Fall in St. Louis brings a bounty of fairs and festivals. Nearly every weekend beginning in September and continuing through November features art shows, music fests and family-friendly events. Whether you have a yen for crafts, cultural performances, wine or blues—or you’re simply craving funnel cake—our area is hopping with activity.
3 -5 Art Fair at Queeny Park
Browse through works by 130 local, regional and national artists, enjoy wine tastings and listen to local jazz bands during this Labor Day tradition at Queeny Park. Drawings for art gift certificates will be held Saturday and Sunday, and a separate Art Discovery section for children is available. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. Free, http://gslaa.org">gslaa.org.
4-5 Big Muddy Blues Festival
Two days of the Blues on three outdoor stages on Laclede’s Landing. Booker T. & The MG’s (of ‘Green Onions’ fame) performs on Saturday; local favorite Kim Massie and The Solid Senders take the stage on Sunday. Lawn chairs welcome. Rain or shine. Food and drink booths will be onsite. Free, http://lacledeslanding.com">lacledeslanding.com.
4-6 Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden
Dancers, drummers, sumo wrestler and a colorful parade herald the start of this ever-popular festival. More than two dozen different activities and entertainment options are scattered throughout the Garden during the three-day festivities. Tea ceremonies are held six times daily on the sacred Teahouse Island in the Japanese Garden. $15 (adults), $10 (seniors), $5 (children 3-12), $25 additional per person for tea ceremony, 577-5100 or mobot.org.
4-6 St. Nicholas Greek Festival
Pass the spanakopita! There’s enough authentic Greek food and pastries to feed the entire city during this Central West End festival. And there’s also folk music and dancing to burn off those calories. sngoc.org.
10-12 Saint Louis Art Fair
One of the nation’s top art fairs is right in our own backyard! Back for its 16th year, the Saint Louis Art Fair returns with more than 150 artists from the U.S. and Canada. Hands-on demonstrations for children (and adults!), live music and gourmet tastes from local restaurants are dotted throughout downtown Clayton for this three-day event. Free, http://culturalfestivals.com">culturalfestivals.com.
10-12 Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival
The streets of downtown St. Louis near Soldiers Memorial transform into one big fiesta for this annual event celebrating Latino heritage. Live bands, ethnic arts and crafts, and authentic food are just some of the attractions. Free, http://hispanicfestivalstl.com">hispanicfestivalstl.com.
10-12 Art Outside 2010
Schlafly’s Art Outside offers an alternative juried and invitational art fair for mostly local artists. Held at Bottleworks in Maplewood. Free, http://schlafly.com">schlafly.com.
17-18 The Great Forest Park Balloon Race
The Balloon Glow and the giant Energizer Bunny balloon are just some of the reasons The Great Forest Park Balloon Race attracts tens of thousands of spectators a year. Skydivers, family-friendly activities, and a photo contest are also on the agenda. Free, http://greatforestparkballoonrace.com">greatforestparkballoonrace.com.
17-19 Kirkwood Greentree Festival
Kirkwood’s community festival is 50 years old, and to celebrate, Greentree is holding its first-ever Homecoming Dance on Saturday. The Apollos will provide the music as you dance the night away on the parking lot at City Hall; The Fabulous Motown Revue opens the festival on Friday. There’s also a parade and dog show, food booths and family-friendly activities. Free, http://ci.kirkwood.mo.us">ci.kirkwood.mo.us.
Now in its 16th year, Mosaics, Missouri’s Festival for the Arts, attracts more than 95,000 people during its three-day run in historic St. Charles. Family fun and creative activities are the main draws. Free, http://stcharlesmosaics.org">stcharlesmosaics.org.
17-19 Missouri River Irish Fest
Irish eyes will be smilin’ during the sixth annual Missouri River Irish Fest in St. Charles, touted as a ‘halfway to St. Patrick’s Day’ celebration, of sorts. Celtic rock band Barleyjuice and traditional music from Bua will keep revelers entertained. Free, http://moriveririshfest.com">moriveririshfest.com.
