10 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in St. Louis

By Katie Davis
In Culture

For those still in town this Memorial Day weekend, St. Louis is filled to the brim with exciting festivals, film series and other great events.

Check out any one of these local events to make the most of your holiday weekend.

Courtesy of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Courtesy of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
May 17-June 5, Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park
This holiday weekend is a perfect time to check out either one or both of this year’s Shakespeare Festival St. Louis plays. “Henry IV” has already been playing for a few evenings while “Henry V” starts May 24. The shows alternate from there on out. Bring a picnic basket, bottle of wine, some friends or family and blankets, and prepare to head to Shakespeare Glen a bit early to see the pre-show performances and skits. More info online.

spring to dance festival

Emerson Spring to Dance Festival. Photo courtesy of Dance St. Louis.

Emerson Spring to Dance Festival
May 22-24
Touhill Performing Arts Center
Sponsored by Emerson, this annual dance festival summons some of the best dance troupes from all genres, styles and locations to our city for a weekend full of beautiful choreography and plenty of talent. From classical ballet to modern jazz, tap, hip-hop and global routines, there’s something for everyone at Spring to Dance. Tickets online.

Photo courtesy of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church Festival

Photo courtesy of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church Festival

St. Louis County Greek Fest
May 23-26
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
Traditional Greek music, dancing, culture, religion and cuisine come to life in this annual festival that has now gained quite a following in the area. Taste dishes like authentic gyros, tiropita, lamb shank, baklava and more. Witness traditional folk dancers and music, and don’t miss the tours of the beautiful church. Those who are interested in handmade arts and crafts won’t be disappointed in the agora, or marketplace. Find more info online.

2014 Budweiser St. Louis Ribfest
May 24-26
Soldiers Memorial
Barbeque and music are front-and-center in this festival Downtown. Featuring acts like Brandon Holland, Sable and Smash Band, this festival is full of great hard-rocking tunes as well as delicious food (namely, ribs). Arrive a bit early to beat some of the lines, and get a full plate before concerts begin. Info online through St. Louis Ribfest.

St. Louis African Arts Festival
May 24-26
World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park
This festival features delicious food, authentic dancing and gorgeous music, a huge marketplace section and African arts and crafts. There are also many different cultural demonstrations as well as health and fitness opportunities, children’s events, a section designed just for teens and so much more. Don’t miss the movie screening at The Muny featuring “Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom.” Find more info online.

Pork Shop: Downtown BBQ & Garage Sale
May 24
The Schlafly Tap Room
It’s time to join Schlafly and the over 50 local residents who have set up shop selling antiques, local wares and crafts, art, and much, much more. Feel free to haggle and barter a bit in this Downtown garage sale where you can also sample delicious Schlafly brews and try the pig, fresh from its roast. Live music will feature the Dock Ellis Band and more. Info here.

St. Louis Bluesweek Festival
May 24-25
Chesterfield Amphitheater
This year’s Bluesweek Festival heads out to Chesterfield. Expect to hear great music from legendary blues musicians like Otis Clay, the Soul City Disciples, Ronnie Baker Brooks and the Royal Southern Brotherhood. The much-anticipated BBQ competition will leave onlookers hungry and ready to sample the tasty selection. Find more info online.

Flicks & Foodies: Free Outdoor Movie Series at Gateway Arch
May 24
Odyssey Theatre and Gateway Arch Grounds
This is one of the best times of year for outdoor film fests, and now, you can actually watch great movies by the Gateway Arch! This weekend’s event features the classic 1976 Weestern “The Outlaw Josey Wales” with Clint Eastwood. Arrive early, and check out the local food trucks selling delicious treats and beverages. Find info here.

Tivoli Turns 90!
May 25
Tivoli Theatre
Celebrate the historic Tivoli Theatre’s 90th birthday, as well as the city’s ongoing 250th birthday festivities, by seeing a movie at this landmark location. Head down to The Loop and even catch a unique screening of the classic (and appropriately themed) film “Meet Me in St. Louis.” Info online.

42nd Annual Gypsy Caravan
May 26
The Family Arena

Support the St. Louis Symphony and its many great productions with this annual Gypsy Caravan event. This year, it takes place at The Family Arena in St. Charles, but still features a wide selection of handmade crafts, arts, decorative pieces, woodwork and so much more. For those who are particularly interested in finding specific items, there is a peek-and-purchase event on May 25, but you must get tickets to this separately from a regular admission ticket. Find details here.

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