World's Fair workers grabbed folding chairs and rode them down Art Hill after a snow storm on Jan. 8, 1905, and a St. Louis tradition was born.
Sledders and their admirers gather on the ice-covered Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill on a snowy day during the 1930s. In the background is the Art Museum, built during the 1904 World's Fair. Sledding on Art Hill became a local tradition after other adornments of the fair were removed. Photograph by W.C. Persons, courtesy Missouri History Museum
Sledders gather at the crest of Art Hill on Jan. 26, 1937. Even a light snow draws St. Louisans to the hill. Post-Dispatch file photo
Wiping out is part of the fun and peril of sledding on Art Hill in Forest Park. The hill slopes downward at an 8 degree grade for a 430-foot run to the wall around the Grand Basin. This scene is from Dec. 3, 1937. Post-Dispatch file photo
Several people stacked onto the same sled take their chances down Art Hill on Jan. 31, 1951. Spilling usually is just part of the fun. Photo by Jack Gould of the Post-Dispatch
A group of sledders head down Art Hill in Forest Park on Jan. 31, 1951. In the background are the Art Museum and the statue of St. Louis IX, king of France. Post-Dispatch file photo
The Kreamalmeyer family of Overland head for Art Hill after a light snow on Jan. 11, 1954. Claudia, 18 months, rides with her mother, whose feet probably got cold quickly in penny loafers. Photo by Renyold Ferguson of the Post-Dispatch
Sledders keep warm around one of the bonfires atop Art Hill in Forest Park on Jan. 27, 1967. Post-Dispatch file photo
Sledders keep warm with a bonfire and something in a paper sack on Art Hill on the evening of Jan. 14, 1972. Photo by Wayne Crosslin of the Post-Dispatch
Art Hill was busy on Jan. 1, 1999. Sledders were taking part in a tradition dating back at least to January 1905, when a newspaper story first noted World's Fair workers sliding down the hill using folded chairs as makeshift sleds. Photo by Larry Williams of the Post-Dispatch
Sled riders make the long trek back up Art Hill on Dec. 19, 2000. Photo by Ted Dargan of the Post-Dispatch
Steve Spry and his daughter Ali, 6, rest at the bottom of Art Hill on Dec. 13, 2000. The Sprys, originally from St. Louis, had just moved back to Ballwin from Florida. This was Ali's first time sledding on Art Hill. Photo by Jamie Rector of the Post-Dispatch
Kate Cunningham, 17, of Crestwood, tries to heat up her hands as she stands next to a warming fire during a break from sledding atop Art Hill in Forest Park on Dec. 28, 2000. Photo by Andrew Cutraro of the Post-Dispatch
Jessica Daus, 10, and her father Joe Daus, 36, tear down Art Hill in Forest Park on Dec. 25, 2002. "Good snow, a day off, and it's Jesus' birthday! What else do you need?" said Daus as he and his daughter made their way back up the hill for another run. Hundreds of people showed up at Art Hill on Christmas to take part in the St. Louis winter tradition of sledding in Forest Park. Photo By David Carson of the Post-Dispatch
A group of students from St. Louis University forms a sled train as they plummet down the icy slope of Art Hill in Forest Park on Jan. 17, 2005. Photo by Jerry Naunheim of the Post-Dispatch
There doesn't have to be a lot of snow to carry on the tradition. Here Sami Hunkler (left), 14, Gracie Rae Hunkler, 9, and Everly Hunkler, 6, of Glendale, complete a triple-decker sled trip down Art Hill on Dec. 27, 2009. Photo by Dawn Majors of the Post-Dispatch
People enjoy the snow on Art Hill in Forest Park on Jan. 11, 2010. Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle, email@example.com
Fred Tompkins, 67, of St. Louis, gets a helping hand as he drags his Flexible Flyer back up Art Hill in Forest Park on Jan. 20, 2011. "This sled was a Christmas present to me in 1949," said Tompkins, who grew up in St. Louis and has been sledding on Art Hill all his life. Tompkins was sledding with his son and daughter, not pictured. Photo by David Carson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday January 20, 2011--Mike Ferguson and his daughter Fiona Ferguson, both from Olivette, fly down Art Hill on their sled on Jan. 20, 2011. "It tires them out," said Ferguson, who was enjoying his kids' snow day off of school. "It's a long ride down and long walk back up." Photo by David Carson, email@example.com
Catherine Powers and John Baricevic, both of St. Louis, and Christine Wagner-Powers and Kyle Taylor, both of Dallas, Texas, sled together on Art Hill on Dec. 29, 2012. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford firstname.lastname@example.org
