are in, and the three winning films will debut May 25 on Citygarden's video wall at 9th and Market in Downtown St. Louis.  In addition, seven other competition films will also be featured on the looped program that will screen on the video wall.  For more information about the programming, visit .

May 26 – Aug. 19 – Lantern Festival Grand Opening, Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden will kick off its Grand Opening weekend for the Lantern Festival this Saturday.  The Festival will celebrate Chinese history and culture, and the garden will be completely transformed with hanging lanterns and exquisite displays.  For ticket information and details, go to or call (314) 577-5100.

May 26 – Live Music at the Plaza, Soulard Market

Everyone is invited to stop by Soulard Market from Noon – 3 p.m. on Saturday to enjoy Live Music at the Plaza.  The Roadhouse Band will perform on May 26, June 9 and June 16.  This is a free family-friendly event.  For more information about events at Soulard Market, visit the web site at .

May 26 – 1780 British Attack on St. Louis

History buffs will not want to miss this free event at the Gateway Arch on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Hear the stories of the people of St. Louis during the British Attack on May 26, 1780.  Spanish soldiers, local militia, merchants, women and British Indians, in their own words, will tell their stories of that fateful day.  Also, 18th century drill and firing demonstrations will take place on the hour.  Questions?  Call (314) 655-1700. 

May 26 – 28 – St. Louis African Arts Festival, Forest Park

One of St. Louisans' favorite events is the annual three-day St. Louis African Arts Festival at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.  Fun for the entire family, the festival boasts the African Marketplace, the Children's Village, the Health Village, cultural demonstrations and local performing artists.  The Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 27 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.  Stop by and take in all that the Festival has to offer.  Learn more at .

May 26 – 2nd Annual Grouphug St. Louis Party, Old North St. Louis

City Affair invited everyone to scour the City and snap photographs of hugging favorite people, places and objects – ones that define St. Louis and/or help explain why you love St. Louis.  Now it's time to view those pictures.  This year's Grouphug St. Louis Party will be held from 7 – 10 p.m. at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street (in sight of Crown Candy).  The entire 2700 block of N. 14th will be closed off to traffic so that artists, street performers, magicians, and others will be able to perform. Come view the photos, listen to music, enjoy the entertainment, and express your love for our great city.  To see photos from last year's Grouphug Party, visit .

May 27 – DOO-Wop Concert, Missouri History Museum

The Urban League's Vaughn Cultural Center, First Civilizations and the Missouri History Museum are sponsoring a DOO-Wop Concert this Memorial Day Weekend at the Museum.  The concert will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. and will feature The Caesars, Uvee Hayes and Harmonee.  Admission is free.

May 27 – Lindenwood Live Concert, Lindenwood Park

Pack a picnic supper and invite family, friends and neighbors to enjoy a great summer evening of music and relaxation this Sunday at the Lindenwood Live Concert at Lindenwood Park, at the corner of Jamieson and Pernod.  The concert will run from 6 – 8 p.m. and will feature "Fanfare."  Murray's Shaved Ice will be there to serve their cool summertime specialty.  Face painting will be available for the little ones.  Find more information at the web site .

May 31 – June 24 – Circus Flora, Grand Center

The magical and enchanting Circus Flora will return to Grand Center on Thursday, May 31.  Step into the air-conditioned, red-and-white, big top tent adjacent to Powell Hall (corner of Grand Blvd. and Samuel Shepard Drive) and be pulled into the story of The Wizard:  Merlin & the Legend of King Arthur.  For performance times and ticket information, visit or call (314) 289-4040.


Save the Date

June 1 – Reggae Summer Splash, North Riverfront Park

June 1 – Food Truck Round-Up, Forest Park

June 1 & 2 – Thurman Loop Fest

June 2 – North City Farmers' Market Opening Day, Crown Square

June 2 & 3 – Lafayette Square Spring Home & Garden Tour

June 2 – Free Concert, Lafayette Park

June 2 – Community Day

June 2 – Tour de Plants Bicycle Tour

June 2 – 2012 Volvo National Meet & Car Show, Forest Park

June 2 – National Trails (Work) Day on the Riverfront Trail

June 2 – Saturdays in the Plaza, Soulard Market

June 2 – Free Concert, Benton Park

June 2 – St. Elizabeth Academy Yard Sale

June 2 – Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Picnic

June 2 – Tilles Park 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk, Tilles Park

June 3 – New Belgium Urban Assault Bicycle Obstacle Ride, Forest Park

June 2 – Fun Fair at Franz Park

June 3 – Free Concert, Carondelet Park

June 4 – Free Concert, South St. Louis Square Park

June 5 – Twilight Tuesday Concert, Missouri History Museum


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 on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Summer Camps in the City

In closing, I want to pass along to you some information about free Summer Camps for Kids being offered by the City of St. Louis in partnership with Playtime Recreation and the Recreation Division of the City's Parks Department.  The programs are for children and teens ages 4 to 17.  The day camps will operate weekdays from June 11 – Aug. 17 and will offer a variety of activities, including swimming, soccer, field trips, fishing, games, arts and crafts and movie days.  Call (314) 289-5367 or email for more information.


Eddie Roth

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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