18 Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival
This popular event in the heart of downtown Webster draws thousands for one night of serious jazz and blues from St. Louis’ top musicians. Gumbohead, Funky Butt Brass Band and The Johnnie Johnson Band are some of the headliners. Free, http://oldwebsterjazzfestival.com">oldwebsterjazzfestival.com.
18-19, 25-26 Apple Fest
Wagon rides, festival foods and pony rides make this festival at Eckert’s Farms (Belleville, Grafton and Millstadt) perfect for families. There’s also plenty of apples for pickin’. (618) 233-0513 or eckerts.com.
24-26 St. Charles Oktoberfest
Frontier Park along the Missouri River provides the setting for this St. Charles tradition. There’s plenty of German music, food and beverages, as well as ‘Pumpkin Happening,’ a children’s area with magic shows, bounce houses, face painting and more. Free, http://saintcharlesoktoberfest.com">saintcharlesoktoberfest.com.
25-26 St. Louis Wine Festival
More than 150 wines from around the world will be available for sampling during this Forest Park festival. Gourmands are also sure to find something to their liking: Food demonstrations and signature dishes from local restaurants and caterers abound. $35 at the door, http://stlouiswinefestival.com">stlouiswinefestival.com.
1-3 St. Louis Strassenfest
Traditional German food and beverage are the highlights of this annual event in Chesterfield. Music, carnival rides, games, arts & crafts booths, and an expanded Children’s Village round out the festivities. Free, http://strassenfest.org">strassenfest.org.
1-3 Taste of St. Louis
Celebrity chefs, competitions and food demos make Taste of St. Louis downtown one of the region’s largest food events. Some features new to the festival this year include Art & Wine Walk, The Kids Kitchen, Blues Stage and Pizza Games. Free, http://tastestl.com">tastestl.com.
2-3 Best of Missouri Market
Early holiday shoppers find a treasure trove of unique Show-Me State items at this popular market at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Live music, food booths and a kids’ corner keep attendees busy all day long. $12 (adults), $5 (members), 577-5100 or http://mobot.org">mobot.org.
2-3 Historic Shaw Art Fair
Hailed as the premier fine arts fair in the City of St. Louis, the Shaw Art Fair is back for its 17th year along tree-lined Flora Place at Tower Grove Avenue. Live music and a food court are onsite. $5, http://shawartfair.org">shawartfair.org.
8-10 Soulard Oktoberfest
The seventh annual Soulard Oktoberfest returns to Lyon Park, just across the street from Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Beer and brats are the main attractions but there’s also plenty of live music and yummy treats. $5, http://soulardoktoberfest.com">soulardoktoberfest.com.
9 The Big Read
If you love reading, this is the festival for you: publishers, booksellers, national and local author signings, and panel discussions are just some of the featured highlights of The Big Read, held on the Clayton High School campus. Free, http://culturalfestivals.com">culturalfestivals.com.
30-31 Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival
The town of Kimmswick closes for vehicle traffic during this two-day festival, and for good reason: Hundreds of vendor booths fill the city park and line the streets of this quaint town, just south of St. Louis. Plus, it’s the only place to find the Kimmswick Historical Society’s famous Apple Butter. Free, http://www.visitkimmswick.com">www.visitkimmswick.com
7-18 St. Louis Jewish Book Festival
This year’s keynote speaker is legendary Hollywood mogul Jerry Weintraub (producer of The Karate Kid and Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen), who will take the stage on Sunday. Other big names include Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners), Jonathan Adler and Martin Fletcher. The St. Louis event is the largest Jewish Book Festival in the country, attracting more than 23,000 during its 12-day period. 442-3299 or http://www.jccstl.com">www.jccstl.com.
11-21 St. Louis International Film Festival
The internationally acclaimed Stella Artois St. Louis International Film Festival gives local audiences the opportunity to preview high-quality art films before their commercial release. Showings TBA. http://cinemastlouis.org">cinemastlouis.org.