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?
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