Thursday, February 24, 2011

Public Safety Director’s Spotlight on Neighborhood Activities

Public Safety Director’s Spotlight on Neighborhood Activities

This week I want to focus on St. LouisMardi Gras fun.  For the next two weekends Mardi Gras revelers will pour into the Soulard and Downtown neighborhoods to celebrate the season.  I welcome our visitors and hope they have a good time and enjoy the activities.  But I also encourage them to respect the fact that Soulard and Downtown are City residential neighborhoods and to act responsibly towards the residents and their property.  

Mardi Gras, Inc., which puts on the annual St. Louis Mardi Gras events, does a great job making sure that things go smoothly, that visitors have fun, and that security measures are in place.  Underage and excessive drinking are perennial problems at the Soulard celebration.  To address those issues, Mardi Gras volunteers receive TIPS (Training through Intervention Procedures) safety training so that citations for drunken driving and other minor infractions are kept to a minimum.  For the Grand Parade on March 5, you might want to consider using Metro.  There will be additional MetroLink service that day and Metro will operate a shuttle from 14th and Spruce near the Civic Center Transit Center to 10th & Marion Streets.  For more details on Metro service, visit .

Below are details about some of the fun events planned in the City this weekend.  These activities offer an opportunity to spend leisure time with family and friends, to explore neighborhoods new to you, and to make new acquaintances.  So I encourage you to stop by and take advantage of them.  See you in the neighborhood!

Fundraiser for Young Ambassadors for Nonviolence

Six Roosevelt High School students have been chosen as Young Ambassadors for Nonviolence and are raising money to fund a 10-day educational trip to South Africa .  Upon their return, the students will help facilitate nonviolence workshops in their respective communities.  The students are co-hosting a Pre-Screening of the international production of “RISEN: the Stage Play” based on the book by St. Louis native Anthony M. McDonald, Sr. that highlights various African-American achievers.  Seventy percent of the proceeds from this event will go to the students to help them reach their goal.  The screening will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, February 25 at Roosevelt High School , 3230 Hartford .  Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for kids.  

Trivia Night

Bevo Area Community Improvement Corporation will hold a Trivia Night on Friday, Feb. 25 at Grbic Restaurant & Banquet Center , 4071 Keokuk Street .  Doors open at 6 p.m. and trivia starts at 7 p.m.  Cost is $60 for a table of 8.  For more information, call (314) 352-0141.

Garden Design Workshop

Gateway Greening will hold a free workshop on Designing Your Garden at Noon on Saturday, Feb. 26 at their offices, 2201 Washington .  Instruction includes the basics of the free computer software SketchUp.  For more information about the workshop, visit .

Mardi Gras Festivities

The Soulard Mardi Gras Run for Your Beads 5K will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 26 from13th and Lynch (near the A-B Tour Center ) and will end at the same location.  Cost is $25.  All participants will have access to the heated tent before and after the race.  See Mardi Gras website below for more details.

Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at participating establishments in Soulard.  Booklets contain seven taste tickets so attendees can sample six signature dishes and one taste of Southern Comfort.  Either stroll through Soulard or use the free trolley service (Saturday).

The 18th Annual Purina Beggin’ Pet Parade will be Sunday, Feb. 27.  Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the parade steps off at 1 p.m. from the corner of Allen & Menard in the Soulard neighborhood.  Registration fee to be in the parade is $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Open Door Animal Sanctuary, a local shelter.  You do not want to miss one of the largest pet parades in the world.

The 17th Annual PetSmart Wiener Dog Derby will be held Sunday, Feb. 27 at Soulard Park , 9th and Lafayette .  Registration will begin at 10 a.m. at the park.  Cost is $10 per dachshund.  The first heat will take place at 2 p.m. You must see what has become one of the most unique sporting events in our area.

For more information on all the St. Louis Mardi Gras events, visit .

Black History Month Activities

In celebration of Black History Month, the Museum of Westward Expansion under the Gateway Arch will host Children’s Readings at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.   For information, call (877) 982-1410 or visit

The St. Louis Public Library Annual Black History Month Keynote Address will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27 at Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust Street in Downtown St. Louis.  This year’s guest speaker is Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.  For more details, visit

Coffee & Conversation Forum

St. Louis Community College ’s Board of Trustees and Division of Workforce & Community Development will be holding an important Community Forum on Thursday, March 3 at the Forest Park Campus, 5600 Oakland Avenue , Student Center – South Bay .  Coffee and Tours start at 6 p.m. and the Conversation begins at 7 p.m.  Please RSVP to (314) 539-5173 or . This forum is to discuss the current and future plans of the Community College.


The Department of Public Safety’s City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through Nixle ( .  When you register for the service, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as e-mails on your computer.  Visit the Nixle website and sign up for the free service today.  If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.

Will you be having an event in your neighborhood that we can support?  If so, either e-mail the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at .

And remember, if you see something in the neighborhood that just doesn’t look right, REPORT IT!

Charles Bryson
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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