"Every day is Earth Day," the slogan goes, and the people behind Earth Day St. Louis are taking that sentiment literally this year. Instead of the traditional April 22 observance, local greenies mark the occasion more than a week later on our city's loveliest patch of earth, Forest Park (specifically, the Muny grounds). Whether you want to dirty your fingernails beautifying the park or just guzzle some beer and enjoy the festival, a wide array of activities offers something to satisfy your inner treehugger.
The Earth Day Festival (10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) is the main event, with activities ranging from a used-toy and -book swap to a tree-seedling giveaway to a parade. Kids can make all the usual crafts and then some, learn about fuel efficiency on the Sierra Club's model-car track, or take home a pet worm courtesy of the City Museum. There's plenty of roots-oriented music (the Missouri Fiddlers Association and Ashtray Lizard are but two examples) and kid-oriented storytelling (courtesy of Piwacket Theatre for Children) throughout the day.
And oh, the exhibitors. A gaggle of good-works groups offer information tables, from the Christian Vegetarian Association to Missourians for Single Payer Healthcare. It wouldn't be a festival without food and drink, so the Schlafly Tap Room, Tamales and More, and the not-particularly-ecofriendly Sweet Meat Stix are among the many vendors on hand.
But if you prefer to work up a satisfying sweat for Earth Day, you can walk five kilometers to benefit clean-river activism (registration begins at 7:30 a.m.), help clean up the park or plant wildflowers (both 9 a.m. to noon), or plant some trees (meet at Steinberg skating rink at 2 p.m.). And all that still isn't the half of it. All of the events are free, and more information is available at www.stlouisearthday.org. Or you can just wing it, show up and get your Earth Day on. -- Jason Toon
Fore! For Fun
The Drive, Chip & Putt Junior Challenge is a chance for kids ages seven to fourteen to test their golf prowess in the three stated skills against those of their peers in a friendly, fun environment. Like many expensive, life-long habits, the golf lifestyle could start with this freebie at the Golf Headquarters Family Golfplex (3717 Tree Court Industrial Boulevard). Disregard your misgivings about the inherent lifestyle risks associated with any sport whose participants wear slacks and/or argyle; winners advance to the regional championships and a brief TV appearance, thanks to the Golf Channel. Participation is limited to the first 250 registrants, and registration begins at 1 p.m. Forms are available at www.thegolfchannel.com; call 636-861-2500 for more information. -- Jedidiah Ayres
To experience a true German spring festival, or Fruehlingsfest, you could spend $700 on a flight to Munich -- the spätzle in Theresienwiese is divine. Or you could drive your Volkswagen 35 miles south to Maeystown, Illinois -- it could cost you less than $10 in gas. Crossing the one-lane, limestone bridge into Maeystown may put you in a bit of time-warp, as this village hasn't changed much since it was founded in 1852. Fruehlingsfest features the best antiques dealers and plant vendors in the Midwest, as well as a chance to catch your breath among the rolling hills and streams -- "hurry" doesn't exist in Maeystown. Fruehlingsfest runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free; call 618-458-6660 or visit www.maeystown.com for directions. -- Amy Helms
Ms. Day, normally a sunny individual, is irritated right now, and all because of herbs. She buys fresh flat-leaf parsley to cook with, and minutes after getting it home, the herb has completely wilted. Left with no other choice (shouting at parsley doesn't seem to work), Ms. Day has decided to grow her own seasonings. Join her as she heads to the Webster Groves Herb Society's annual Spring Sale from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves (10 West Lockwood Avenue). There, she will find an assortment of herb plants for sale -- like parsley and fifteen varieties of lavender (at least one of which will fill a tiny pillow meant for soothing Ms. Day's pounding grocery headache). Admission is free; visit www.wgherbs.org or call 314-968-4336 for more information. -- Alison Sieloff