Cardinals Opening Day!

Well we’ve made it through the long cold winter and it’s finally time to dust of your jerseys and ball caps! Opening day is about to arrive!

The St. Louis Cardinals home opener against the Chicago Cubs will be held this Sunday, April 2nd at 7:35PM and will be carried exclusively by ESPN.

Looking to celebrate downtown?

Opening Day Block Party will be held from noon to 6:30PM and is free to attend. The rally will feature food, drinks, games and giveaways!

Head to Ballpark Village for the One Nation Pep Rally, which supports both the Blues and Cardinals. From noon to 4:45PM celebrate your favorite teams in the outdoor Busch II Infield Stage. Then head inside FOX Sports Midwest Live! to catch the indoor pep rally from 5PM until game-time!

Wherever you decide to celebrate, remember to wear your Cardinal Red.

Happy Opening Day! Go Cards!

St. Louis Spotlight – Soulard

Soulard is a historic French neighborhood in St. Louis. Lined with red-brick townhomes, this neighborhood houses many restaurants and lively bars, making it one of the most well-known neighborhoods of the city.

MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION

It’s been said that St. Louis hosts the second-largest Mardi Gras gathering in the country (second to New Orleans, of course)! If you’ve never been, you should experience it at least once. There is A LOT of fun to be had! Here are a couple tips to remember: arrive early, don’t drive, and it’s always helpful to know someone that lives in the neighborhood (because standing in line for the bathroom is no fun)!

MOLLY’S

Molly’s is a great place to grab some N’awlins inspired dishes and drinks while enjoying patio weather. They have seven bars and lots of TVs for watching the Cardinals and Blues – great for large groups!

FARMERS MARKET

The city’s most iconic market is open year round, Wednesday through Saturday. Here you’ll find local produce, meats, seafood, cheese, pastries, flowers, and spices. It’s a great way to support your local farmers while getting some of the freshest ingredients available!

JOHN D. MCGURK’S IRISH PUB & GARDEN

It’s almost patio season, and the expansive patio and garden at McGurk’s is simply the best! The garden features several water features and beautiful greenery, which make it a perfect spot for an afternoon bite to eat.

PIECES

Pieces is THE St. Louis Board Game Bar & Cafe! Gather your buds and choose from over 500 games to play. Can’t wait to visit this place!

Shop Small & Support Local Businesses!

Here’s a list of local shops to consider while out shopping this weekend, throughout the holiday season and anytime throughout the year! Some of these shops even offer free delivery to the St. Louis area – good to know!

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Circa Boutique:  A clothing and gift boutique in downtown Belleville, IL and also Edwardsville, IL! The shop also offers candles, artwork, and custom jewelry!

City Sprouts:  A one-stop, super cool shop for babies and kids featuring amazing clothes, eco-friendly toys, designer diaper bags, and modern nursery furniture and decor.

Fable and Lore:  Hand-crafted, infinitely wearable jewelry for the modern free spirit.

Future Ancestor:  A curated home decor shop specializing in handmade goods, vintage furniture, and unique gifts.

Left Bank Books:  The oldest and largest independently-owned full-line bookstore in St. Louis. They offer a full-line of new and used books, gifts, cards, magazines, toys and services.

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Lemon Gem:  This brand-new kitchen store is set for its soft opening this Saturday, 11/26. It will offer the basics – pots, pans, spatulas, spoons, bakeware, aprons, kitchen gifts – from a range of well-known brands to local artisans. The shop will also feature a community cookbook library – how great is that?!

124 West Jefferson, Kirkwood, Missouri 63122

Moonbeams:  Located in the heart of Kirkwood this shop offers a variety of gift and home decor items that are truly unique and often one-of-a-kind!

Union Studio:  An independent and locally owned shop featuring a thoughtful, classic collection of St. Louis artists’ hand-crafted goods and fine art. Every item they sell—clothing, housewares and fine art—is handmade by nearby artists, our neighbors.

Urban Matter:   Home furnishings & gift shop featuring local makers, curated treasures & made-by-hand goods for both men & women.

Zee Bee Market:  Curated handmade & Fair Trade products from around the world – plus coffee, chocolate, tea, more. Their hand-crafted baskets are a personal favorite!

What are some other local gems that I missed – let us know where you like to shop in the St. Louis area.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HAPPY SHOPPING!

