Events

If you're looking for Final Four-related festivities, you've come to the right place. But although you might encounter St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in the crowd for Better Than Ezra at the Dasani Fest, you're more likely to find us at Fairmount Park (I-55/70 east to the Black Lane exit, then left on Collinsville Road; 618-345-4300) watching the ponies run. Fairmount powers-that-be don't schedule much Sunday racing, but they were savvy enough to prepare for this weekend's influx of gamblers -- we mean basketball fans.

ONGOING

Cingular's Retro Hall of Hoops Autograph Sessions Get autographs from NCAA head coaches and former Naismith Mens' Players of the year at these sessions. Fri., April 1, 3:30-8 p.m.; Sat., April 2, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., April 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Mon., April 4, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., free. America's Center, Broadway & Washington, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

FSN Fan Fest
Two-day festival featuring musical performances by local bands, prizes, interactive games, taping segments of the network's Best Damn Sports Show Period (Fri., April 1, from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.) and Midwest Sports Report. Fri., April 1, 4:30-9 p.m.; Sat., April 2, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free. Laclede's Landing, 1st & Lucas streets, St. Louis, 314-241-5875, www.lacledeslanding.org.

Gateway Arch Extended Hours
The Arch Complex (the Museum of Westward Expansion, the Tucker and Odyssey Theatres, the Museum Store, the Levee Mercantile and the Gateway Arch) will be open late from Thu., March 31, to Mon., April 4; the last trip up the Arch will be at 7:15 p.m. nightly. March 31-April 4, www.gatewayarch.com. St. Louis Gateway Arch, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (11 N 4th St), St. Louis, 314-655-1701, www.nps.gov/jeff.

Monster Fanzone
A four-day interactive event with vintage video games, basketball activities, big-screen TVs, celebrities and refreshments; located above the Big Bang. Fri., April 1, 3-8 p.m.; Sat., April 2, noon-8 p.m.; Sun., April 3, noon-8 p.m.; Mon., April 4, noon-8 p.m., free. Laclede's Landing, 1st & Lucas streets, St. Louis, 314-241-5875, www.lacledeslanding.org.

Monster Locker Room
Throughout the weekend, fans can visit "Scan and Win" kiosks and also register to win tickets to the 2006 NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis during mall hours. Fri., April 1; Sat., April 2; Sun., April 3, free. St. Louis Union Station, 20th & Market, St. Louis, 314-421-6655, www.stlouisunionstation.com.

Taste of St. Louis
A three-day event showcasing some of St. Louis' finest restaurants; local jazz and blues performers provide entertainment. Fri., April 1, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., April 2, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., April 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free, www.stlloc.org. Kiener Plaza, 7th & Market streets, St. Louis.

THURSDAY

St. Louis Mills Celebrates the Final Four
Favazz of KSHE (94.7 FM) kicks off the finals on Thu., March 31, between 1 and 6 p.m.; the Coca-Cola Spirit Squad will be on hand in the afternoon hours Thu. through Sat. with giveaways. 1-6 p.m., free. St. Louis Mills, 5555 St. Louis Mills Blvd, Hazelwood, 314-227-5321, www.stlouismills.com.

College Slam Dunk & 3-point Championships The 17th annual Mountain Dew College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships comes to the Washington University Field House. 6:30 p.m., $8-$10. www.intersportnet .com/events/events.html. Forsyth & Big Bend boulevards, University City, 314-935-5000.

FRIDAY

Final Four Friday and Open Practice
The Final Four teams prepare for the National Semifinal Games during this free practice time. 12-4 p.m., free, www.stlloc.org. Edward Jones Dome, Broadway & Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

Hoop City
Hoop City Kids show off their dancing and basketball skills, there's a fencing club demo and a battle of the Final Four Bands. 12:30 p.m., $3-$5. America's Center, Broadway & Washington, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

Final Four Band & Cheerleader
Pep Rally: Final Four pep rally at Kiener Plaza. 4:30-6 p.m., free. Kiener Plaza, 7th & Market streets, St. Louis.

NABC All Star Games
Three match-ups of high school and college basketball alumni; the final game is NABC College All-Stars versus the Harlem Globetrotters. 4:30 p.m., $17-$98, www.harlemglobetrotters.com. Savvis Center, 14th & Clark streets, St. Louis, 314-241-1888, www.savviscenter.net.

Ultimate Night of Basketball Contest
Kids can register for a grand prize of sitting on the Harlem Globetrotters' bench, an autographed basketball, 40 Ultimate Night of Basketball tickets and McDonald's Mighty Kids Meal Certificates. 5:30 p.m., free, www.mcdonaldsstl.com.

SATURDAY

Youth Education through Sports (YES)
A youth outreach program where kids ages 10 to 18 interact with student athletes and college coaches to discuss the "fun" in fundamentals in both sport and life; also taking place at Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club, St. Louis University and University of Missouri - St. Louis (see Web site for more details). Sat., April 2, 8:30 a.m.-noon, free, www.ncaasports.com/yes. Washington University, Forsyth & Skinker boulevards, St. Louis, 314-935-5000.

Hoop City
A Hoop City Kids performance, Kings of the Court rock & roll show, the Coca-Cola Talk Back Live session with NCAA coaches and the Pontiac Million Dollar Shot. 10 a.m., $3-$5. America's Center, Broadway & Washington, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

National Semi-final Game 1
Event is sold out. 5:07 p.m. Edward Jones Dome, Broadway & Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

National Semi-final Game 2
Tip-off is 30 minutes after the end of Game 1. Event is sold out. Edward Jones Dome, Broadway & Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

SUNDAY

Hoop City
A Hoop City Kids performance, Cingular Million Dollar Shot and Bonnie Bernstein of CBS signs autographs. 10 a.m., $3-$5. America's Center, Broadway & Washington, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

Dasani Fest
Michale Tolcher, Better Than Ezra, Gavin DeGraw, Joss Stone and Kelly Clarkson perform; food and beverages also available; at 8th and Market streets. noon-7 p.m., free.

March to the Arch
Dribble basketballs down Market Street to the Arch; all participants must register starting at 11 a.m.; see Web site for more details. Sun., April 3, 2 p.m., free, www.stlloc.org. St. Louis Union Station, 20th & Market streets, St. Louis, 314-421-6655, www.stlouisunionstation.com.

Monster Mascot Challenge
NCAA mascots compete in events including a trampoline high jump, vault, balance beam, dribbling and skateboarding to earn the title of 2005 Monster Mascot Challenge Champion. Sun., April 3, 3:30-4:30 p.m., $3-$5. America's Center, Broadway & Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

The Bob Costas Benefit Gala Huey Lewis and the News and comedian George Wallace are the stars of this fete that benefits the cancer center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. 7:30 p.m., $35-$250. Fox Theatre, 527 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, 314-534-1111, www.fabulousfox.com.

MONDAY

Hoop City
A Hoop City Kids performance and a fencing club demo. 10:30 a.m., $3-$5. America's Center, Broadway & Washington, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

National Championship Game
Event is sold out. 8:21 p.m. Edward Jones Dome, Broadway & Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.

The Chingy Championship Party
Chingy hosts a post-Final Four party, presented by KSLZ (107.7 FM). 9 p.m.-3 a.m., Velvet, 1301 Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-8178, www.velvetvibes.com.

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