Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Back-to-School Prep

Lots of fun events on the schedule in City neighborhoods. Take advantage of all the great opportunities on tap.

July 26, 2012 | 6 min reading time
Eddie Roth, Public Safety Director
Photo by UPI/Bill Greenblatt Title: New portrait of Eddie Roth, Director of Public Safety
Source: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

Beginning at midnight on Friday, Aug. 3 shoppers in Missouri will be able to save money on computers, clothes and school supplies during Missouri’s 9th annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, which will run through Sunday, Aug. 5.  During this time period, the state’s 4.225 percent sales tax will not be assessed on certain purchases made in Missouri.  If you need to purchase back-to-school items, now is the time to plan to buy these items during the sales tax holiday. For a list of local governments that have opted out of the holiday, visit or call (573) 751-2836.

Upcoming Events

July 27 – View 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies, Citygarden

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will open in London on Friday.  Starting at 6 p.m. Friday the broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics will be shown on the big screen in Citygarden, 9th and Market Street.  Invite your family and friends Downtown to experience this memorable event.

July 27 – Outdoor Film Series, St. Louis Art Museum

The St. Louis Art Museum will present another movie in its free Outdoor Film Series this Friday in Forest Park.  Before the film, grab a bite to eat from one (or more) of the food trucks at the Food Court Fest outside the Museum, at 7 p.m. listen to live music, then at 9 p.m. settle in for the James Bond classic film “Goldfinger.”  Questions?  Call (314) 721-0072.

July 28 – Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day Meetup

The first day of competition at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London is Saturday.  In support of Team USA, you are invited to meet up with your family, friends and neighbors at one of the Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day events on Saturday.  You may start the day with yoga at 9 a.m. on the lawn next to Tower Grove Farmers’ Market in beautiful Tower Grove Park, then head to the St. Louis Zoo for a walk starting at 11 a.m.  Meet at the Animal Always Sculpture at the southeast corner of the Zoo at the intersection of Wells and Hampton.  To get more information and inspiration for your own Meetup, visit the web site.

July 28 – Sickle Cell Stroll, Forest Park

Everyone is invited to gather at the Upper Muny Parking Lot in Forest Park on Saturday at 9 a.m. for the Sickle Cell Stroll.  Registration is free, but for a $20 donation you will receive a Walk t-shirt.  For more information, call (314) 227-3950 or visit the web site.

July 28 – 22nd Ward Family Reunion Picnic, Barrett Brothers Park

The Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Organization is hosting its Annual 22nd Ward Family Reunion Picnic this Saturday, from Noon to 7 p.m. at Barrett Brothers Park, located at Goodfellow and St. Louis Avenue.  Take a few moments out of your busy schedule to stop by and enjoy the festivities.

July 28 – 3rd Annual Wings of Hope Cardboard Boat Race, Forest Park

Calling kids of all ages!  Wings of Hope will supply the cardboard and instructions.  You supply your imagination to build a boat and save a life.  The 3rd Annual Wings of Hope Cardboard Boat Race will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Grand Basin in Forest Park.  All proceeds will go directly to the Wings of Hope St. Louis Medical Relief and Air Transport program. For more details, visit the web site.

July 28 – Spectacular Saturdays in the Central West End

The second of seven Spectacular Saturdays this summer in the Central West End will take place this Saturday.  From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. expect to be entertained in the most unexpected ways.  Whether you are shopping at a boutique, browsing an exhibit at a gallery or visiting one of the many restaurants or bars in the CWE, the performances will add that extra something to your already enjoyable evening.  For more information, visit the web site.  

July 28 – Free Concert, Lafayette Park

The Arts Council of Lafayette Square will present the Jim Stevens Group this Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., as part of its free Summer Concert Series in scenic LafayettePark.  Bring your family, friends and neighbors and enjoy the fun.  Lafayette Park is located at Mississippi and Lafayette Avenues.

July 28 – 7th Annual City-Wide Open Studios Bike Tour

The City-Wide Open Studios event connects the public to artists’ studios across the city, creating a unique opportunity to promote dialogue about art-making in St. Louis.  The free Bike Tour will offer participants a unique way to tour local artists’ studios.  Bring your own bike and meet at the Contemporary Art Museum at 3750 Washington   Blvd. at 1 p.m.   Questions?  Call (314) 535-4660.

