The American Arts Experience – A Celebration of the Arts in St. Louis
Dates: Oct. 4-20, 2013
The American Arts Experience is like no other festival you can attend in St. Louis. It’s a celebration of all the arts – music, dance, theater and art – that lasts for 17 days, and is glorified all over the city. New Dance Horizons presents four dance companies at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, architectural lovers can tour a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and enjoy the handy work of area artists and all others can experience great food and music at the Shaw Art Fair. It’s the festival to encompass all festivals. And could you expect any less? Last year, over 38 participating organizations came together to create a collection of events to showcase across the city, and this year’s collection promises to be even better. Surf the calendar and make it your business to attend as many events as possible.
Scottish Games and Cultural Festival
5995 Grand Drive
St. Louis, MO 63112
Dates: Sept. 27-28, 2013
You don’t need to be a member of a Scottish clan to enjoy and participate in the Scottish games this September. You can also spend the weekend absorbing the culture by taking in great musical performances and eating great food. In fact, the weekend is packed with great events and a myriad of vendors to browse. Nosh on a Scotch egg, bangers, fish and chips or scones with clotted cream while you peruse the Celtic fashions booth, or the Scottish armoury. Admission prices start at $5 for children and $10 for adults. Make a weekend of it and get a two-day pass for $20. Tickets can be purchased at the gate.
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race
5995 Grand Drive
St. Louis, MO 63112
Dates: Sept. 20-21, 2013
For more than 40 years, there has been a balloon race in Forest Park. It is a great St. Louis tradition that is celebrated and loved by the community. The beauty of the balloon glow on Friday is a sight to behold and a great prelude to the excitement of the race on Saturday. More than 130,000 spectators enjoy the race annually, and more than 70 balloonists from across the country compete for the top three spots. Children’s entertainment is planned for pre-race activities, so come early. The event is free to the public and a rain date is set for September 22.
Related: Top Fall Festivals In St. Louis
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis: Shakespeare in the Streets
The Grove Neighborhood and Forest Park Southeast
St. Louis, MO 63110
Dates: Sept. 19-21, 2013
“The Winter’s Tale” is this year’s selection for the Shakespeare in the Streets Festival to be performed in the Grove neighborhood near Forest Park. This classic tells of a royal family’s turmoil due to a king’s jealousy and the redemption that ensues through struggle, passage of time and, of course, the magic of Shakespeare’s vision. The cast for this engaging theater will include a troupe of professional actors and local artists and shop keepers of the area. Performances begin at 8 p.m. each evening and are free to the public. However, if you are so inclined, you can sponsor this event as well as other Shakespeare Festival events. The Festival also offers Shakespeare in Forest Park, Shake38, Education Tour camps and classes and Metroyouth.
951 South Greenmount Road
Belleville, IL 62220
Dates: Eckerts is open 7 days weekly
While Eckerts is busy with activities year round, fall is harvest time, and it is also festival time. Beginning in September, you can find any number of great activities, in addition to an apple harvest. Every Saturday night, the Fall Concert Fest provides musical entertainment for patrons outside the Country Store between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The last three weekends in September celebrate Apple Fest with hayrides, apple picking, food and children’s activities. Haunted hayrides begin on September 13 and are available every Friday and Saturday through Halloween. Eckerts is the proverbial fall festival destination. Check out its events page for even more great fall activities.
Lisa Payne-Naeger, a native of the St. Louis area, is a freelance writer, blogger, political activist and a homeschooling mother of two children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.