The Wearing of the Plaid

Tartan Day comes early

In April of 2001, Governor Holden proclaimed April 6 to be forever Tartan Day in Missouri, a day to celebrate your Scottish heritage. Unfortunately, April 6 is a Wednesday this year, so the Scots-Americans get doon and get foonky on Saturday, April 2, instead. There will be much kilt-wearing and such in the historic doontoon section of St. Charles (along South Main Street between First Capitol Drive and Boone's Lick Road), beginning at 9 a.m. with a Hanging of the Clan Tartans along South Main Street (for a complete list of participating clans and other useful information, visit www.missouritartandayfestivities.com). A parade of Scots dancers, athletes, performers and heritage groups kicks off at noon and ends in Frontier Park, which transforms into a Caledonian Paradise, thanks to the many Scots activities taking place within its boundaries. Not to be missed are the "Miss Tartan" pageant, the "Handsome Scotsman" contest and the many Scots lassies who will be a-roaming the park selling shortbread samples. And, of course, the Loch Ness Monster will be kickin' it in the kids' area. Admission is free, but bring money for snacks. -- Paul Friswold

Nobody Beats the Wiz

Look at those Great Scots enjoying an early Tartan 
Day.
Dan Zettwoch
Look at those Great Scots enjoying an early Tartan Day.

SUN 4/3

By now you've heard about the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum artifacts on display through April 24 in the Baseball as America exhibit at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue). But this Sunday "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's shoes and George Brett's "pine tar" bat will be joined by a real live Hall of Famer: longtime Cardinals shortstop and demigod Ozzie "Nikko's Dad" Smith. We can't promise you back flips, but "the Wizard" will speak on his life and career at 2 p.m. in the MacDermott Grand Hall. Ozzie was the rare ballplayer who wasn't just popular but downright beloved -- even today, he could probably take Mayor Slay's job without breaking a sweat -- so arrive early for a good seat. A drawing will select a few lucky fans to approach His Ozliness for a picture and an autograph. Call 314-746-4599 or see www.mohistory.org to find out more about this free event. -- Jason Toon

Herpetology
Cool science

FRI 4/1

Amphibians are the superheroes of the animal kingdom, and those who study them should get more credit. Might we suggest a rousing chant? They can kick it on the land, in the water, up a tree! Everybody raise the roof for herpetology! Bring this chant and your natural curiosity to the Forest 44 Conservation Area (off Hillsboro Road, south of Meramec Station Road) for Amphibian Night (6:30 to 9 p.m.), during which Jeff Briggler, a herpetologist, teaches all ages about our state's coolest critters. After Briggler's presentation, follow him on a hike to Forest 44's ponds, where the 'phibs hang. The program and hike are free; call 636-458-2236 for your required reservation and for directions. -- Brooke Foster

 
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