Public Safety Director's Spotlight - September is National Preparedness Month

Greek, Japanese, Big Muddy Blues, and Bosnian Bevo Festivals, Gateway Cup Races, Labor Day Parade & more to enjoy!

August 28, 2014 | 5 min reading time

September is National Preparedness Month

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be ready?  Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors National Preparedness Month to educate, empower and encourage Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters.  I encourage you to use the month of September as a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters, both large scale and smaller local events.  The most important step you can take in helping our local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care for at least a short period of time following an incident.  The more people who are prepared, the quicker your neighborhood and the City will recover.  For practical emergency preparedness tips, visit the CEMA page on the City web site at or the web site.

Upcoming Events

Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 – Greek Festival, Kingshighway & Forest Park Avenue, 5 p.m.

The 97th Annual St. Louis Greek Festival will open at 5 p.m. Friday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 4967 Forest Park Avenue in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  Visitors will enjoy live music, traditional folk dancing, tours of the beautiful church, and delicious food throughout the weekend from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.  For all the particulars, visit .  Opa!

Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 – The Staenberg Group Gateway Cup Classic Bicycle Races

Missouri's top cycling event – The Staenberg Group Gateway Cup Classic Bicycle Races -- will roll into St. Louis this Labor Day Weekend showcasing a number of our exciting and historic neighborhoods.  The races are scheduled as follows:

*Aug. 29 –Tour de Lafayette in the Lafayette Square neighborhood

*Aug. 30 –Tour de Francis Park in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood

*Aug. 31 –Giro della Montagna ProAm on The Hill

*Sept. 1 –Benton Park Criterium in the Benton Park neighborhood

For race times, routes and all the details, visit the web site.

Aug. 30 & 31 – Big Muddy Blues Festival, Laclede's Landing, 1 p.m.

Every Labor Day weekend, St. Louis' historic Laclede's Landing hosts more than 60,000 people from around the country for the Big Muddy Blues Festival.  Now in its 19th year, the region's largest Blues music festival will feature hours of music this Saturday and Sunday on three stages throughout the cobblestone streets of Laclede's Landing.  For ticket information and all the details, visit .

Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 – Japanese Festival, Missouri Botanical Garden, 10 a.m.

Celebrate Japanese culture and history this Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard.  Visitors will enjoy demonstrations in art forms, dancing, martial arts, fashion shows, musical performances and more. The Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.  Admission is $5 to $15.  For more information, call (314) 577-9400.

Aug. 30 – Free Organ Recital, St. Agatha Church, 6 p.m.

Polish organist Dr. Boguslaw Raba will perform this Saturday at 6 p.m. at St. Agatha Polish Roman Catholic Church, 3239 S. 9th Street (at Utah) in the Soulard neighborhood.  The evening will begin with a short lecture on Ignacy Jan Paderewski as a composer.  The recital program will consist of music of the most prominent Polish composers of the Romantic era.  Questions?  Call (314) 772-1603.

Aug. 30 – Free Concert, Lafayette Park, 6 p.m.

Invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you at the free concert this Saturday at Lafayette Park, Mississippi & Lafayette. Visit the website for more details.

Aug. 31 – Giro della Montagna, departs from Shaw VPA CEC, 7:30 a.m.

Come for a great ride around The Hill neighborhood and stay for the historic Giro della Montagna ProAm races featuring professional cycling at its best this Sunday.  Riders will have the route options of 48, 27 or 21 miles.  Cost ranges from $15 to $3.  Registration will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Shaw Visual & Performing Arts Community Education Center, 5329 Columbia Avenue day of the ride.  You may also pre-register online at

Aug. 31 – Bosnian Bevo Festival, Gravois & Morganford, 11 a.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the Bosnian Bevo Festival this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Gravois and Morganford in the beautiful Bevo Mill neighborhood.  The celebration will feature non-stop dynamic music and dance performances by traditional ethnic artists, food, cultural and educational exhibits, folk art demonstrations, rides and more.  Highlighting this year's gala event will be the dedication of the Sebilj Fountain at Noon.

Sept. 1 – Labor Day Parade, Downtown, 9 a.m.

The annual Labor Day Parade sponsored by the St. Louis Labor Council will take place on Monday, Sept. 1.  The parade will step off at 9 a.m. from 15th & Olive, proceed east on Olive to Tucker, south on Tucker to Market, and west on Market to 15th where it will disband.  Need more information?  Call (314) 291-8666.

Sept. 1 – Unity in the Community Fair 2014, St. Louis AvenueGrand Boulevard, 11 a.m.

New Direction STL will be hosting the Third Annual Unity in the Community Street Fair this Monday, Sept. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Grand Boulevard and St. Louis Avenue.  Activities will include free rides, face painting, balloons, clowns, a talent showcase stage, free basic health screenings, and more.  For more information, call (314) 282-0705.

Save the Date

Sept. 5 – Annual Firefighters' Candlelight Vigil, Poelker Park, 8 p.m.

Sept. 5 – Saint Louis Art Fair, Soldiers' Memorial Plaza, 10 a.m.

Sept. 5 – First Fridays, Grand Center, 5 p.m.

Sept. 6 – Annual Great Fire Engine Parade & Rally, Downtown, 10 a.m.

Sept. 6 – WiffleFest 2014, Ray Leisure Park, 10 a.m.

Sept. 6 – 1st Annual Party on Pestalozzi, starts at 2900 Missouri Avenue, Noon

Sept. 6 – St. Louis Challenge 2014: The Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race, starts at Joe Buck's Downtown, 1 p.m.

Sept. 6 – Annual St. Louis & Metropolitan Firefighters' Appreciation Ball, River City Casino Ballroom, 5 p.m.

Sept. 6 -- Summer 2014 Soulard Concert Series, Soulard Market Plaza, 6 p.m.

Sept. 6 &7 – LouFest, Forest Park Noon

Sept. 7 – Croatian Day, St. Joseph Croatian Catholic Church, 11 a.m.

Sept. 9 – Free Concert, Art Hill in Forest 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.

Time is Running Out

Registration for the 2014 Emergency Preparedness Academy will close on Tuesday, Sept. 16.  At the Third Annual Emergency Preparedness Academy, you will learn vital information to keep your staff and associates safe during an emergency.  Experts in the field will help you:

  • Develop your organization's emergency plan
  • Mitigate hazards
  • Improve your emergency response.

Other topics will include:

  • Responding to Active Shooters
  • Small Business Preparedness
  • School Emergency Preparedness and the Law
  • Faith-Based Disaster Relief Plans

The cost to attend ranges from $40 to $65 and the fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, snacks throughout the day and parking.  To learn more about the 2014 Emergency Preparedness Academy that will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 23, visit .

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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