Jan 6-Mar 5
If you can’t make it to NoLa for Mardi Gras, STL just might be the next best place to celebrate. Every city has a holiday they do best, and St. Louis’ Soulard neighborhood knows how to laissez les bons temps rouler with so much more than hurricanes and beads! Starting in February, there’s the Cajun Cook-Off, the Missouri Lottery 5K Run for Your Beads, the Taste of Soulard, Purina Pet Parade, Wiener Dog Derby, Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball, and of course, the Bud Light Grand Parade. After the parade, get ready to Party Gras in the Bud Light Party Tent or at the other biggest Fat Tuesday celebration in town at Molly's in Soulard (both require tickets).
March 16 12pm
STL’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates 50 years in 2019 with elaborate floats, marching bands, and giant helium-filled balloons. Rain or shine, the parade kicks off at noon on 20th and Market streets, then proceeds east to its conclusion at Broadway and Clark Streets, at which point everyone is dismissed to drown themselves in green beer. The St. Paddy’s Day celebrations don’t stop there though, The Hibernian always hosts their own parade in Dogtown on the holiday itself, March 17, no matter when it falls.
STL’s annual celebration of gay, lesbian, and transgender culture features The Grand Pride Parade and live entertainment. With around 300,000 attendees, it’s one of the most well attended LGBTQIA+ celebrations in the Midwest.
Photo courtesy of Pride St. Louis
The premier showcase of the St. Louis beer scene features more than 60 beer styles from local brewers including Schlafly, O’Fallon Brewery, Six Row Brewing Company, Morgan Street Brewery, Anheuser-Busch, and Square One; plus homebrew club tastings, live music, and gourmet food, all at the foot of the Grand Basin in Forest Park. Cheers!
“The oldest and most well-attended free hot air balloon event in the world” kicks off Friday evening with breathtaking views of inflated balloons at the Balloon Glow, and a stunning fireworks show on Art Hill. The Balloon Race takes place on Saturday, featuring a skydiving performance, the Purina Children’s Entertainment area filled with pony rides, games, and other activities for kids, and of course, the big race!
Photo by STL From Above, courtesy of The Great Forest Park Balloon Race