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Some people are pros at celebrating Kwanzaa — the African holiday turns 40 this year! — but for the Kwanzaa-curious, a couple of local public events can serve as a guide for how things should be done. First, there's the Bakari Institute's seven-night-long Greater St. Louis Kwanzaa Arts Festival at the Fortitude Foundation House (3858 Washington Boulevard; 314-414-0202 or This celebration honors each day of the holiday (Tuesday, December 26, through Monday, January 1) with craft demos, food, music, a film festival, a nightly candle-lighting ceremony complete with dance performances and so much more. Admission to all events is free, and the festival runs from 5 to 9 p.m. nightly (the ceremony begins at 7 p.m.).

And then there's the one-day (on Wednesday, December 27) Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits, happening from noon to 4 p.m. at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-9400 or This event features ceremonies, storytelling, drumming and other festive happenings. Admission to the garden costs $2 to $8, and the Kwanzaa fair is included.
Dec. 26-Jan. 1