Fantasy Realized

Team tennis in St. Louis

Fantasy sports sure are strange. True, they do take up some much-detested, mandatory sit-at-your-desk work time, but they also aren't real, which seems to be a major drawback. Even if you're the master of your fantasy league, a coaching job or fame and fortune don't await you -- sadly, you mostly just get fantasy satisfaction. And how great is that fantasy satisfaction for a sport like tennis? Get some real professional World TeamTennis fulfillment this summer during the St. Louis Aces' seven home matches happening at Forest Park's Dwight Davis Tennis Center between Thursday, July 7, and July 21. All matches begin at 7:05 p.m., benefit different charities and include five sets: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles. The real live players to root for on our side are handsome star Andy Roddick (pictured, who plays July 16), Jamea Jackson, Jennifer Russell, Jonathan Erlich, Andy Ram and Coach Greg Patton, who all will be challenged by the likes of Martina Hingis (Saturday, July 9) and other greats. See the action live and in person for $25 and up; visit www.stlouisaces.com or call 314-726-2237 for ticket availability and more information. -- Alison Sieloff

Waiting for a Star to Fall
Time to wax celestial

In St. Louis sometimes the coolest thing visible in the night sky is the glowing red sphere atop Red Moon; unfortunately, there are just too many city lights to get an unadulterated look at the firmament. But you want to ponder the question that somehow Tom Cruise has got you asking yourself: Can we possibly be alone in this universe? Try to get to the bottom of all that silliness at the Saint Louis Science Center's very serious monthly public telescope viewing, happening Friday, July 8, on the archery range just west of the center's James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park (314-289-4453 or www.slsc.org). As soon as the sun sets, the St. Louis Astronomical Society and the Science Center help you set your eyes on stars, planets, deep-sky objects (!) and more. This look into the heavens is free, and while you may not see any evidence of life beyond Earth, you'll learn that there will probably be celeb-reporting life beyond Tom. -- Alison Sieloff

Who's Got the Fries?

SUN 7/10

Americana doesn't get much kitschier than the World's Largest Catsup Bottle -- the 56-year-old, 170-foot-tall water tower designed in the likeness of old-timey ketchup brand Brooks Old Original Catsup. And summertime fests don't get much funner than the tower's birthday party, happening at locations in and around Main Street in downtown Collinsville, Illinois (the tower's located south of downtown on Route 159). Beginning at 7:30 a.m., a cavalcade of commemorative events runs all day, including a "Big Bottle" bike ride ($3 to $9; www.trailnet.org), a classic-car display, a celebrity ketchup taste-test, a talk with the editors of American Road magazine and much, much more. Most events are free, and all are open to the public. For more information and directions, check out www.catsupbottlesummerfest.com or call 618-345-5598. -- Rose Martelli

 
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