Best things to do in St. Louis over the weekend, September 30 to October 2 | Art stories and interviews | St. Louis

click to enlarge A group of women dance during GroveFest.

Riverfront Times

The Grove’s biggest party returns this weekend with food, entertainment and fun


St. Louis seems to have an extraordinary number of parties, many of them happening this weekend – GroveFest, Blacktober Fest, Donut Fest – but that’s probably because we do them so well. But even if you’re in the mood for a contemplative weekend of art viewing, antique shopping, or a decadent brunch, there’s an event for you.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to plan your week:

Friday 09/30

Photorealism

Fine art connoisseurs will not want to miss the opening of the exhibition of the St. Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive, 314-721-0072) Currents 122: Temptations Cry. Founded in 1978, the Currents series is a “laboratory” for emerging artists to create and showcase their work. In the latest episode, Mokgosi shows work from his project ‘Spaces of Subjection’, a monochrome collection of paintings with the haunting, timeless quality of black and white photography. Born in Botswana, Mokgosi is known for his large-scale, figurative and text-based paintings, inspired by traditions of cinema and history painting. In ‘Spaces of Subjection’, Mokgosi draws on the writings of French philosopher Michael Foucault on power and submission in connection with African, African American, and black life. On Friday, September 30, SLAM invites viewers to hear Mokgosi talk about his work at the Farrell Auditorium from 6-7pm. Visitors can also enjoy a celebratory cocktail with the curators of the exhibition from 4-8pm. Both events are free, but cocktails are available for purchase.

Saturday 10/01

Shake your Grove thing

The Grove’s biggest party of the year returns this week, bringing plenty of food, live entertainment, and general cheer in one of St. Louis’s liveliest neighborhoods for a full day of family-friendly fun. Now in his 16th year, GroveFest will feature music by blues prodigy Dylan Triplett; a performance by rapper Mvstermind with a host of guest stars, including Michael Franco and the Saint Boogie Brass Band; and a range of ass-shaking, eclectic sounds courtesy of DJ Sex Nintendo. In addition, there is a drag show, a hot dog eating contest, African dancers, a bubble bus and much more. As always, the party is completely free to attend – but the memories you’ll make will be priceless. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. and continue into the night. For more information, visit thegrovestl.com.

A beer party with a running problem

For several years, Blacktober Fest has hosted one of the largest Black Craft Beer festivals in the country. Now it comes to St. Louis for the purpose of celebrating, supporting, and sharing beer samples from Black-owned establishments. The city’s inaugural Blacktober Fest kicks off in Carter Commons (6746 Page Avenue, Pagedale), home to a number of Black property businesses. The beer drinking takes place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. At 5pm, visitors can take a break from craft beer tasting to participate in the Twilight Run, a 1k and 5k. Hosted by Beyond Housing, in partnership with Black Brew Culture and Big River Running Race Management Company, St. Louis is the festival’s first stop on a tour of events across the country. In October, Blacktoberfest also hosts events in Atlanta and Durham, North Carolina, where the event first began. In St. Louis, tickets range from $15 to $45. For more information, visit blacktoberfeststl.com.

Something for everyone

Saturdays are for the boys, the girls and rummaging through rows of antique curios. Join St. Louis’s Favorite Antique Store for the Green Shag Market Open Air Market (5733 Manchester Avenue, 314-646-8687) for the annual open-air market of the shop and store of rows of local and regional vendors. Expect to find a variety of antique goods in typical Green Shag fashion. Need a salt and pepper shaker in the shape of a cat? Letters cut from vintage books? A mid-century modern coffee table? You’ll likely find all of the above and more at this annual event in the parking lot of the Green Shag. And if the tradition holds up, you’ll also find live music and food truck dishes there. Admission is free. St. Louis may not have a fancy Fifth Avenue with blocks of stylish department stores, but darn it, we do know how to sort through and repurpose the items our grandparents, and maybe even their grandparents, left behind.

click to enlarge A close up of a tray of donuts.

JON GITCHOFF

Donut Fest St. Louis includes baked goods from 8 to 10 establishments.

Baked Bliss

Donuts are easy to love. Sweet. Useful. You can eat them in your car. Sure, they won’t necessarily love you, but everything in moderation, right? Well, maybe not. Donut Fest St. Louis is about moderation to the wind and eating some of the best donuts in town. The event includes donuts from 8 to 10 bakeries and with a ticket you can taste them all. Samples are at least a quarter donut. Some are the whole donut. Admission tickets also include a beer ticket and a ballot paper so you can vote for the best donut. There will be a donut eating contest and non-alcoholic drinks tasting. Let’s hope one of them is coffee. Donut Fest starts at 1:00 PM for VIPs and 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM for general admission at Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street, 314-241-2337). Tickets are $20 to $40.

Sunday 10/02

hot dog

Celebrate the talent of St. Louis and support a good cause Steve Ewing presents STL Originals Festival. Steve Ewing is the owner of Steve’s Hot Dogs and Burgers on South Grand and, unsurprisingly, the festival is next door at Ritz Park (3147 South Grand Boulevard). Ewing is also the frontman of The Urge and Master Blaster, so it makes sense that he would bring together popular local artists with food vendors to make it a party. Bands planned are Boomtown United, Orangetree, Midwest Avengers and Bring Me The Fires. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to Feed the People, which has fed more than 6,000 first responders and those in need in the community since 2020. The festival lasts from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Visit steveshotdogsstl.com/stloriginals for more information. Tickets are free.

best sunday ever

The best Sundays are leisurely affairs: a late morning sleep in followed by a decadent (and possibly boozy) brunch with friends. One of the Grove’s freshest nightlife spots, Prism STL (4510 Manchester Avenue, 314-256-1898), sees that Sunday and ups it with its weekly Makeup and mimosas event. The drag brunch not only features a fantastic performance by some of the region’s fantastic drag queens, but also includes a lip-smacking brunch provided by a local eatery, all for $20, which is downright reasonable for brunch. You can add $15 bottomless mimosas or $5 Bloody Marys or a variety of other boozy options to the cash bar. Doors open at 11am and the show starts at 11:30pm.

Do you have an event you would like to add to our calendar? E-mail [email protected] riverfronttimes.com.

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