2. Check out some artsy bowling pins in Maplewood
Maplewood's annual celebration of Bastille Day, Let Them Eat Art, this year takes on a bowling theme: Heads Will Bowl. This is in honor of Saratoga Lanes' centennial, an amazing achievement for any business. Local design firms were given five-foot-tall bowling pins to decorate for the occasion, which will be on display next to the main stage. Twenty-five actual bowling pins were reimagined as a canvas for local artists, and these will also be displayed and auctioned off. Let Them Eat Art also features live music from Vote for Pedro, Raw Earth, Spaceship and others, as well as kids' activities and performances by Circus Kaput. A parade at 6 p.m. proceeds down Railroad Street (at Sutton Boulevard) to Saratoga Lanes to officially kick off the event. Let Them Eat Art takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at and around Saratoga Lanes (2725-A Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; www.cityofmaplewood.com/ltea). Admission is free.
3. Catch a theater festival in the Central West End
St. Louis Actors' Studio's LaBute New Theater Festival is your chance to experience seven new, bracing one-act plays by emerging and established playwrights in an intimate setting. The format breaks the program into two sets of two weekends, with a new play by Neil LaBute as a linchpin for both programs. The festival is better attended every year, with rapt, attentive audiences the norm and not the exception (no damn cellphone interruptions). The LaBute New Theater Festival takes place at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday (July 8 to 31) at the Gaslight Theater (358 North Boyle Avenue; www.stlas.org). Set one of the plays is performed July 8 to 17, and set two takes place from July 22 to 31. Tickets are $30 to $35.
4. Slide your way through Dogtown
Slide the City, a 1,000-foot-long inflatable water slide, returns to St. Louis this Saturday in a new location (Oakland and Tamm avenues; www.slidethecity.com) but with the same all-day party and wet fun as last time. Also new is the wave time system, which means no waiting in line during the block of time your ticket is valid. Choose from noon to 2 p.m., 2 to 4 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Other options include the $60 ultimate slider ticket (as many runs as you can make between 9 a.m. and noon) and the $99 all-day slider, which lets you make as many trips as you like throughout the day. All tickets include a mouth guard and an inflatable tube. Tickets for the best value, three rides during your slot, are $40 to $45.
Turn the page for four more things to do in the Lou this week
6. Pay homage to catsup in Collinsville
The World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival — celebrating the Brooks Catsup bottle water tower that looms over Collinsville, Illinois — is an old-fashioned slice of Americana. Ketchup (or catsup if you prefer) is a fundamental part of America, and the festival celebrates it with ketchup tastings, a tater-tots-smothered-in-ketchup eating contest, a hot dog eating contest that also involves copious amounts of ketchup, and the crowning of Little Princess Tomato and Little Sir Catsup. Non-ketchup events include a Cruizin' in Antiques car show, hula hoop competitions, party games and food and drink vendors. The World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Woodland Park (Vandalia Street and Pine Lake Road, Collinsville, Illinois; www.catsupbottlefestival.com). Admission is free, so bring the kids and have fun.
8. LOL at the kittehs at the Contemporary Art Museum
No one knows when it began happening, but somehow the internet has grown to be our greatest treasure house of cat images and videos. Which means cats essentially drive the world at this point. Celebrate our furry, aloof overlords at the Internet Cat Video Festival. This is the final time the curated collection of funny and strange cat videos will happen, so be sure to attend one of the three showings, which take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday (July 13 to 15) at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). If you wish to remain in good standing with your own cat companions, don't tell them where you're going — they are supremely jealous beings. Tickets are $10 to $25, and the same program will be shown all three nights.