Ever since Starship's Craig Chaquico was at the Touhill last month, we've been walking around Night & Day Global Industries humming "We Built This City" (sorry, Mr. Night!). But singing this really super-awesome song has got us thinking: Who did build this city? We're betting that the somewhat-unsung local independent businesses, not Mr. Chaquico, have had something to do with the development of St. Louis. And for their hard work and success, these indies deserve a great song -- or maybe just an all-day festival in their honor. BUILD St. Louis agrees. This local chapter of the American Independent Business Alliance hosts "Celebrate Your Independents" Week in St. Louis (July 3 through Saturday, July 9), which is truly celebrated with a festive bang on its final day.
At Saturday's fest, held at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood), there will be some songs (by local musicians Black & Mild, Brian Curran and others) and more than 50 booths manned by local businesses and restaurants. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can sip on one of Fitz's root beer floats, be awed by the glass masters from Third Degree Glass Factory and chow down on some yummies from Monarch. After eating maybe you should take a spin on one of Big Shark's bikes, or maybe you should just continue eating -- you haven't had any of Black Bear Bakery's treats yet! Loop favorites like Plowsharing Crafts and Phoenix Rising will also participate in the daylong extravaganza, bringing their unique gifts -- in more ways than one. After all, aren't each of our locally owned businesses little treasures in and of themselves? For more information about the event, call 314-808-8032 or visit www.buildstlouis.org. -- Alison Sieloff
It's in the Cards
If it's true that great minds think alike, then perhaps it's also true that great artists marry each other. Maybe the latter statement is a stretch, but at least it's true in the case of the Raedekes. Dionna Raedeke (whose mixed-media drawing Heavy is pictured) is married to futuristic artist Daniel, and the former Raedeke definitely has her own colorful style. See more of her work at her show Drawings, which opens at the Xen Gallery (401 North Euclid Avenue; 314-454-9561 or www.xengallery.com) on Friday, July 8. Also opening at Xen is David Burns Smith's The Arcana, which is made up of paintings featuring the artist's take on the tarot's timeless symbols. The opening reception for both shows runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Drawings and The Arcana remain on view through August 7. -- Alison Sieloff
Enjoy the View
Ladies, now that the Fourth of July fireworks are over, do you find yourselves needing an inspiring summertime view? If you've maxed out the excitement of watching the neighbors plant petunias and been through all six seasons of Sex and the City, we've got a recommendation for your viewing pleasure: Chippendales. These hotties are performing at Harrah's St. Louis Casino (777 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights) Wednesday and Thursday (July 6 and 7), with shows at 6 and 8:30 p.m. both nights. For a mere $15.99, those 21 and older can save up enough stimulating memories to get through even the muckiest St. Louis summer. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com and at the Harrah's gift shop; for more information visit www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/stl or call 314-770-8100. -- Amy Helms
The Cheese Stands Alone
"Cheesemonger" may sound like a playground taunt, but truly it's a title of great distinction, right up there with "head of state" and "editorial operations manager." Cheesemongers have an insatiable desire to learn about the edible treasure, be it Gorgonzola or Gruyère, Swiss or Stilton. Increase your knowledge du fromage from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Whole Foods Market (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, Brentwood), when specialty cheese buyer Denise Carr leads the "Fresh Artisan Cheeses" class ($10). This is the perfect chance to learn about hard-to-find, handmade cheeses from all over the world, thus expanding your calcium-rich horizons. And remember, you aren't the only one who mongs the cheese: Register in advance by visiting www.wholefoodsmarket.com or calling 314-968-7744. -- Brooke Foster