A celebration of cultures, food and fun is a perfect kickoff for summer fun.
Alton Memorial Day Parade
Celebrate Memorial Day by experiencing the oldest annual Memorial Day parade in the nation. This year marks its 152nd anniversary. The first one was held in 1868, just three years after the end of the Civil War.
When 10 a.m.-noon May 27 • Where Parade begins at Alton Middle School, 2200 College Avenue, ends at Alton City Cemetery • How much Free • More info 618-462-7527; visitalton.com
Annie Malone Family Reunion Weekend
First held in 1910, the Annie Malone May Day Parade is the country’s second-largest African-American parade. Now the celebration has expanded and will be known as the Annie Malone Family Reunion Weekend. Proceeds benefit the 130-year-old Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center, which first opened as an orphans’ home and is now an agency that helps families and children in crisis.
When Parade 1-3 p.m. May 19 • Where Parade starts at 20th and Market streets and travels east on Market to Broadway • How much Free • More info anniemalone.com
Festival of the Little Hills
This popular festival, now in its 48th year, is at the base of the “little hills” that gave the city of St. Charles its original name, Les Petites Côtes. Food, music and vendors line Main Street and Frontier Park on the Missouri Riverfront. There are more than 300 vendors, craft demonstrators and antiques dealers, and more than 50 nonprofit groups sell food and drinks.
When 4-10 p.m. Aug. 16, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 17, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 18 • Where Main Street and Frontier Park, St. Charles • How much Free; free shuttles from parking at several locations • More info 636-940-0095; festivalofthelittlehills.com
Festival of Nations
Eat and dance your way around the world at this festival sponsored by the International Institute, which helps immigrants and refugees resettle in the St. Louis area. More than 75 ethnicities are represented at the festival. There are more than 70 stage performances, more than 40 food booths and more than 30 gift booths.
When 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 25 • Where Tower Grove Park, 4256 Magnolia Avenue • How much Free, including shuttle service • More info festivalofnationsstl.org
Garden Party Lights
While not technically a festival, the Missouri Botanical Garden will be the place to be on selected summer evenings. Garden Party Lights is a celebration with live music, food and the chance to take a stroll through the grounds, which will be glowing with interactive lighting, projection mapping and laser show installations.
When Thursdays-Sundays, July 5 for members, July 6 for public through Oct. 19 • Where Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard • How much $3-$20 • More info mobot.org/gardenpartylights
This festival, one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country, is back for a 42nd year. You'll find two sumo demonstrations each day of the festival, along with additional Okinawa Eisa performances.
When 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 2 • Where Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard • How much $5-$16, free for members’ children • More info mobot.org
CANCELED: Kimmswick Strawberry Festival
Due to flooding, the town canceled the festival.
Eat a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and strawberry cheesecake, then wash it all down with strawberry wine and strawberry iced tea. Be sure to buy a $7 pint of handmade strawberry jam, sold at the entrance to town. There are more than 200 craft, food and corporate booths. Visit the town’s shops and restaurants, and enjoy three areas of music on both days.
When 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 1-2 • Where Kimmswick • How much Free • More info gokimmswick.com
Missouri River Irish Fest
“The largest free Irish festival in the Midwest” is back for its 15th year with headlining performances by Kilmaine Saints and the Screaming Orphans, and traditional music, food and crafts to celebrate Irish culture.
When 5-11 p.m. May 24, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. May 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 26 • Where Amphitheater in New Town at St. Charles (relocated due to weather) • How much Free • More info moriveririshfest.com
St. Louis African Arts Festival
Enjoy live entertainment, an African marketplace and food from several countries at the festival’s African village. Visitors ages 13 to 19 can explore the Safari Teen Hut. The mission of the festival is to expose the St. Louis community to the richness of African culture and its impact on Western culture.
When 10 a.m.-8 p.m. May 25, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. May 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 27 • Where World’s Fair Pavilion, 1904 Concourse Drive, Forest Park • How much Free • More info 314-325-2291; stlafricanartsfest.com
St. Louis County Greek Fest
This popular festival lures visitors with the promise to “experience a taste of Greece without the airfare.” Better yet — it’s free. Shop at the Greek market, dine on authentic Greek cuisine, enjoy traditional dance and take a tour of the historic church.