Illya Tolokh of the Central West End and his daughter Sophia, 2, pull her mother Maria Tolokh along the base of Art Hill in Forest Park on Dec. 29, 2012. "We've been waiting for the snow," said Maria Tolokh. "We're all excited to be here." Photo by Erik M. Lunsford, email@example.com
Illya Tolokh of the Central West End and his daughter Sophia, 2, sled together on Art Hill in Forest Park on Dec. 29, 2012. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford firstname.lastname@example.org
Snow sprinkles down on the statue of St. Louis at the top of Art Hill during a nighttime storm in January 2013. Photo by J.B. Forbes email@example.com
Lily Claney pilots a sled with her friend Courtney Hall, 10, in back on a joint sled run down Art Hill on Feb. 21, 2013. Both girls live in Frontenac. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lily Claney, 8, and Courtney Hall, 10, laugh after they fell on a joint attempt to sled down Art Hill on Feb. 21, 2013. Both girls live in Frontenac. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, email@example.com
Courtney Hall, 10, laughs after she and her friend Lily Claney fall off their sled on a joint run attempt down Art Hill on Feb. 21, 2013. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mat Dickson of St. Louis rests on his back after a short sled run on down Art Hill on Feb. 21, 2013. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, email@example.com
Katelyn Coady and Brittany Oberman join hands in a "Thelma and Louise" moment before they sled down Art Hill on Feb. 21, 2013. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brittany Oberman screams as she sleds down Art Hill carrying her friend Katelyn Coady on Feb. 21, 2013. "This is the first time sledding down a hill this big," said Oberman, who said she felt like a 25-year-old kid. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, email@example.com
Danielle Hall, 10, of Frontenac uses a disc sled to shield her face from the down pour of sleet as she sleds down Art Hill on Feb. 21, 2013. "It just hurts. But I don't want to stop," said Hall. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Artrip, of St. Louis, and his son Rylan Artrip, 5, take a break from sledding on Art Hill to warm up at one of the two fires on the top of the hill on March 24, 2013. Photo by J.B. Forbes email@example.com
Korey Estes, from St. Louis, launches a snowball at his son, James Gordon, at the top of Art Hill where they were using their sleds as shields on March 24, 2013. Photo by J.B. Forbes firstname.lastname@example.org
Sledders leave Art Hill in Forest Park on Dec. 29, 2012. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford email@example.com
A woman practices her figure skating in the Grand Basin at Art Hill in Forest Park on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 7, 2014, until a park ranger warned everyone over a bullhorn that they had to get off of the ice. Photo by J.B. Forbes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Winingham, 43, and his son Marshall, 11, from Webster Groves, share a wild ride on the slopes at Art Hill in Forest Park on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Winingham said that his dad used to bring him to sled on Art Hill. Photo by J.B. Forbes, email@example.com
Mary Walker and her son, Charlie Walker, 10, from Town and Country start another trip down the slopes at Art Hill in Forest Park on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 7, 2014. Photo by J.B. Forbes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Soifer and her daughter, Antoinette, 4, from St. Louis, make their way back up Art Hill in Forest Park in the fading light on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Photo by J.B. Forbes, email@example.com
The storm that began Jan. 8, 1905, was more unpleasant than historic. But the hardened accumulation made for a great slide, if that was one’s intent.
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Forecasters expect a chance of sleet or snow to begin falling early Friday afternoon, with most of the snow dropping Friday night into Saturday morning.
Forecasters expect several inches of snow to fall by Saturday morning, and say the metro area could see up to 13 inches by the time the storm ends Sunday.
The Children's Aid Society, helpers of orphans and poor children, organized its first carolers in 1911.
Nowadays it would be treated as snowmageddon. But the heaviest snowstorm St. Louis has ever recorded did not even make front-page news on March 31, 1890.
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