Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in America, and yet its popularity still lags behind lesser sports such as soccer or Amish rake fighting. Why? Lacrosse is like hockey without the skates; it's fast, it's physical, it requires amazing stamina and hand-eye coordination, the participants wear shorts -- and yet you never see it on TV, except for the Fox SportsNet broadcasts of the fledgling pro league based on the east coast.
Ah, but if you really want to fall in love with the sport, you should witness it in person so you can hear the shooter grunt every time a defender cracks his wrist with that long-handled stick, and so you can flinch when the goalie stops a 100-mile-an-hour shot from 15 feet out with his naked thigh.
Next week (Tuesday, May 11, through Saturday, May 15) you have a final chance to fall in love with lacrosse as the Intercollegiate Associates Championships return to the Fenton Anheuser-Busch Sports Center (1 Soccer Park Road) one last time. Sixteen teams in the men's division and twelve teams in the women's division will throw down in the four-day elimination tournament, with the championship being decided on Saturday. See the full schedule at www.uslacrosse.org, or call 636-349-3702 for more information. --Paul Friswold
M Is for the Money You Are Saving
Mom: She's almost worth it
Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road; 314-821-1209), in a stroke of genius, schedules its annual art fair for Mother's Day weekend. Why is this brilliant, you ask? Because attendance swells with each passing year as more kids realize that from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 9 (and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 8), they can spend $8 to take Mom to look at the work of 150 artists and skip out on buying her lunch or dinner. Laumeier gets great numbers, which makes the fair attractive to even more artists from across the nation. The artists have 20,000 people gawk at their wares, and the kids get to spend a quick couple hours with Mom, who's thrilled they remembered at all. Everyone wins! -- Mark Dischinger
Meet Me in Laduey
To recall the 1904 Fair
You've been hearing about the 1904 World's Fair Centennial Celebration for months, but are you fed up with it? Of course not! You are a St. Louisan and by default have a strange, slightly unhealthy obsession with the grandiose exhibition. But, despite all the fanfare, do you feel you haven't quite grasped the aura that permeated these very streets 100 years past? Feel the magnificence, recapture the exuberance and taste that wonderful ice-cream cone as the headquarters branch of the St. Louis County Library (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard; 314-994-3300) hosts a free event, "Meet Me in St. Louis: A Day at the Fair," from 3 to 7 p.m. Although there won't be a Baby Incubator exhibit or a Palace of Transportation, you can take free trolley rides, be photographed in 1900s period costumes, eat ice cream and hot dogs, and listen to the music of the era. Sally Benson's newly republished novel Meet Me in St. Louis (the basis for the Judy Garland movie of the same name) will be unveiled and available for sale, and authors Diane Rademacher and Carol Porter will discuss their respective books, Still Shining and Meeting Louis at the Fair. -- Amy Helms
Not So Auto Didactic
NASCAR events confuse the nondriver. Where are they going? Why are they in such a hurry? Couldn't they use public transportation instead, or at least carpool if they're all going the same place at the same time? So many questions. If you understand and love NASCAR, you're already attending the Charter 250 at Gateway International Raceway (7 p.m. at 700 Raceway Boulevard, Sauget, Illinois; 618-482-2400). Bring a neophyte with you and spread the love. Tickets are $45 to $60, and Diamond Rio countrifies the infield after the race is run. -- Paul Friswold