by Nancy Stiles
We know Memorial Day isn't actually the official first day of summer, but it sure feels like it. Pools are opening, pork steaks are grilling and there are lots and lots of patios. Don't feel overwhelemed, though -- we've hand picked the best food-related events this weekend and for your day off on Monday.
Friday (May 23):
Memorial Weekend just has to be full of barbecue. It's the inaugural Budweiser St. Louis Ribfest. Running all weekend, the festival will showcase plenty of barbecue, beer and live music. The best part? Admission is free. Friday, from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
You don't have to be Greek to love all the great parts of its culture. Come out for St. Louis' biggest Greek festival and enjoy a huge menu of Greek treats, including gyros and baklava. There will also be live Greek music and traditional Greek folk dancers. You can also check out the Greek Market (a.k.a. the Agora) and get a church tour. Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free
Saturday (May 24):
There's really nothing quite like the festivals at Broadway Oyster Bar. For the annual crawfish fest, the restaurant is bringing in over 1,000 pounds of live Louisiana crawfish. Enjoy crawfish-inspired dishes as well as a boil; the regular menu will also be available. There will be live music, as always. Saturday and Sunday all day. Admission is free.
The subtitle for Schlafly's Pork Shop is "A Downtown BBQ and Garage Sale." More than 50 local residents are setting up for a one-day downtown yard sale and pig roast, with plenty of Schlafly beer. Goodwill/Mers will also be collecting donations. All you have to do to be a part of it is submit a vendor agreement here. There will be live music from Rough Shop, Trigger 5 and Dock Ellis Band. Admission is free. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Here's your weekend date idea. Grab your blankets, lawn chairs and coolers and head down to the Arch to watch the Clint Eastwood classic The Outlaw Josey Wales. There will be food trucks around as well, and you can bring your own canned beer as long as it's in a cooler. The National Parks Service will also be selling water, soda, ice cream and popcorn. From 7 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Continue on for the rest of the weekend
Sunday (May 25):
"There will be six different rooms throughout the restaurant and hotel, each with a different theme from St. Louis history. Jamie and Ted Kilgore of Planter's House will be manning the pre-Prohibition room with period cocktails (one of the Kilgores' specialties). Jeff Moll of the Good Pie will be slinging Prohibition-era drinks in the Roaring Twenties room. Juniper's Joey Duepner and Cocktails Are Go!'s Beth Sorrell will be celebrating the history of Gaslight Square, while the Bartender's Guild's Matthew Obermark and Kyle Mathis of Taste will be in the World's Fair room. There's the future of St. Louis to consider, too -- BC's Kitchen's Justin Cardwell will be doing molecular mixology, and 4 Hands will be serving up some experimental brews.
There's no cover, but you can get a $45 VIP bracelet which is all-inclusive, from 6 p.m. to midnight. You can pick one up at any of the participating restaurants (Juniper, Taste, etc.) or online here."
Monday (May 26):
The St. Louis Occasional Barbecue Society is holding its sixth annual barbecue competition. Twenty competitive barbecue teams will be competing for the crown. Grab a beer at Iron Barley and sample all the entries or just a few. The Dock Ellis Band will be playing until dark. All proceeds benefit Lift for Lift Gym and the Carondelet Food Pantry. The competition begins at noon. Tasting tickets are $25, available at the door.
Celebrate Memorial Day at this kid-friendly festival with American traditions. There will be classic festival foods, free wagon rides, carnival rides, pony rides, inflatables, a petting zoo and more. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, fees for some activities.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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