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Snapshots from Blessing of the Bicyclists at Trinity Church

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At 8 a.m. last Saturday morning bicyclists, including two SLMPD bike officers, top photo, gathered at the CWE’s Trinity Episcopal Church, 600 N. Euclid, for a Blessing of the Bicyclists led by  Reverend Jon Stratton, Rector.  This was the inaugural year for this blessing to be offered and, I would imagine, the 1st time it was okay to ride one’s bike in church.

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Each participant received a commemorative card made from a woodcut depicting the patron saint of cyclists, Madonna del Ghisallo. Legend has it that in Medieval times one Count Ghisallo was besieged by highway robbers and found refuge in a roadside shrine to the Virgin Mary. The spot, high in the Italian mountains, later became a chapel dedicated to bicyclists. Here is a link to more information.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End   Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End   Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End

Eric Schlling of Mike’s Bikes, a co-sponsor of the event, was on hand to offer tune-ups ahead of the bike ride, which followed the ceremony. The ride, to and from the Mississippi River, was marshalled by the United by Design cycling team.

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Cyclists of all ages participated in the ceremony.

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More photos of participants.

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During the brief prayer service Reverend Stratton (wearing his bicycle cap and holding onto his bike while sprinkling holy water on those assembled) explained the reasons why the blessing was being offered. Among them to “….acknowledge the inherent goodness of non-motorized human-powered transportation; to give thanks for the simple beauty of the bicycle; to pray for victims of road rage & bike theft; to ask for the strength to forgive mean people;  and to pray for those who have died while cycling, especially the cycling community’s friend Casey Saunders.”

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The service ended with a call to “go forth, propelled by the wind of the Spirit.”

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The photos above show some of those who followed the ceremony with a ride to the Mississippi River and then back to Trinity Church for refreshments. It seemed the sentiment of many who attended Saturday morning’s event that the Blessing of the Bicyclists should become an annual occurrence.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Mary Ann’s Tearoom

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You’ll wonder if you’re the one who’s tripped and fallen down the rabbit hole when you enter Mary Ann’s Tearoom on any Tuesday afternoon this summer, for at 3 p.m. sharp the gorgeous light-filled tearoom inside Enchanting Embellishments is transformed into a fantastical Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

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Thirty guests wearing an assortment of their “maddest” hats and, in a few cases, Alice-in-Wonderland makeup, were already seated when I stopped in to photograph the tea party on a recent Tuesday afternoon. There is a prize for the most imaginative hat—so between the over-the-top table setting, which takes 2 hours to assemble, and the attire of the guests, it was hard to distinguish one from the other.

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No one was more enthusiastic than Enchanting Embellishment’s staffer Michael Shreves, above and below, who plays the Mad Hatter, a role he clearly relishes. He entertained the guests with Alice-in-Wonderland games and trivia throughout the afternoon.

Since the Tuesday Tea with the Mad Hatter events began in June, they have become so popular that it’s necessary to make reservations at least two weeks in advance.  Enchanting Embellishments’ manager Ken Fowler said that the teas, which were scheduled for summer only, may continue into the fall.

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Photo left: The young guest shown above, accompanied by her Cheshire Cat, looks as if she plucked her chapeau right off the table.

Photo right: The type of tea served on Tuesdays is known as a “cream tea,” which is described as a sweet tea. Service includes an assortment of teas and homemade scones, macarons, and other pastries, $19.95. There is a 3-tiered pastry tray laden with sweets.

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Guests are also invited to decorate cupcakes, above.

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Don’t you be late for Tea Party Tuesday at Mary Ann’s Tearoom at Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Avenue, (314) 361-5300. More information can be found on the flyer above.

2017 CWEA 4th of July Parade Part II

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As soon as parade-goers reached the Maryland Plaza fountain, Central West End Association board member Anna Cardot and CWEnder Anne Stroube, hidden from view, were on deck scooping jeni’s ice cream into cups as fast as they could. KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos (in white top) —in charge of sprinkles—said they lost count of how many cups of ice cream they dished…a lot.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade

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Performers from Circus Kaput engaged an eager audience in their magic tricks, above and below.

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A sweet-dreaming parade-goer.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade

I hope you can see the expression on the driver’s face. “Quick!  No one’s looking, where’s the pedal?”

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The Maryland Plaza fountain always captures attention.

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The face-painting station was a busy place throughout the morning.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings For Children  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Circus Kaput Central West End Association 4th of July Children's Parade

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Thanks again to CWEA board member Kate Walter, Director Jess Batchelor and CWEnder Bridget Collins for organizing this year’s parade. And to all the CWEA board members who participated in-front-of or behind-the-scenes (Greg Stroube, etc.) to make the 2017 4th of July Parade a rousing success.

Special thanks to the firemen from Engine House 28, officers from the St. Louis Mounted Police, Jim Whyte of the CWE Neighborhood Security Office, and Nathan Ambus, who manages to keep Maryland Plaza as beautiful and welcoming as it is. And many thanks to jeni’s manager, Cassie Hughes, for the splendid ice cream.