We think boxing is beautiful, baby, and on Thanksgiving eve at Savvis Center (1401 Clark Avenue), you can see nineteen three-round meat-grinding bouts charged with emotion as police officers and firefighters battle each other in the sixteenth annual Budweiser "Guns 'n Hoses" St. Louis Metro Boxing Showdown.
It's not just the friendly rivalry that makes this event's subtext so powerful; the proceeds benefit the St. Louis BackStoppers, a 1,600-member organization that provides assistance to families of officers who die in the line of duty. Over the past sixteen years, Guns 'n Hoses has raised more than $1 million for the BackStoppers; last year a record crowd of approximately 18,000 attended the event, and organizers hope for even more this year.
The cops walked away with a 12-5 victory in 2002, but anything can happen this year -- except for three rematch bouts, all participants are new to G-'n-H. The fight to see is not only a rematch but also the only women's bout: Sarah Strothkamp of the Webster Groves Fire Department looks to improve her record against Kim Allen of the St. Louis Police Department.
The (friendly) pummeling starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $17-$27 and are available by phone at 314-353-3632. -- Mark Dischinger
Of Partisans and Parties
Unlikely Heroes at Frontenac Cinema
The St. Louis International Film Festival may have just ended, but one more big-time movie premiere is about to take place in the Lou. Joining Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Chicago and Miami, St. Louis will serve as one of the premiere cities for the documentary Unlikely Heroes, which uses newly unearthed film and photos to chronicle as-yet-untold stories of Jewish resistance and individual heroism during the Holocaust.
Proceeds raised by the one-time benefit screening at Plaza Frontenac (Lindbergh Boulevard at Clayton Road) will help fund the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Florida-based organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust throughout the world.
Ticket prices range from $50 to $1,000, and the screening is followed by a dessert reception. To purchase tickets, call 314-878-3607. -- Rose Martelli
Open jaws for the cause
Dining Out for Life must be the easiest, most user-friendly charity benefit in the universe. The St. Louis version of the event means more than 40,000 locals will descend upon 147 area restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner (visit stlefa.org or call 314-645-6451 for details). The St. Louis Effort for AIDS, which provides education on disease prevention and support services to those with AIDS, will collect 25 percent or more of the bill from each meal. (Pay with your MasterCard, and the donation is doubled.)
All you have to do is eat burritos at Chuy Arzola's, shrimp-and-lobster potstickers at Shiitake, fresh yellowtail sashimi at Miso, made-to-order pizza-by-the-slice at La Pizza, a hoagie with coleslaw right on top of the corned beef at Salvato's, cheesecake at Marty's Baking at the Left Bank or any other of the hundreds of memorable meals waiting to be ordered all over town Tuesday night.
Now grab your friends and eat out like you deserve it. (If you don't feel like going out, you can donate through the Web site.) -- Byron Kerman
Get Your Quaint On
Downtown St. Charles' quaint, cobblestoned Main Street looks like one of those picturesque "Ye Olde Towne" streetscapes that often decorate Christmas mantels. Step into the Yuletide fantasy at Friday's twenty-third annual Christmas Traditions monthlong celebration kickoff.
At 11 a.m. at the Kister Park Gazebo (400 South Main Street), Santa and the Missus preside over the traditional "hanging of the greens." The free festivities continue through 9 p.m., with caroling, live music and candlelit shopping (www.stcharleschristmas.com). -- Rose Martelli