St. Louis Memorial Day Events 2011

St. Louis has many Memorial Day traditions in the city for all kinds of tastes. The traditional kickoff to the summer months has fun things for the family to enjoy as well as somber ceremonies that revolve around why America has a Memorial Day holiday.

If you have a family in the St. Louis area, try some of these events depending upon your lifestyle and how much time you want to spend doing something over the big weekend.

Rib America

Rib America has a gigantic celebration of barbecue and ribs from May 27 to May 30. All four days are packed with food, fun and live music. There are times with free admission if you want to save $7 per adult. Get in free before 5 p.m. Friday night and before 1 p.m. on the other days of the rib fest. You can bring blankets and lawn chairs to listen to music, but bringing in any kind of food is forbidden.

Rib America may be for older children who can be outside for a long period of time. If you like great ribs and barbecue from all over the country, this annual event is something to check out. Make sure to drink lots of water if you are outside in warm weather with your kids as grills may make air temps even hotter. Rib America is in downtown off Market Street.

Jefferson Barracks

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery was officially established in 1866. One unique aspect of the national cemetery is that both Union and Confederate veterans are buried there. Every Memorial Day, thousands of graves are adorned with small American flags. Whether you have ancestors buried there or not, seeing the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on Memorial Day is a somber reminder that America’s freedom has come at a price. The Jefferson Barracks overlooks the Mississippi River south of St. Louis just off I-55 and I-255.

Compton Heights Band

The Compton Heights Band begins its summer season on Memorial Day with a concert in Tower Grove Park at Grand and Magnolia. The concert begins at 3 p.m. and is free for everyone. The concert band plays big band music and classic favorites. Occasionally, the band is blessed with award-winning soloists and singers to accompany the music. The Compton Heights Band is a unique St. Louis tradition you can enjoy in a relaxing setting on Memorial Day.

Gypsy Caravan

The Gypsy Caravan comes to UMSL as an antique and craft market with up to 20,000 visitors. The $5 admission fee goes to support the St. Louis Symphony. Peruse as many as 400 vendors with antiques, art creations, crafts and many fine artists. There will also be food vendors there and kids under 12 are free. Regular hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless you want to be an early bird at 7 a.m. for $20.

Greek Fest

Greek Fest is another great way to enjoy food on Memorial Day weekend. The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Town & Country has four days of music, food and fun. Each day runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with free parking and a free shuttle service. There is live music, tours of the church, traditional folk dancers and movies about Greek culture from ancient times to the present. Children are more than welcome. You will definitely want to try the food here–homemade dishes are a one-of-a-kind experience. Admission is free but get ready for lot of great eats.