Best Things to Do in St. Louis Over the Weekend, September 2-4 | Art stories and interviews | Saint Louis

Enjoy the Japanese Festival this weekend.  - courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden

courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Enjoy the Japanese Festival this weekend.

As fun as it is to travel outside of St. Louis, residents don’t need to to sample culture from around the world this weekend, not to mention all the other fun events on deck. So grab your calendars and start planning!

Do not forget to plan your weekend, also:

Friday 02/09

Saint Nicholas Greek Festival

click to enlarge Meat over rice.

Steve Truesdell

St. Nicholas Greek Festival brings delicious Greek food to St. Louis.

Labor Day weekend kicks off with what is billed as St. Louis’s largest ethnic festival: the Saint Nicholas Greek Festival. The festival has been going on for decades and this year’s delights will be no different. Try authentic Greek food and listen to live Greek music, or go one step further and dance your heart out. The festival encourages you to “be Greek for a day”, and you will feel like you are in the islands with this festival. The gift shop even has imported souvenirs from Athens. The church offers tours for guests; “ooh” and “aah” in the church’s historic architecture and beautiful iconography. The Saint Nicholas Greek Festival begins on Friday, September 2 at 5 pm at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (4967 Forest Park Avenue, Attendance is free and will run until Monday, September 5.

Saint Louis Tower

Amateur and professional cyclists participate in four races in some of St. Louis’s iconic neighborhoods in the gateway cup. Friday, September 2 is the Tour de Lafayette at Lafayette Square. The Tour de Francios Park (Francis Park) is on Saturday September 3 and the Giro Della Montagna is on Sunday September 4 on the Hill. Finally, Monday, September 5 is the Benton Park Classic. The event is incredibly spectator friendly, riders race in a 1+ mile lap, meaning riders zip by every few minutes. For more information, visit

saturday 09/03

Water Lantern Festival

You know that scene in Tangled where the only reason Rapunzel leaves the tower is to go see the lanterns in the sky? Well, take heart, because that festival will take place here, but the lanterns will float instead of rising. the Water Lantern Festival travels to different cities and comes to St. Louis this week. Each festival goer designs a lantern, which is released when the sun goes down. Don’t worry about the environment: the festival will take care of recovering the lanterns and cleaning the water. Each ticket comes with a wristband for entry, a floating lantern kit, an LED candle, a commemorative drawstring bag, and a bookmark. The Water Lantern Festival takes place at Lake Creve Coeur (13725 Marine Avenue, Doors open at 4:30 pm on Saturday, September 3. Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 the day of the event.

click to enlarge The Japanese Festival is in full swing this weekend.  - COURTESY OF THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN


The Japanese Festival is in full swing this weekend.

Trip to Japan

Celebrate and learn about the history of Japan at the japanese festival this weekend. The Missouri Botanical Garden has been organizing the event since 1977 and is in collaboration with several local Japanese American organizations. Authentic Japanese music, food, entertainment, art and dance will be on display, including sumo wrestling, garden tours and candlelit walks. Guests can peruse a variety of products for sale. Food vendors include Drunken Fish, PokeDoke, Red Apron, and more. The Japanese Festival takes place at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard, on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4.

Sunday 09/04

90s dance party

Gone are the days of having to keep the music down in your parent’s basement while the radio played Alanis Morissette or Mariah Carey. But ’90s music can’t be contained any longer. Okay, Ballpark Village is hosting a 90s dance party following the game Cubs vs. Cardinals. Fool House hosts the event and will pay homage to the “golden age” of boy bands, pop, hip-hop and pop punk artists. Sing along or learn the choreography to your favorite ’90s songs. The playlist includes music from the Spice Girls, St. Louis’ own Nelly, Blink-182, the Backstreet Boys and more. The ’90s dance party kicks off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 4 at Together Credit Union Plaza (601 Clark Avenue). It is free to attend.

Do you have an event you would like to feature on our calendar? Email [email protected].

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