st. louis, mo - bits & bobs

  • It’s rumored that iced tea was invented at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, when a tea plantation owner who planned to give away free samples of his hot tea diluted his brew with ice to help fair patrons cope with sweltering temperatures.



St. Louis | Daytime Activities | Dining | Nightlife

Mardi Gras 2017 is Tuesday, February 28th

St. Louis Mardi Gras, Krewes, Parades & Calendar

Parades, Krewes  & Mardi Gras Events in St. Louis

Grand Parade
This parade is one of the Midwest’s largest, and is the focal point of  Mardi Gras in St. Louis. The Grand Parade features more than 100 entries from krewes, both old and new.

Pet Parade
 Rumor has it that as many as 70,000 people and hundreds of animals turn out for the Pet Parade each year. Spectators and their four-legged pals are invited to attend this amazing spectacle.

Entrants in the parade walk (some in costume and some not) with their costumed hounds through the historic neighborhood of Soulard on their way to the park at the intersection of Lafayette Ave. and South 9th Street.

Read more about the Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby by clicking here.

Wiener Dog Derby
The annual Wiener Dog Derby has become an endearing St. Louis Mardi Gras tradition.  Dachshunds and their owners come from far and wide to compete in this often chilly four-legged foot race that pits wiener dogs against one another in three divisions (Cocktail Wienies, Ballpark Franks, and Hot Dogs) for the honor of fastest dachshund.

Read more about the Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby by clicking here.

2016 St. Louis Mardi Gras Calendar

1st Weekend

Saturday, January 23, 2016

12.00pm to 4.00pm
Cajun Cook-Off
Bud Light Party Center, Soulard Market Park

Watch as area amateurs and professionals compete for the title of best Cajun Cuisine in the region by preparing their dishes right before your very eyes.

While taking in the competition enjoy: Open bar of Bud Light and Southern Comfort Hurricanes; A complimentary Cajun lunch of fully-dressed pulled pork po’ boy and Tony Chachere’s Jambalaya (each attendee with paid admission receives a food ticket good for one po’ boy and sample of Tony Chachere’s Jambalaya additional po’ boys and jambalaya available for purchase); Live music by the Johnny Henry Band.

In accordance with the City of St. Louis Health Department, food prepared by the chefs in the competition is not available for consumption (wink, wink)

Twenty professional and amateur chefs (10 of each) tighten the apron strings in a no holds barred battle for control of your taste buds. Read more about the Cajun Cook-Off by clicking here.

If you would like to be a participant in the Cajun Cook-Off, please fill out an application and send it in! Only 10 spots are available.

Tickets. $35 in advance, $45 at the door.
Get tickets here

*Advance ticket sales for Cajun Cook-Off end Friday, January 22 at 12.00 p.m.

2nd Weekend


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Run for your Beads
Soulard Neighborhood - See route here

Get your exercise, St. Louis Mardi Gras style! Show up in your best purple, gold, and green costume and race your way through the historic Soulard neighborhood. In true Mardi Gras spirit, pit stops along the race route will hand out complimentary beer and hurricanes (for runners 21 and older). All registrants will receive a limited edition 5K Run for Your Beads t-shirt.

Registration. $25 until January 17th; $30 after January 17th to race day
Get tickets here

Roughly 11.00am to 5.00pm (but times vary by vendor)
Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard
in Soulard - Participating Establishments throughout Soulard

Buy Ticket/Booklet: $25 – buy ticket booklet here

This unique self-guided tasting and pub crawl has become one of the most popular events of the Mardi Gras season. Every $25 Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard ticket includes one Southern Comfort drink voucher and six food vouchers. You choose the six dishes you wish to sample from a range of Cajun-inspired options.

Saturday attendees can enjoy complimentary trolley rides from one establishment to the next, guided as always by the world famous Soulard Trolley Tramps

Tickets are available in advance and can be redeemed the day of the event at any participating establishment. On Saturday, January 30th, advance tickets can also be redeemed at the Bud Light Party Centre in Soulard Market. Tickets will also be available for purchase on Saturday, January 30th and Sunday, January 31st at any participating establishment.

Read more about the Taste of Soulard by clicking here.

More info.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Roughly 11.00am to 5.00pm (but times vary by vendor)
Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard - DAY TWO
in Soulard - Participating Establishments throughout Soulard

See above (Saturday Jan. 30 for details)

Beggin' Pet Parade
Soulard - Parade steps off at 1:00pm from 12th and Allen

See parade rtoute here

Registration: Opens at 10 a.m. at 12th and Allen

Get registration form here

Register your pets beforehand, or on the day of the event at 10.00 a.m. on the corner of 12th and Allen. We kindly ask for a $10 registration donation. All proceeds benefit Open Door Animal Sanctuary. Pets deemed best dressed are selected as members of the Court of the Mystical Krewe of Barkus.

The party continues after coronation with a free concert in the Soulard Market Plaza.

Read more about the Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby by clicking here.

REGISTRATION: starts at 10.00am
First Heat: 2:00pm
Petsmart Wiener Dog Derby
Wiener Stadium at Rudy Commons - Soulard Market Plaza (at 8th and Lafayette)

Entry fee: $10 (free to watch)

Enjoy the Sport of Weenies as wiener dogs compete in three age-based categories: Cocktail Weenies, Ballpark Franks, and Hot Dogs, for the title of fastest Weenie! The races take place over a series of elimination heats until we have the Dash of Champions in each age category.

If you own a dachshund, enter your beloved pet in the respective age category and watch ‘em run. If you don’t own a dachshund but love a great race come and watch America’s Fastest 30 Seconds from the bleachers or sidelines.

This event has developed into one of the most unique sporting events in the area.

The finals are followed by the trophy presentation ceremony in the Wiener’s Circle.

$10 to register your dachshund  Free to watch!

Read more about the Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby by clicking here.

Mardi Gras Weekend


Friday, February 5, 2016

Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball
Saint Louis City Hall Rotunda

Tickets. $150 General Admission
For further ticket options see here or call Lindsay at 314-771-5110

The Mayor’s Ball is one of the year’s most anticipated social events. Hosted by Mayor Francis Slay and the Mardi Gras Foundation in the Rotunda of St. Louis City Hall, this black tie gala features food, cocktails, dancing, and spectacular entertainment.

Mayor’s Ball proceeds benefit the Mardi Gras Foundation, which has made community grants to improve Soulard and downtown since 2003.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bud Light Grand Parade
Downtown to Soulard Neighborhood

The Midwest’s largest and most spectacular pre-Lenten celebration. The parade begins just south of Busch Stadium and winds through the streets of Downtown South and Soulard to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Krewes from over 100 floats will toss over 10,000,000 strands of beads and other sought-after goodies to celebratory masses gathered along the route.

San Diego's Mardi Gras calendar information provided courtesy of Mardi Gras Inc.

St. Louis | Daytime Activities | Dining | Nightlife

St. Louis Feature Stories

Mardi Gras in Soulard - A Brief History of the Soulard Neighborhood in St. Louis

Cajun Cook-Off - St. Louis' Cajun & Creole Antidote to Old Man Winter

Taste of Soulard - Soulard Shows Off Its Best Cajun & Creole Eats

Soulard Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby- St. Louis' Four-Legged Mardi Gras Fun