When 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 24-26, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. May 27 • Where Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 1755 Des Peres Road, Town and Country • How much Free • More info 314-966-2255; stlouisgreekfest.com
St. Louis Greek Festival
The 102nd annual festival at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church serves up authentic Greek food along with music, gifts imported from Athens, folk dancing and church tours. Festival prep starts as early as April, with members gathering to melt butter and make salad dressing and Loukoumades bags.
When Athens on the Street 3-9 p.m. Aug. 30; festival 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 2 • Where St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 4967 Forest Park Avenue • How much Free • More info opastl.com
St. Louis PrideFest
The 39th annual PrideFest, organized by Pride St. Louis, includes exhibitors, two entertainment stages, a children’s area, an athletes’ village, food and drink, and more. The annual Pride Parade on Market Street steps off at noon June 30.
When 11 a.m.-7 p.m. June 29, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 30 • Where Soldiers Memorial Park, Market Street between North 15th and North Tucker streets • How much Free, a $5 entry donation encouraged • More info pridestl.org/pridefest
Strange Folk Festival: The Big Glamp
If you love the fall version of the Strange Folk Festival, you'll love this summer version of it. Find 100 or so vendors, hands-on activities, and local craft beer and cocktails.
When 4-9 p.m. May 31, 12-9 pm. June 1, 12-6 p.m. June 2 • Where Carondelet Park, 3900 Holly Hills Boulevard • How much Free • More info strangefolkfestival.com
Other fairs and festivals
Du Quoin State Fair
When Aug. 23-Sept. 2; 2 p.m.-midnight Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday-Sunday and Labor Day • Where 655 Executive Drive (off Route 51, just north of Route 14), Du Quoin, Ill. • How much $2, free for children 12 and under; parking is $7-$12 • More info 618-542-1515; agr.state.il.us/dq
Edwardsville Route 66 Festival
When June 8 • Where City Park, 101 South Buchanan Street, Edwardsville • How much Free • More info edwardsvilleroute66.com
Illinois State Fair
When 7 a.m.-midnight Aug. 8-18 • Where 801 East Sangamon Avenue, Springfield, Ill. • How much $10, free for children 12 and under, $3 for age 60 and older, $5 parking • More info 1-217-782-6661; agr.state.il.us/isf
International Horseradish Festival
When 11 a.m.-10 p.m. June 7, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. June 8 • Where West Main Street, Collinsville • How much Free • More info internationalhorseradishfestival.com
Metro East PrideFest
When Noon-10 p.m. June 8 • Where West Main Street in downtown Belleville • How much Free, but donations encouraged • More info metroeastprideswi.org
St. Charles Pride Festival
When Inaugural Pride Parade 9:30 a.m.; festival noon-9 p.m. June 15 • Where parade on Main Street, festival in Frontier Park, St. Charles • How much free • More info pridestcharles.org; 636-344-0134
Missouri State Fair
When 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 8-18 • Where 2503 West 16th Street, Sedalia, Mo. • How much $2-$10, free for children 5 and under • More info 1-800-422-3247; mostatefair.com
St. Charles County Fair
When July 23-27 • Where Rotary Park, 2577 West Meyer Road, Wentzville • How much $5-$20, free for children 5 and under • More info stcharlescofair.org
St. Louis World’s Fare Heritage Festival
When Aug. 16-18 (times to be announced) • Where World’s Fair Pavilion, Forest Park • How much Free • More info stlworldsfare.com
When June 7-9 • Where Highland Square, 1115 Broadway, Highland • How much Free • More info facebook.com/highlandjaycees
Tower Grove Pride
When 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. June 29 • Where Tower Grove Park • How much Free • More info towergrovepride.com
Washington Town and Country Fair
When Aug. 7-11, parade 4 p.m. Aug. 4 • Where Washington City Park Fairgrounds, 201 Grand Avenue, Washington, Mo. • How much $10-$30 • More info washmofair.com
When 10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 1, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. June 2 • Where Tower Grove Park • How much Free • More info paganpicnic.org
Where to see fireworks? There are plenty of places to choose from around St. Louis.
