National Hispanic Heritage Month officially runs from September 15 to October 15 (spanning two months, technically), but who wants to wait another week? The Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival jump-starts the party with a three-day fiesta in World War Memorial Park (1315 Chestnut Street) from Friday through Sunday (September 5 through 7). Mayor Slay officially opens the festival with a commencement ceremony at noon on Friday; think of it as a starting gun for a run through more than 75 booths featuring handicrafts and delicious snacks from various Latin and Central American countries. Eight bands and a number of local folk-dance groups perform on the main stage throughout the festival. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free all three days. For more details visit www.hispanicfestivalstl.com or call the hotline at 314-837-6100.
Sept. 5-7, 2008