Street closure info for BookFest STL

Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, McPherson Avenue, between Euclid and Walton and Euclid north of McPherson to the parking lot just north of Dressel’s, will be closed to through traffic. Vehicles will be able to access the parking lot on Euclid, by heading south on Euclid from Washington. 

The intersection of McPherson and Euclid will remain open for traffic traveling east on McPherson, turning south on Euclid and those traveling north on Euclid turning west on McPherson. Streets will open back up by midnight.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Sally Field Festival Zone Chase Park Plaza BookFest STL

Photos from 2017’s BookFest STL Festival Zone, above.

From the BookFest website:

In between BookFest St. Louis author events (see full schedule here*), be sure to check out the McPherson/Euclid Avenue festival zone, featuring live music, demonstrations, book sellers, local artisans and more! Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.

What to Do

Festival-goers will enjoy music from Farshid Etniko, Mt. Thelonious and Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes while they color Central West End scenes (adult and kid-friendly coloring pages available!), craft poetry on a giant magnetic board and stroll through more than two dozen booths featuring book-themed crafts available for purchase and a variety of family-friendly activities.

Where to Eat

If you work up an appetite during BookFest St. Louis, be sure to check out the dine-in and grab-and-go options available at one of the Central West End’s numerous restaurants. Dressel’s Pub, Mission Taco Joint and Pi Pizzeria are all located inside the festival zone, while other great options — full list available here — are all within walking distance.

Participating Vendors

  • 3rd Degree Glass Factory
  • AAUW Kirkwood-Webster Groves
  • Archon
  • BraveLovelyHeroBooks.com
  • Central Print
  • Chris Lynch
  • Dan Zettwoch
  • Diane Randall, M.A
  • december: A Literary Legacy Since 1958
  • Greater St. Louis Sisters in Crime
  • Issac Ludwig
  • Jennifer Gerald Goley
  • Jennifer Walker
  • John Bryant, Indie Author
  • The Kabine
  • LaQuita Cameron
  • Left Bank Books Foundation
  • May Ann Russum
  • Megan Singleton
  • Mike Murphy
  • Mission Taco Joint
  • The Novel Neighbor
  • River Styx
  • Stormy White
  • St. Louis Poetry Center
  • St. Louis Public Library
  • Witty Kids
  • World Chess Hall of Fame

The BookFest St. Louis festival zone is free and open to the public.

It is a real coup for the Central West End and St. Louis that following the success of the 1st BookFest event last September, word has traveled among the literary community that this is a top-notch festival, and one authors shouldn’t miss. Neither should you.

Thanks to Left Bank Books, the Left Bank Books Foundation and the CWE North Community Improvement District for all the effort and care they have put into 2018’s BookFest STL.

*There are still tickets available for actress Sally Field’s appearance at the Chase Park Plaza Friday. Details here.

After 46 years the Great Forest Park Balloon Race still thrills this town

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

For only the second time in its 46 year history, the 2018 Great Forest Park Balloon Race was held on Art Hill, one of the prettiest spots in Forest Park. The location on Grand Basin offered a respite from the oppressive  heat to those who rented paddle boats or sat by water’s edge and dipped their feet into the Basin.

The Balloon Race was founded by CWEnder John Marlow and friends Ted Staley, Dan Schettler and John Schaumberg, who modestly dub themselves The Fab Four. There were only 6 balloons at lift-off in the inaugural year 1973, and twice that number of spectators. Now the GFPBR invites over 60 of the most experienced balloonists in the country to participate, and there are an estimated 150,000 people attending the weekend’s activities, the Balloon Glow on Friday night and the Race on Saturday afternoon.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Lift off took place Saturday about 4:40 p.m. A southwest breeze guided the Hare (the lead balloon), above, to the old Chrysler plant in Fenton.  In Sunday’s Post-Dispatch, reporter Leah Thorsen gives a first-hand account of what it was like to ride in the balloon sponsored by the newspaper.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

One of the great pleasures of the afternoon was to observe people of all descriptions as they enjoyed this fabulous family-friendly and free event on Art Hill. Thanks to John Marlow and friends for the countless hours of work organizing this magnificent gift to our town. And a very special thanks to PNC Bank, Presenting Sponsor of 2018’s Great Forest Park Balloon Race. Other sponsors can be found on the GFPBR website.

“Emerging Artists Showcase” opens at TechArtista

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Art plays a prominent role at the CWE’s TechArtista Co-Working Environment. There are Edo Rosenblith’s murals on walls, an installation by Screwed Arts Collaborative on architectural elements (both visible in the background above), and a mural by Theresa Moher on the second floor. Every few months there is a new art installation featuring young artists from the St. Louis area.

The latest exhibition, Emerging Artists Showcase, opened on Friday, August 31. Meet curator, architect Cole Hoffarth, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

In the exhibition program, Laura Heying, above, TechArtista’s Community & Marketing Director, says of the current exhibition: “We have a talented pool of artists in St. Louis and we want to showcase those a little less known to the masses via our space…”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Hope Ainsworth is photographed alongside her painting, Pantsland. Ainsworth “strives for visual overload, mostly painting with glue and acrylic, the collaging of materials and layering of mediums is a continuous experiment.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Another in Ainsworth’s “pants series,” Pants Party, is shown above. The artist explains: “These are my souvenir photographs of a world just next to ours.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Artist Matthew Gray, above, specializes in drawings. Program notes say that “his content often combines fantastical sci-fi imagery with objects from our own daily lives.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Gray’s Flavor Country is shown above. He describes his work as looking like “Dinosaur Jr. album covers designed by Salvador Dali.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Local artist Rici Hoffarth is shown with Jelani Buchanan.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

Hoffarth’s portraiture (examples shown above and on cards below) “illuminate the artist’s belief that every single being in this world contains multitudes and pieces of the divine.”Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Web/Tech  TechArtista Co-Working Environment Rici Hoffarth Matthew Gray Laura Heying Hope Ainsworth Cole Hoffarth Central West End

The artists were thrilled by the public’s response to their work on opening night. Nearly one third of their pieces were sold that night.

Emerging Artists Showcase will remain on view at TechArtista, 4818 Washington, until Friday, September 28. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Note that there is a coffee bar in the space for early birds.