"Moustache is a symbol of repression and hate...it's the facial marking of the man who holds you down" -- or so an old punk-rock song would have us believe. If this is true, and 'stache size is directly proportionate to the amount of evil and oppression contained within the bearer, then some of the entrants in the Beard and Mustache Contest at the Hermann Maifest (in Hermann, Missouri; 800-932-8687 for more info) must be approaching Stalin-esque or Hussein-ian levels of fiendishness. This contest could be a clandestine convention of would-be world rulers, a Future Dictators of America meeting disguised as a harmless follicular challenge. Following the same logic, this could be the only chance we have to eliminate these soon-to-be tyrants. Of course, this could just be a collection of men (and possibly women; there's nothing that says only guys can grow the facial hair) with more time than razors on their hands and the urge to squash all comers with their Van Dykes, muttonchops and Fu Manchus. Find out for yourself (and watch for Terminator robots, secret plots or weapons-grade plutonium deals) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 15. -- Erik Carlson
A Sporting Opportunity
Kids skip school; it's cool
This will be a day divided in the St. Louis public school system. It will be a day when jealousy runs rampant throughout the corridors and cubbyholes. For some young students, it will be a day on which to rue life's cruelties; for a few lucky others, it'll be a day which will live forever in their imaginations.
For today the smart kids will get to skip school for the day. To go play. In Forest Park. With famous athletes. O, what merciless gods doth linger over the average student!
During Sports Day 2004 -- yet another link in the city's endless Celebrate 2004 programming chain, presented in conjunction with Charitable Foundations of Metropolitan St. Louis -- selected students ("committed" students, the literature says, which must be the new adjective to describe smarty-pants teacher's pets) will take their turns playing baseball, basketball, football, golf and tennis alongside such professional athletes as former St. Louis Ram Michael Jones and current Phoenix Suns star Jahidi White.
For those kids who aren't into throwing, catching or hitting balls, instructors from East St. Louis' Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities will be on hand to lead an African dance session, as will Roland "Ro Ro" Tabor, whose dance credits include "Hip Hop Dancer" in the 2001 teen flick Save the Last Dance, not to mention "Dancer #42" in this year's You Got Served. Word!
After the kids' clinics, which happen between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. throughout the park, Sports Day will conclude with a come-one-come-all celebrity softball game near the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue) at 7 p.m. For more information, call 314-231-6000. -- Rose Martelli
Thrash! Raise Cash!
Not counting surrounding suburbs and towns, Kansas City has two skateparks, as does Chicago, and Louisville's park is world renowned. So where's St. Louis' skatepark? Forest Park has received tons of money lately -- shouldn't it have one? Damn yeah, it should, but it doesn't. We got nothing.
So kudos to High Ridge, Missouri, for at least planning on building a skatepark. In order to reach their goal of $150,000 (necessary for construction), the Highway 30 Foundation and Infinity Skateshop are throwing the third Skate Day. Come out to the hockey rink behind High Ridge Elementary (2901 High Ridge Boulevard) at noon and skate the ramps and obstacles for free. You can also enter the various contests (most kickflips, highest ollie and best manual trick) for a small donation ($4 to $7). It's all for an admirable cause, and you could wind up skating home with a new skateboard and/or $300 if you win Infinity's fifth-year-anniversary game of S-K-A-T-E (it's like H-O-R-S-E, but with skateboard tricks!).
Please note that you must have a signed waiver to skate. For more information or to register early, visit www.highway30foundation.org or call Infinity Skateshop at 314-843-1989. -- Guy Gray
OK, to be official and responsible, go straight to www.hsmo.org and read all the rules for participating with your dog in the Bark in the Park Pledge Walk (Queeny Park, 550 Weidman Road). Done? You need to raise $25 in pledges, too. Now it's all fun! Bring your dog for games, contests, St. Louis Disc Dog demos (those Frisbee catchers have celebrity baseball-player status to dogs) and a little tush-sniffin'. The day begins at 8 a.m., it wraps up at 1 p.m., and the money raised goes to help homeless animals. Who's a good dog? Who's a good dog? You are! -- Paul Friswold
Clayton Feels the Blues
Picture this: Claytonians are sipping martinis, noshing on delicately prepared dishes and musing over that day's business activities. Music gently rustles the trees' leaves in Shaw Park (Brentwood and Forsyth boulevards), and the hippies are twirling about with nary a care in the world. Huh? Yes, Grateful Dead cover band Jake's Leg will be playing at this year's RFT-sponsored Parties in the Park (314-726-3033 or www.partiesinthepark.org), but you'll have to wait until July. In the meantime, head to the park on Wednesday, May 12, for the free party from 5 to 8 p.m. The Soulard Blues Band is playing, so there should be less spinning and more actual dancing. -- Alison Sieloff