Make sure to return to the city's south side on August 25 and 26 for the best festival in town the International Institute's Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park, a two-day extravaganza of food, music, arts and crafts, and dance from dozens of nations. St. Louis citizenry hosts a diverse collection of expatriates and immigrants from around the world, and the Festival of Nations helps us remember that despite the differences, some things are universal: namely, good food and good music. Where else can you eat Filipino kabobs, see people dance the flamenco and buy an Indian sari? The Festival of Nations attracts tens of thousands, but spacious Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue) never seems overcrowded. The festival begins both days at 10 a.m., and ends at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.iistl.org for details.
As summer comes to a close, so does the cycling season but not before the Tour of Missouri. This is the first year for the six-day stage race, patterned after the perennial crowd-pleasing Tour de France. The tour begins in Kansas City on September 11 and arrives in St. Louis on Sunday, September 16, for its final time-trial. The 600-mile race is quite a coup. Missouri is one of only four states in the nation to host a race of this caliber, and the 120 cyclists will have been in France a few months earlier to ride in the one Lance won seven times that's right, Lance Armstrong. These light-speed Spandex blurs take the streets more nimbly than any SUV could; go and root them on at this watershed event. Route and schedule updates (and much more) are available at www.tourofmissouri.com.