This is the Saturday immediately prior to Fat Tuesday, which means that you're supposed to dress for the weather (sunny/snowy/rainy/whatever) and head to Soulard for parading, drinking, good timing and, for the first time in recent memory, tricycling. The River City Casino Grand Parade, featuring more than 130 floats and krewes doing their best to dazzle you with their creativity, kicks off at 11 a.m. in front of Busch Stadium (Broadway and Poplar Street; www.mardigrasinc.com). It's the biggest parade of the year — even people who don't know their gras from a hole in the ground show up to see what the fuss is about. The fuss, of course, is the open-air party that spreads from one edge of Soulard to the other. Businesses will be serving various adult beverages and dispensing beads with a fury, which as you well know is no excuse for public nudity or public urination — but odds are it's gonna happen anyway. New this year is Gateway Harley Gras, a head-to-head tricycle race sponsored by Gateway Harley Davidson. They'll have a course set up on Seventh Street (between Geyer and Allen) on which you and your friends can test your pedal power. Prizes and giveaways will be awarded to triumphant racers, so you may want to pace yourself on the early partying — or not. Some engines run better on high octane, after all. Admission to all this is free, but you'll need ready cash to experience all the delights of Soulard.
Sat., Feb. 13, 2010