Get an early jump on your family's Independence Day plans or start a new tradition.
Alton Fireworks Spectacular
When 5 p.m., fireworks around 9:30 p.m. July 3 • Where Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, 1 Riverfront Drive, Alton • How much Free, $25 VIP tickets available • More info visitalton.com
Chesterfield Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
When 6:30-10 p.m. July 4 (fireworks at 9:30 p.m.) • Where Chesterfield Mall, 291 Chesterfield Mall Drive, Chesterfield • How much Free • More info 636-537-4000; chesterfield.mo.us
Ellisville Independence Day Festival
When 6-10:30 p.m. July 4 (fireworks at 9:30 p.m.) • Where Bluebird Park, 225 Kiefer Creek Road, Ellisville • How much Free • More info 636-227-9660; ellisville.mo.us
Fair St. Louis
When July 4-6, times to be announced, America's Birthday Parade 9:30 a.m. July 4, downtown St. Louis • Where Gateway Arch National Park • How much Free • More info fairsaintlouis.org
Fireworks in Hazelwood
When Fireworks begin at dusk, July 4 • Where White Birch Park, 1186 Teson Road, Hazelwood • How much Free • More info 314-731-0980; hazelwoodmo.org
Godfrey Family Fun Fest With Fireworks
When 5-9:30 p.m. July 4 • Where Robert E. Glazebrook Community Park, 1401 Stamper Lane, Godfrey • How much Free • More info 1-800-466-1483; godfreyil.org
Granite City Patriots in the Park
When July 2-6, fireworks at 9:15 p.m. July 4; festival 6-10 p.m. July 2, 1-10 p.m. July 3-6 • Where Wilson Park, 2900 Benton Street, Granite City • How much Free • More info 1-618-877-3059; park.granitecity.com
When Fireworks begin at dusk on July 4 • Where American Legion, 300 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Jerseyville • How much Free • More info 1-618-498-3312; visitalton.com
July Fourth Fest at Six Flags
When July 3-6, fireworks begin five minutes after park closes at 9 p.m. • Where Six Flags St. Louis, 4900 Six Flags Road, Eureka • How much Ticket prices vary • More info 636-938-5300; sixflags.com/stlouis
Kirkwood Freedom Festival
When 7 p.m. July 4 (fireworks at dusk) • Where Kirkwood Park, 111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood • How much Free • More info 314-822-5855; kirkwoodmo.org
Manchester July Fourth Party
When 6-9 p.m. July 4 (fireworks at dusk) • Where Schroeder Park, 359 Old Meramec Station Road, Manchester • How much Free • More info 636-227-1385; manchestermo.gov
O’Fallon's Heritage & Freedom Fest
When 4-10 p.m. July 2, 4-11 p.m. July 3, noon-10 p.m. July 4; fireworks at 10:15 p.m. July 3 and 9:30 p.m. July 4 • Where Ozzie Smith Sports Complex, 900 T.R. Hughes Boulevard, O’Fallon, Mo. • How much Free • More info 636-379-5614; heritageandfreedomfest.com
St. Charles Riverfest
When 5-11 p.m. July 3, parade 10 a.m.-noon, festival noon-11 p.m. fireworks 9:20 p.m. July 4 • Where Frontier Park, 222 South Riverside Drive, St. Charles • How much Free • More info 636-946-7776; discoverstcharles.com
Wentzville Liberty Fest
When Noon-9 p.m. July 4 (parade at 10 a.m., fireworks after concert ends at 9 p.m.) • Where Progress Park, 968 Meyer Road, Wentzville • How much Free • More info 636-332-9236; wentzvillemo.org
Webster Groves Community Days
When Carnival and entertainment July 3-6; fireworks 9:30 p.m. July 4 and 6; parade 10 a.m. July 4. • Where 40 Acres, south of Interstate 44 and east of Elm Avenue • How much Free • More info 314-963-5600; webstergroves.org/communitydays