Let's be honest. Forest Park gets all the breaks: World's Fair, museums, balloon races, a giant Ferris wheel. It's like the straight-A high-school kid who also has a varsity letter (in tennis, but whatever) and the lead role in the school musical. Faust Park is the kid whose name teachers never remember but whose battered car is always playing some sweet tune when it pulls in (late) to the student parking lot. It's the kid who spends prom night in his basement with his guitar, creating Robert Pollard-style works of lo-fi genius. Sure, Forest Park will get into Harvard, but we'd rather have a beer with Faust Park.
This Saturday and Sunday (September 25 and 26), Faust Park (15185 Olive Boulevard) gets to shine when it hosts the seventh annual Faust Folk Festival. The event runs both days from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the park's Historical Village. Admission is $3 per person, with children five and younger admitted free; call 636-532-7298 for more information.
The festival transports visitors 150 years in the past with real phrenology readings, live blacksmithing demonstrations, period music, games and food (like barbecue, kettle corn and roasted nuts) as well as tours, chores, livestock, hayrides and storytelling. Children can learn to make rope and apple butter and -- pay attention, parents -- learn how the pioneers did laundry. The Ladies Aside side-saddle club performs in period costume, and on Saturday the Missouri River Cloggers clog you back in time. Artisans demonstrate and sell many period crafts, including silhouette-cutting, rug-braiding, ribbon-embroidering and spinning. Also, Faust Park favorites the St. Louis Carousel ($1 per ride) and the Butterfly House (open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; regular admission charge of $4 to $6 applies) are both open during the festival. -- Ian Froeb
Little Red Riding Wolf
Because you like things that come in packs (namely cigarettes and beer), visit the Wild Canid Survival & Research Center (I-44 and Beaumont-Antire Road, exit 269). The center's not having a wild boozing party, but it is hosting some Wild Kingdom-type events. At 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (September 24 and 25), pay the $9 cover and gather round the campfire to hear stories about some nice wolves. If that's not enough wolf-pack action, come by the center at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28, to feel wolf pelts and watch a slide show, all for $9. Now for the best part: At the end of the programs, you can let your wild side show when you howl with the wolves. Call 636-938-5900 for reservations. -- Alison Sieloff
The Few, the Proud
Modern pagans profess tolerance for other belief systems (even the silly ones), so it's only fair that pagans be afforded some tolerance themselves. If you thought they were broom-riding baby-snatchers, you need some educating. Visit the St. Louis Pagan Pride Day festival, happening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Tower Grove Park (Magnolia and Tower Grove avenues). The free event welcomes all ages and backgrounds and features a pagan ceremony, merchant booths, a charity auction and an art fair. The nonperishable food item you bring along for donation benefits Operation Food Search and advances the pagan cause of doing good where good needs doing. For more information visit www.stlpaganpride.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. -- John Goddard
An Apple Butter a Day
When looking up the ingredients for apple butter, the Night & Day posse was surprised to find that no butter actually goes into making the delicious spiced spread. Shocking, we know. Learn more fun facts about this appley treat Friday and Saturday (September 24 and 25) in historic Maeystown, Illinois (35 miles south of St. Louis). Peel apples at the old rock mill from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, and stir the apples from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday -- talk about an upper-body workout. You'll need it for lifting beers and brats at the town's upcoming Oktoberfest. Call 618-458-6660 to volunteer to help, and visit www.maeystown.com for more info about this pretty little German town. -- Alison Sieloff