Best Labor Day Weekend 2013 Events: Gateway Cup Races, Big Muddy Blues Festival And The Greek Festival

By Katie Davis
In Culture

This Labor Day weekend, you’ll want to check out some of the great events St. Louis has to offer even if you are hosting your neighborhood’s barbecue party or planning to hit the pool. We’ve compiled a list of the best festivals, sporting events and more going on during this long holiday weekend.

Don’t skip out on The Lou’s Labor Day fun! Take a look through the options below, and make your plans accordingly.

Racers climb hill on their bikes in the 2012 Gateway Cup Race

Courtesy of Gateway Cup Races
Photo by: Jay Beauvais

Gateway Cup Races
Friday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 2
Lafayette Square, Tour de Lafayette
Francis Park, Tour de Francis Park
The Hill, Giro della Montagna
Benton Park, Benton Park Classic
In its 22nd year, the Staenberg Group Gateway Cup races continue this year with four days of professional racing as well as kids’ rides, charity rides, pancake breakfasts and more!

Find race information, parking instructions, maps and details at Gateway Cup’s site.

Big Muddy Blues Festival
Saturday, Aug. 31-Sunday, Sept.1
Laclede’s Landing, Downtown
The Big Muddy Blues Festival has been wowing fans for 18 years with its lineup of great jazz, blues, rockabilly, R&B and gospel performances. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grab some brews, listen to incredible music and enjoy the views right in the heart of historic Laclede’s Landing.

There are two free stages. Other stages, performances and events can be accessed with the general $13/day ticket or the VIP $45/day ticket. Hours are 1pm to 11 pm both days.

The Art Fair at Queeny Park
Friday, Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 1
Queeny Park, West County
More than 130 juried artists and 14 different art media are represented in this come-rain-or-shine fair, located indoors at Queeny Park’s Greensfelder Recreation Complex. There is even a wine tasting on Friday evening as well as art certificate drawings and kids’ activities.

Hours for the art fair are 6pm to 9pm on Friday, 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 but parking is free.

37th Annual Japanese Festival
Saturday, Aug. 31-Monday, Sept. 2
Missouri Botanical Garden, Shaw Neighborhood
Martial arts, sumo wrestling, bonsai trimming, candlelight walks, ice sculptures and cooking demos abound at the highly anticipated Japanese Festival that has been running since 1977. Plus, guests can still experience all that MOBOT has to offer year-round with its expansive gardens, conservatories and gift shop.

Festival hours are 10am to 8pm, though the grounds will be open until 10pm for candlelight walks.

Downtown Labor Day Parade
Monday, Sept. 2
Broadway and Market Streets, Downtown
Hosted by the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, this celebration of Labor Day and those it represents brings St. Louisians together for a huge parade Downtown complete with music, costumes, balloons, cheers and vendors galore! The parade begins at 9am heading east on Olive and 13th to Tucker Street.

St. Nicholas Greek Festival
Friday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sept. 2
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Central West End
There’s no shortage of delicious food at the annual Greek Festival, which features pastries, a beer garden, an Athenian garden deli, shish-kebobs and even traditional lamb shank. Visitors will also find live music, Greek dancers, a church tour and a car raffle at this weekend-long event.

The beer garden is open on  Friday from 5pm to 9 pm. Hours for the festival are 11am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday and 11am to 8pm on Monday.  Admission to the festival is free. Find more information on the festival, its schedule and parking directions at SNGOC.com. (NOTE: Site plays music!)

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