Show-Me Five: Ways to Celebrate St. Louis’ 250th Birthday

St. Louis is now 250 years old and they’re celebrating in a grand fashion. They are illuminating and lighting fire to enormous hearts, placing giant birthday cakes around the St. Louis area and showcasing the best of the City’s history throughout the year.

Illuminating STL heart at Burnin' Love Festival

The Burnin’ Love Festival has come and gone, but it was an amazing experience. A giant illuminating heart shone with purple and pink hues as spotlights danced in the background. There was a stage to the left where “Elvis” stole the show and probably the hearts of his many adoring fans. Nearly 200 couples became newly engaged or renewed their vows. That was certainly the highlight of the festival, but the enormous burning heart was spectacular.

And that event was just the kickoff.

Here are five other ways you can celebrate St. Louis‘ 250th birthday:

1) Find and take pictures of as many birthday cakes as you can.

St. Louis birthday cake at the Missouri History Museum

I, unfortunately, have only found and taken a picture of one birthday cake. I have two excuses for that: There weren’t many cakes around St. Louis at the time (it was early), and it’s been cold. Now that temperatures are on the way up, I’ll be out and about. Not to mention there are now 143 of- you guessed it- 250 cakes plopped around the area. Here’s an awesome and frequently updated map of the cakes and their locations to help the scavengers among us. Oh, and when you do take a picture of a cake, don’t forget to share your photos using the #STL250 hashtag!

2)  There’s an astounding exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, so go explore.

stl250 exhibit.png

One of the things I love about St. Louis is its history, and now there are 250 years of it to explore at the Missouri History Museum. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY! The history museum always puts on a show and the 250 in 250 exhibit is no exception. I personally enjoy the beautiful chalk illustrations. A large blackboard covers several walls with the most stunning illustrations of local landmarks. There’s plenty more to see at the exhibit. It runs until February of 2015. I highly recommend you see it while you can.

3) Have you seen the downtown street signs redone in their former French names?

Because if you haven’t yet, you need to. Just a bit more learning about St. Louis’ great history with an interactive edge. There are eight streets on St. Louis’ Discovery Trail where you can learn more about the roots and the colonial period of St. Louis. The renamed streets are:

  • 1st Street/La Grande Rue
  • 2nd Street/Rue d’Eglise
  • Memorial Drive (both ways)/Rue des Les Granges
  • Walnut Street/La Rue de la Tour
  • Market Street/La Rue de la Place
  • Chestnut Street/La Rue Missouri
  • Pine Street/La Rue Quicapou

Each street also has a street-level descriptive historical marker. Because history is cool.

4) Check out the STL250 Facebook page.

I have never spent more time on a Facebook page than I have on the STL250 Facebook page. The old photos of St. Louis are mesmerizing. They’re captivating. They’re entire history lessons. Did you know Stan Musial requested a $20,000 pay cut because he felt guilty of the salary he was receiving? And I’m sure most of you have memories at the beautiful Gas Light Square.

5) Truly enjoy the free attractions and events St. Louis offers.

I can’t list every free event and attraction St. Louis offers, because there simply are so many. However, many do come to mind:

Some of the aforementioned attractions have STL250 events, as well. Laumeier Sculpture Park, for example, has a mound city exhibit which honors the Mound culture that existed here thousands of years ago. Fair St. Louis will also have a STL250 flair. There’s a list on the STL250 website with a longer list of STL250 events.

What are you doing to celebrate St. Louis’s 250th birthday? Tell me in the comments below!

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