Once, county fairs were humble proceedings. You showed off your prize heifer; you learned the latest advances in sheep-shearing technology; you traded a spare child for some homemade apple butter. And somewhere, perhaps, there are counties whose fairs still honor the bucolic above all else. Not St. Louis County, though. Not unless your prize heifer can fly an F-15.
In fact, fighter jets -- parked on the ground for close inspection and flying overhead in dazzling displays of aeronautic derring-do -- are just some of the attractions at this year's St. Louis County Fair & Air Show. Fairgoers can enjoy carnival rides on the midway; performances by Hootie & the Blowfish and American Idol finalist Kimberly Locke; and demonstrations by the Budweiser Clydesdales, animal ambassadors from Sea World and Busch Gardens, the Faust Park Historical Village, and many others. And the fun benefits a great cause: Fair proceeds are donated to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital through the Children's Miracle Network.
The St. Louis County Fair & Air Show runs Friday through Monday (September 2 through 5) at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport (18270 Edison Avenue, Chesterfield). The fairgrounds are open from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.
There is no charge for admission on Friday. General admission Saturday, Sunday and Monday is $4 to $8, and free for children younger than six and for members of the military (with current, valid military identification). For more information visit the fair's official Web site, www.stlcofair.org, or call 636-530-9386. -- Ian Froeb
Road to Riches
Route 66 marks the spot
What's another name for buried treasure? We'll let you figure that one out on your own, but we can tell you where you might find some of that treasure, and where you can get your kicks Thursday through Sunday (September 1 through 4): old Route 66, of course! It's the first annual Route 66 Treasure Hunt, sponsored by the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce, and the goal is to find unique items while exploring the Mother Road of America. This rain-or-shine event stretches 200 miles from Eureka, Missouri, to Springfield, Missouri, and since there's no official start or end, just hop in your car or truck and get hunting -- for those gas-conscious travelers, we suggest bicycles with baskets to carry your goodies. Participating vendors include antique malls, sidewalk sales at local businesses and yard sales. For a map of participating vendors or more information, visit www.route66treasurehunt.com or call 636-629-1889. -- Amy Helms
August May Be Over
But the fun in Augusta isn't!
Perhaps, as you've gracefully aged, you've grown to realize what a time-suck Friday nights can be. You get home from work at a reasonable hour, and you chill on the couch, just waiting to go out (you're sick of cheesy happy hours) -- but then you lose energy and are stuck watching repeats of that Reba show. This doesn't have to happen to you! You can still go out after work, get home relatively early and have a good time in the process, all at the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce's free First Fridays. This month's event, "Broadway on the Driveway," happens at Augusta Station (5509 Locust Street) and features a 1940s variety show from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Food and drink are available for purchase; bringing along a lawn chair is recommended. For more information on this or the final two First Friday events, both held at different Augusta locales, call the chamber at 636-228-4005 or visit www.augusta-chamber.org. -- Alison Sieloff
Going to the Dogs!
There's no place better than a dog park. You can watch little dogs try to fight big dogs, look on as big dogs attempt to woo little dogs, and then witness the embarrassed owners awkwardly separate their errant animals from the pack. Now the dogs can take things a step further: Throughout early September various area pools from Chesterfield to U. City open their doors to the canine set to raise money for Dogparks of Greater St. Louis. So from 4:30 to 8 p.m., your dog can delight in the "K-9 Splash" at the Chesterfield Family Aquatic Park (16365 Lydia Hill Drive; 636-537-4000). Come equipped with $10 per dog, $3 per extra human and, of course, proof of rabies vaccination. For more information on this or the other puppy-pool adventures, visit www.stldogparks.org. -- Christine Whitney