Top Things To Do Labor Day Weekend In St. Louis

August 15, 2014 7:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Labor Day is the official end of summer. It’s the opposite bookend to Memorial Day — together they prop up all of the leisurely days of summer. St. Louisans love to mark these occasions with street parties, festivals and parades. These events reach deep into our identity in the STL, connecting us to our roots and marking the passage of the seasons. Here are the top five events among the Labor Day offerings.
Japanese Festival
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100

Date: Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, 2014

The Botanical Garden’s massive Japanese Festival is one of St. Louis’s most treasured annual events. The Ikebana (Japanese floral arranging) and bonsai displays will take your breath away, or you can browse anime or origami arts. The theater is filled with entertainment constantly, from Suzuki violinists to Japanese operas. A huge array of outdoor food booths offer everything from noodles to sushi. Tea ceremonies and candlelight walks bring the Japanese Garden to life. Don’t miss the Taiko Drummers in the outdoor amphitheater, they are always a highlight of the event.

Big Muddy Blues Festival
Laclede’s Landing
710 N. 2nd St.
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314) 241-5875

Date: Aug. 30-31, 2014

Packing the cobblestone streets of Laclede’s Landing on the riverfront to hear great blues music has been a Labor Day tradition in St. Louis for 17 years. The Festival is proud to be keeping its location alongside the Mississippi during a time when other festivals are moving from downtown to West County. This is a festival that celebrates the city’s musical roots, as well as all of the offshoots of the blues genre, like soul, R&B, rockabilly, gospel and jazz. Join 60,000 other music lovers on the riverfront for this celebration of soulful St. Louis-style music.

Related: Top Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In St. Louis

St. Louis Labor Day Parade
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 291-8666

Date: Sept. 1, 2014

While the city is saying goodbye to summer with ethnic music and food festivals, or enjoying one last romp in the pool, local unions are marking the “reason for the season.” St. Louis’s Labor Day Parade celebrates the workers of America and the successes of the labor movement. Come out and show your support for laborers and enjoy the music and floats of this traditional parade.

Midwest Wingfest
Dillard’s Parking Lot
275 St. Clair Square
Fairview Heights, IL 62208

Date: Aug. 29-30, 2014

Nothing says American Midwest like a plate of hot wings and a cold brewski. Midwest Wingfest is a celebration of Americana on a mall parking lot. Try out all of the different varieties of wings, chili and other traditional foods. Live music and entertainment play on the main stage all day. There’s also a chicken run and walk, and a wing-eating contest.

Related: Top Botanical Gardens In St. Louis

Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at

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