What is important is that we're deep into October's sweetbreads, and that means it's time for an Oktoberfest. And not just some backyard party with a sixer of Beck's and a grill full of brats -- no, we need something big or, as the Germans would say, gröss. And as is well-known in the River City, if you want to party in a gröss way, head to Soulard -- specifically, Soulard Market Park (South Eighth Street and Lafayette Avenue). The Soulard Oktoberfest takes over our little French enclave from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, from 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (October 21 through 23), flooding the area with music, brats and beer.
The music is provided by Texas polkameisters Brave Combo, who perform at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; both shows are free. Antrifftaler Musikanten, Herb Eberle and Larry Hallar also perform throughout the fest, as do traditional German folk dancers.
The brat comes courtesy of G&W Sausage, in the form of Bratanasaurus Rex, a 60-foot-long bratwurst made specially for the event. A fist-size hunk costs $5, with proceeds going to Second Harvest. B-Rex shows up at 4 p.m. Saturday, but his smaller kin will be everywhere throughout the weekend. Admission to Oktoberfest is free, but it costs $5 to get into the Big Tent, which hosts a party-within-the-party. Visit www.soulardoktoberfest.com for more information. -- Mr. Night
You Otter Go
In the mad rush (well, agitated amble, let's say) to welcome back the NHL, it would be criminally easy to overlook our other hockey team, the Missouri River Otters. The United Hockey League affiliate was there for all suffering puck heads during last year's NHL layoff, and it wouldn't be very neighborly to abandon the team just because the big guy's back on the ice. So head over to the Family Arena (2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles; 636-896-4200 or www.riverotters.com) at 7 p.m. Friday, October 21, for the Otters' home opener against the Motor City Mechanics. And then come back at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 22, for the game against Rockford's Ice Hogs. With tickets priced at just $7 to $20, it's easy to afford these multigame weekends. -- Paul Friswold
Ms. Day has had a lot of good ideas in her, um, day: a pizza-flavored soft drink, comfortable high-heeled shoes (novel, huh?) and a bookmobile for grown-ups that visits our skyscrapers and office parks, bringing joy and books to all the working slobs. And while the St. Louis Publishers Association's St. Louis Book Festival & Craft Art Fair isn't exactly a bookmobile (especially since it's held at the Muny in Forest Park, a most stationary location), the fest and fair will definitely bring joy, books, free bookish seminars and mostly local crafters to you from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (October 22 and 23). Admission to this tome-time is free; for more information about seminar offerings and author appearances (including those by novelist Ruth-Miriam Garnett and Western romance queen Bobbi Smith), see www.stlouisbookfest.org. -- Ms. Day
St. Louis boxing enthusiasts have spent copious time underground, awaiting the sweet science's return to the cultural radar. Used to be you didn't have to wait for a Cory Spinks to bring boxing to the forefront -- all you needed was a turf war akin to the north-side/south-side throwdown between Devon Alexander (pictured) and Kelly Wright. These St. Louisans settle things at the first Budweiser Friday Night Fights at 7 p.m. in the Savvis Center Concert Club (South 14th Street and Clark Avenue; www.savviscenter.net); their bout is second on the card after the IBA lightweight championship fight between David Diaz and Lamar Murphy. Tickets are $27 to $62 and are available through Ticketmaster (314-241-1888 or www.ticketmaster.com). -- Mark Dischinger