What St. Louis knows as Mardi Gras is called Carnaval in some countries and Fasching in others. By any name, Carnival allows people to live life a little more fully, at least until Ash Wednesday. Juneteenth, the holiday in honor of the Emancipation Proclamation, follows the same principles of celebration, but with a less rigid end date; it always takes place in June, but what day exactly varies from place to place. Carnaval, the new photography exhibit at the Griot Museum of Black History (2505 St. Louis Avenue; 314-241-7057 or www.thegriotmuseum.com), showcases how eight communities celebrate the onset of Lent — and its opening reception marks St. Louis' official Juneteenth festivities. From 4 to 7 p.m. today there will be music by Charles "Babatu" Murphy, African drumming by the Drummer Boys, performances by Latin dancers and American steppers, crafts and international food. Admission is $10 to $25. Carnaval remains up through Tuesday, August 11, and the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. Regular admission is $2.50 to $5.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: June 20. Continues through Aug. 11, 2009