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PrideFest 2013 Move Downtown Controversial

Peoples often dislike when an event that’s been held in a location for a long time moves to a different location, a recent example is the Annie Malone May Day Parade:

The parade moved downtown in 2006 in hopes of increasing community-wide participation, but has struggled to maintain the level of support it once enjoyed when the parade was held in north St. Louis. (KMOX)

I never saw the parade in north St. Louis but I have seen it a few times downtown, so more of the St. Louis community has participated.

A marching band heads east on Market Street during the 2010 Annie Malone parade on May 16, 2010.

Now we have a very similar controversy about the 2013 PrideFest parade, the annual LGBT event:

Pride St. Louis, Inc. is making some exciting changes in its 34th year. This year, the festival will be held in the heart of downtown St. Louis, at Soldiers Memorial. That means tourists and visitors will be able to enjoy the festival as well as taking in the amenities and iconic scenery of the Gateway City. (Vital Voice)

But not everyone in the LGBT community supports the change of venue from South Grand and Tower Grove Park. A Facebook page called Keep Pride in Tower Grove was started  and a rally will be held today at 5pm and then at 7pm try to convince the Pride board to reconsider the change (event).

ABOVE: From the 2011 PrideFest parade on south Grand

When I moved to St. Louis in 1990 as a 23 year-old gay man the CWE was the center of the LGBT community. In 1998 the community was in uproar when the parade was moved from its longtime home of Euclid/Forest Park to South Grand/Tower Grove Park. The event has an interesting history.

History does repeat itself.

— Steve Patterson


Rethinking Our Streets: The Value of Flexible Street Design with John Norquist

Tonight should be an interesting event:

CNU President/CEO John Norquist

The event will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2012 starting with a 6 PM reception followed by a 6:30 PM lecture and discussion. Event will be held at Steinberg Hall Auditorium at Washington University at Forsyth Blvd and N Skinker Blvd, St. Louis, MO. The nearest Metrolink Station is Skinker.

 Space is limited. Please click here to RSVP.

Streets can be our greatest asset for building and connecting community. On Thursday, November 29, 2012, John Norquist will discuss how flexible street design can build economic value and enhance quality of life. Norquist will talk about the value of designing streets for people and the implications in the case of I-70 and the proposed South County Connector. He will also discuss CNU and ITE’s Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual and how to apply sustainable transportation policies in St. Louis. (CNU)

Other mentions of the event said it wasn’t necessary to RSVP. This CNU event is locally supported by City to River and Trailnet.

I first heard John Norquist speak in 2006, he’d only recently completed four terms as the mayor of Milwaukee (1988-2004) at that point. I was fortunate enough to sit next to him on a bus trip to New Town that day. I heard him again later that year at the 2006 Rail-Volution conference in Chicago, there he argued with architect Jan Gehl about pedestrian malls in North America.

— Steve Patterson


Balloon Glow Tonight, Race Tomorrow

September 14, 2012 Events/Meetings, Featured 1 Comment

Tonight (9/14) hundreds (thousands?) will converge on Central Field in Forest Park for the annual Balloon Glow, a tradition the night before the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.

ABOVE: The 2011 Balloon Glow

The Balloon Glow starts at 7pm and ends around 8:30pm:

The Balloon Glow offers spectators a breathtaking view of inflated balloons lighted by their burners. Get up close and walk around the balloons. Refreshments and Food are available. The event will conclude with the PNC Bank fireworks finale display beginning at approximately 9pm.

ABOVE: Up close last year.

If you plan to attend I suggest you think about your route into the park because driving up to the event isn’t an option (a disabled drop-off location exists).  Last year I took the #10 MetroBus to the Central West End MetroBus Transit Center and crossed over kingshighway into the park. Many bus routes also end up at this transit center (adjacent to the CWE MetroLink station).

ABOVE: Families making their way to Central Field along the paths last year. Click image for event map.

The “hare” balloon launches at 4:30pm on Saturday.

– Steve Patterson


Happy Labor Day!

September 3, 2012 Events/Meetings, Featured Comments Off on Happy Labor Day!

Going to watch the Labor Day parade today? The last day of bike racing in the Gateway Cup? Gotta work?

ABOVE: Labor Day Parade in downtown St. Louis 2009

Whatever you do today, have a great Labor Day!

— Steve Patterson


Gateway Cup Bicycle Racing Weekend Starts Tonight

Tonight is the start of the 21st annual Gateway Cup bicycle races, four different events today through Monday.

Friday night is always the Tour de Lafayette, a great evening event.

ABOVE: Male riders before their race at the Tour de Lafayette, 2006
ABOVE: Females riders before their race, Tour de Lafayette 2006

Locations for  the other days have varied, but all are daytime events.

  • Saturday is the Tour de Francis Park in St. Louis Hills.
  • Sunday is the Giro della Montagna on The Hill.  Afterwards is the Giro Pasta Dinner “Sunday, September 2nd 4:00-8:00pm: St Louis Bocce Club 2210 Marconi @ Bischoff on race course. Menu includes all the Pasta you can eat, plus 2 meatballs, salad, Italian Bread, and dessert. $7 adults/$4 children. Tickets available at the door.”
  • Monday is Benton Park Classic in…Benton Park, the neighborhood, not the actual park.

Please consider biking or taking public transit if you plan to watch these events, parking is limited. Some bus routes will be rerouted due to the races to plan accordingly. The races happen rain or shine.

— Steve Patterson




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