July 29 – 7th Annual City-Wide Open Studios BBQ, Contemporary Art Museum

Celebrate the end of an art-filled weekend by attending the 7th Annual City-Wide Open Studios BBQ in the Contemporary Art Museum’s courtyard, located at 3750 Washington   Avenue in the Covenant Blu / Grand Center neighborhood.  Doors will open at 4 p.m.  BBQ from Pappy’s Smokehouse will be available at 5 p.m. and the concert by Bluegrass band Cumberland Gap will start at 6 p.m.  The price is $15 for non-members, $10 for members, and free for participating artists and children under 12.  For more information about this weekend’s Open Studio events, call (314) 535-4660.

July 29 - Free Summer Concert, Carondelet Park

The Carondelet Community Betterment Federation will present Farshid – World Music from 6 – 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 29 in Carondelet Park as part of its Summer Concert Series.  The concert will take place at the Music Stand at Loughborough and Field.  Pack a picnic basket, bring your lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy the sights and sounds of this free outdoor concert in the park.

Wednesday nights – O’Fallon Park Jazz Concert Series

The 4th Annual O’Fallon Park Jazz Concert Series will conclude Wednesday, Aug. 1 with a performance by Roland Johnson.  The performance will begin at 6 p.m. in O’Fallon Park, located at West Florissant and Interstate 70 in north St. Louis.  Invite your family and friends to join you for the sweet sounds of jazz and soul music in this beautiful neighborhood park.

Thursday nights - Thursdays @ The Intersection, Grand Center

Enjoy the free outdoor concert series, Thursdays @ The Intersection, at 5 p.m. every Thursday at Strauss Park, located at Grand and Washington in Grand Center, now through Oct. 4. For a complete schedule of performers, visit .

Sunday Serenades by Compton Heights Concert Band, Francis Park

Everyone is invited to come to Francis Park, Donovan and Eichelberger, in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood for the free Sunday Serenades Summer Concert Series by the Compton Heights Concert Band.  The concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. each Sunday from now through Aug. 5.  Invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you for these lively concerts.

Musical Mondays Concert Series

The Compton Heights Concert Band will present its free Musical Mondays Summer Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays in Tower Grove Park (Magnolia and Tower Grove) at the Henry Shaw Bandstand.  Pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket and join your neighbors for a great evening in the park.  The series will run from now through Aug. 6th.

Save the Date

Aug. 3 – Free Summer Concert, Carondelet Lions Park, 7 p.m.

Aug. 4 – Back to School Festival, Chaifetz Arena, 9 a.m.

Aug. 4 – Free Back-to-School Children’s Vision Screening, St. Louis Science Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Aug. 4 – 10th Annual Prostate Cancer Run/Walk, Kiener Plaza, 7:30 a.m.

Aug. 4 – 6th Annual Community Health Fair, Monsanto YMCA, 10 a.m.

Aug. 4 – Memorial for Fallen First Responders – The Cranes Are Coming!, Art Hill in Forest Park, 9:30 a.m.

Aug. 4 – 5 – Missouri Black Expo’s Taste of Soul Weekend, America’s Center

Aug. 4-11 – Better Family Life’s Family Week 2012, various activities

Aug. 4 – That 70s Game Show! Live!, Regional Arts Commission, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 5 – 1st Annual Schurcipefones Festival, 10th & Locust, Noon

Aug. 7 – Election Day

Aug. 7 – National Night Out, numerous locations

Aug. 7 – Benton Park National Night Out Festival, Benton Park, 6 p.m.

Aug. 7 – Southampton Neighborhood Picnic, Macklind & Nottingham, 6 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 on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Poetry in Motion Contest

In closing, I want to pass along some information from Metro Arts in Transit.  Do you like to write poems and live within a 50-mile radius of the City of St. Louis?  If so, then you are invited to enter the 2013 Poetry in Motion contest.  The deadline to enter the contest is 5 p.m. on September 24.  Fifteen poems will be selected for publication and displayed on MetroLink trains and MetroBus vehicles for up to one year.  The winning authors will be invited to read their poems at a special ceremony in November.  Each winner will receive a $50 award.  The contest is open to both published and non-published work by bi-state residents of all ages.  For more information about the contest and to print an entry form, visit the Arts in Transit web site (

Eddie Roth
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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