You've probably seen the members of the Banana Bike Brigade riding their whimsical art-bikes in a few Soulard Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day parades. In addition to providing fun and kinetic color to local celebrations, the sainted clowns are also quite active in charity work. Whether the group's restoring bikes for underprivileged kids (locally and globally) or donating money to worthy causes, the BBB makes doing good a hell of a lot of fun for everyone. Each and every member of the group should be knighted with excessive pomp and ceremony.
The Banana Bikers also know how to party heartily, but they can't even do that without giving something away. And if you join them at the sixth annual Banana Bike Brigade Charity Costume Ball from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the South Broadway Athletic Club (2301 South Seventh Street), you'll also be partying for a secret charity (the Brigade keeps it under wraps until the donation is made). The Broadway musical Hair is this year's theme, but as long as you wear some sort of costume and are older than 21, you'll be allowed in. Tickets are available in advance for $15 at The Framery (2027 South 11th Street; 314-436-8889) or at the door for $20. For more information visit www.bananabikebrigade.com or call 314-621-3210. -- John Goddard
Lay of the Land
The paintings of Katherine Bowling
Painter Katherine Bowling draws her inspiration from the landscape of upstate New York. And while landscape painting may seem so two centuries ago, Bowling's work is no nostalgia trip. Her paintings, created with oil paints over industrial spackle on wood, feature a distinctly modern mood and sensibility. But even if you care little for where she stands in the school of landscape artistry, the beauty of Bowling's work cannot be denied. Her Blossom possesses an interior luminescence that must be seen. So go to the Greenberg Van Doren Gallery (3540 Washington Avenue; 314-361-7600), for the opening reception of Katherine Bowling: Paintings, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 21. The show remains up through March 19. -- Paul Friswold
Beer in Mind
And in belly
Your friend beer has been a part of your life for many years. You know which beers you like and which you like a little less, but you've never met a beer you hate -- and you've sampled several. Even still, we bet there's at least one Schlafly beer you haven't tried. Maybe you've been scared to taste the Scotch Ale or the Bourbon Stout -- those brews kinda sound like that drink-mixing nightmare of your last birthday. Perhaps you've not had the ESB. What do the letters stand for? What does the ale taste like? Find out the answers to these questions and more from 1 to 5 p.m. at Cabin Fever, Schlafly's tented winter beer festival outside the City Museum (701 North 15th Street; 314-231-2489). For $17.50 to $20, you get museum admission, a tasting glass to keep and eighteen samples of Schlafly beer. Eighteen!? You're bound to make some new "friends" here! -- Alison Sieloff
We bet that when you read "Can the Circle Be Unbroken," you automatically continue singing the chorus of the old song popularized by the Carter family. You have to hear the whole tune now to escape it, so at 8 p.m. go to the Barter Theatre Touring Company's performance of Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Story of the Carter Family at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre (Parker Road and Waterford Drive, Florissant; 314-921-5678). Tickets cost $21 to $23. -- Alison Sieloff
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