Friday, January 06, 2012

Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Be Prepared in the New Year

Published: 01-06-2012
New Year is off to a great start with fun activities and opportunities to increase your personal emergency preparedness.
Charles Bryson, Public Safety Director
Happy New Year! In this first week of 2012, I can't help but sense the excitement and hope that a new year brings. Opportunities abound to change, to improve, to help others, to make progress and to celebrate our great City. St. Louis organizations, neighborhood associations and other entities are already planning for some fabulous events for everyone to enjoy. Before I highlight a few of them, though, I want to mention the American Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Academy 2012 that is scheduled for March 27 at Edward Jones, Hwy. 270 & Dorsett.

Join business, government, nonprofit and academic leaders from around the Midwest to learn more about the importance of private sector and personal emergency preparedness, and how to build a culture of preparedness within your organization. Discussion will be geared toward businesses, organizations, faith-based groups and general interest. Early Bird pricing is available for a limited time. For a detailed list of session topics and speakers, visit . The time to prepare is now.

Listed below are just a few of the terrific events that are coming up in St. Louis.  I encourage you to take advantage of all that our great City neighborhoods have to offer. Also, if you haven't visited the City's website ( ), I encourage you to do so. On our home page you will find a link to the Calendar of Events. Please feel free to see what activities are coming up and to submit an event that your organization will be holding. The listing is free. See you in the neighborhood!

Twelfth Night

Jan. 6, twelve nights after Christmas, is the traditional beginning of Mardi Gras. Everyone is invited to start the season at the birthplace of Soulard Mardi Gras in St. Louis. The festivities begin on the steps of Johnny's, 1017 Russell, with the reading of the proclamation. A musical procession will then wind through the Soulard neighborhood, ending at the corner of 7th and Soulard, where the Soulard Mardi Gras flag will rise and fireworks will signal the official start of the Mardi Gras season in Soulard. For more details, visit .

Opening Reception for 'The Shape of a Man'

Amy VanDonsel and Chris King have collaborated on a one woman/one man show entitled, "The Shape of a Man," which will open with a reception from 7 – 11 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6 at Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th Street in the Soulard neighborhood. The visual art exhibit, chapbook release and accompanying performances will also feature Kevin Belford, Ron Beuchele, Hunter Brumfield III, Fred Friction, Roy Gokenbach, Noah Kirby, Stefene Russell and Josh Weinstein. The event is free and open to the public with cash bar. Want more info? Visit .

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Kick-Off Program

The 26th Annual Dr.MartinLutherKing Jr.State Celebration Commission Kick-Off Program for Missouri will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 at Harris-Stowe State University in the HGA Main Auditorium, 3026 Laclede Avenue in Midtown. The Keynote Speaker will be St. Louis native Dick Gregory. Seating will be on a first-come first-served basis. Questions? Call (314) 340-3390.

Happy 100th Birthday, Central Library!

The Central Library in Downtown St. Louis was first dedicated 100 years ago on Jan. 6, 1912. Although the building is currently undergoing a $70 million restoration, Branches throughout the system will mark this historic milestone on Saturday, Jan. 7 with special programs and activities. Kick off Central's centennial year by stopping by the Branch nearest you. For a list of activities, visit .

1772 Twelfth Afternoon Ball

As part of the 2011 Holiday Traditions Weekend Series, the 1772 Twelfth Afternoon Ball will be held at the Old Courthouse in Downtown St. Louis from Noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. The free historical holiday dance will feature period music and activities. Complimentary cookies and juice will be served. For more information, visit .

January Family Day

Celebrate the Chinese New Year by exploring chess sets and arts of China and other Asian countries at January Family Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 7 at the World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Avenue in the trendy Central West End neighborhood. Decorate your own dragon, a symbol of good luck in many Asian cultures. Then create a beautiful origami folded paper figure. For more details, visit .

Icons in the Orthodox and Western Traditions

Time is running out to see the free art exhibit, "Icons – Art & Spirituality in the Orthodox Tradition" at Christ Church Cathedral-Episcopal, 1210 Locust in Downtown St. Louis. The display captures the form, symbolism, color, gestures and the spirituality of the Orthodox Icon tradition. The exhibit will run through Jan. 15. For dates/times, visit 

Family Sundays

Family Sundays at the St. Louis Art Museum in beautiful Forest Park continue this month with the theme: Fun with Forms. Visit the Museum from 1 – 4 p.m. on Sundays in January and enjoy hands-on art activities and a lively 30-minute family tour through the galleries. Discover the museum's collection of 3-D artwork and then create sculptures that stand tall and wide using unusual and unexpected materials. The Family Tour leaves at 2:30 p.m. Read more at .

Bridal Shows

If you or someone you know are planning to say "I do" in 2012, then you should know about the largest wedding planning event in St. Louis with more than 80,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, main stage fashion show, live music, transportation displays, designer cake showcase, prize vault and more. The Wedding Show will be at America's Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8. Cost is $8 per person. To assist you with your wedding planning at the show, there is a free wedding show app "STL wed show" you may download to your iphone or android. For more details, visit .

The Lemp Mansion Bridal Show is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8 from 1 – 5 p.m. in the Lemp Grand Hall, 1817 Cherokee Street. The Tasting and Bridal Show will give booked and prospective brides the opportunity to tour the Grand Hall, Mansion and recently opened Loft. A buffet tasting will feature selections offered for Bridal receptions and rehearsal dinners. The event is free to the first two guests in each group, then $5.00 for each additional guest. Call (314) 664-8024 or visit to learn more.

Save the Date

Jan. 12 – Urbane STL Presents "Cocktails 2 Connect" at Three Sixty
Jan. 13 – 15 – St. Louis RV Vacation and Travel Show, America's Center
Jan. 13 – Snow Ball, Moonrise Hotel
Jan. 14 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health Fair & Luncheon, Sheraton St. Louis Center Hotel & Suites
Jan. 14 & 15 – Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Jan. 14 – St. Louis Youth Sports Summit
Jan. 14 – 5th Annual Dogs & Suds Benefit Dog Wash, Four Muddy Paws
Jan. 14 – Delmar Loop Ice Carnival


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 emails 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, you may email the information about it to me at  or to Cathy Smentkowski at   for consideration of noting it in the Spotlight or you may post it on the City's Calendar of Events.

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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