Songs 4 Soldiers Benefit Concert

Helping veterans with the sound of music!

Songs 4 Soldiers is a not-for-profit organization that raises money for local combat veterans with an annual benefit concert. These vets are either wounded, disabled, suffering from PTSD, or possibly just veterans who are down on their luck. The funds raised are used to pay for specific needs these individuals may have such as monthly expenses, home improvements, provisions for their family, etc. S4S is giving veterans the opportunity to take their lives in a new direction.

It all started in 2013 when combat veteran, Dustin Row, decided to make his dream a reality. Dustin served in the Iraq war in 2004 and 2005 and always had it in his mind that he wanted to help veterans when he returned home.

“Being a musician and a combat veteran I have been more than blessed in every phase of my life. After coming home from Iraq unscathed after a messy tour I was lucky enough to return to an amazing family, community and job.” states Row. “Once I was at a point to do something significant and beneficial with our band [Where’s Charlie], I knew I wanted to help fellow combat veterans. The original goal was to have a benefit concert and use the the money for four local combat veterans. Thanks to an amazing response from the community, our concerts grew at a much quicker pace than expected.” For many people Songs 4 Soldiers is a benefit concert and a charity, but for Dustin and the S4S team it has truly become a way of life.

After three short years Songs 4 Soldiers is about to hold its 4th Benefit Concert and they’ve already helped over 100 combat veterans and their families – wow! S4S also prides itself in that 100% of all donations and money raised goes directly to helping combat veterans. Make sure to mark your calendars for this great event that is fun for the whole family!

DATE:
September 10, 2016
Rain date: Sept 11th, 1:00-9:00 p.m.

TIME:
2:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

LOCATION:
Bolm-Schuhkraft City Park, Columbia, IL

BAND LINEUP:
ClusterPluck
The Dave Glover Band (all Beatles set)
PettyCash Junction
Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boys
Where’s Charlie?
SuperJam

$10 Suggested Donation for Admission
Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, balloons and interactive projects.

Please visit http://songs4soldiersstl.org for more information on the concert and how to purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long lines! Read the stories of a few of the combat veterans S4S has helped so far and donate if you are able!

Labor Day in the Lou!

The Labor Day holiday typically signifies the ending of summer.  Kids are back to school, neighborhood pools are closing, the long days of sunlight will become shorter and we will soon get a break from the St. Louis heat.  Here is a list of events around the St. Louis area to help you end your summer with a bang!

Big Muddy Blues Festival

This iconic St. Louis event is in its 21st year!  Taking place on Laclede’s Landing, there will be 45 musicians/bands playing on 3 outside stages and 3 indoor clubs over the course of the weekend.  The local restaurants will be serving drinks and food.  The event starts at 3:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday.  Admission is $10.

Japanese Festival at MOBOT

The Missouri Botanical Gardens is celebrating the 40th annual Japanese Festival this year.  This 3-day cultural event features traditional music and dancing, martial arts, cooking demonstrations, guided tours of the Japanese Gardens, and so much more.  Check out their website for a full schedule of events.  Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children/garden members.

Greek Festival

St. Louis Greek Festival is in its 99th year – wow!  The celebration starts Friday, September 2nd at 11:00 AM and goes throughout the weekend until Monday, September 5th at 8:00 PM.  As one would expect, food is a huge part of this festival and an array of Greek favorites will be available.  In addition to the delicious food and drink, you can enjoy live entertainment, jewelry, art, and tours of the beautiful St. Nicholas Church.  Admission is free!

Midwest Wing Fest

Midwest Wingfest has become an annual showdown for local restaurants and organizations to compete for the title of “Best Wings in Town!”  This 2-day celebration is held in the parking lot of the St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights, IL with proceeds going to Climb for PTSD.  This year national recording artist, Jon Pardi, will take the stage, as well as 3 other performers.  Other events include a 5k and wing-eating contest!  Admission is free but donations are welcome.

St. Louis Antique Festival

If you are into fine antiques and collectibles and enjoy “the hunt” you can’t miss this festival!  The event takes place at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds in Belleville, IL on Saturday (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM) and Sunday (10:00 AM – 4 PM).  Peruse over 30,000 square feet of unique pieces from over 90 vendors.  Admission is $6 and is good for both days.

Also, mark your calendars for Songs 4 Soldiers on Saturday, September 10th.  Full post coming next week about this great cause!