3 Can't-Miss Arts Events in St. Louis This Weekend, September 22 to 24

Catch the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival, the People's Joy Parade and comedian Margaret Cho

click to enlarge All the vibrant colors of Hispanic culture will be on full display at the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival. - VIA FLICKR / DOD NEWS
All the vibrant colors of Hispanic culture will be on full display at the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival.

Friday 09/22

Por la Cultura
Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and runs through October 15 — a mid-month to mid-month anomaly among the month-long cultural celebrations and remembrances in the U.S. But it's not without reason. Those dates roughly coincide with the stretch of time between Nicaraguan Independence Day (September 15) or Mexican Independence Day (September 16) and Día de la Raza, the mid-October event that recognizes the now-controversial day Columbus reached the Bahamas (but actually celebrates the co-mingling of Spanish and Indigenous American cultures). And that's just one fact about Hispanic culture, so imagine what you could learn should you attend the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival at Soulard Park (Seventh Street and Lafayette Avenue, next to the Soulard Farmers' Market) this weekend. Education, of course, is just one thing on the fest's menu, which includes live Latinx bands, a Reggaeton Rewind Night, food from local vendors (empanadas, tamales, tacos, arepas, etc.), folkloric dancers, crafts, a kids corner and more. If that wasn't enough, the festival's profits will go toward scholarships for college-bound Hispanic students or underprivileged children. It's free to attend, and more information can be had at hispanicfestivalstl.com or at 314-837-6100.

Sunday 09/24

click to enlarge Even if you're not the Coolest Man in the World (pictured on the left), you are still invited to participate in the People's Joy Parade. - THEO WELLING
Even if you're not the Coolest Man in the World (pictured on the left), you are still invited to participate in the People's Joy Parade.

Pride and Joy
The People's Joy Parade has merged with Tower Grove Pride this year, and the resulting party should really be declared the Happiest Event in St. Louis by the mayor or something. (Is that an official award? It should be.)
Back in March, parade organizers announced that scheduling conflicts would prevent them from holding their usual Cinco de Mayo party, so they were moving it to the fall — but then they managed to make the May event after all, meaning we St. Louisans get twice the joy this year. Lucky us! Tower Grove Pride, notably, used to be held during Pride month but got bumped to September in 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns. Since then organizers of the two-day LBGTQ+ celebration have found that everybody much prefers temperate St. Louis September over sweaty St. Louis June, so now it happens each fall and everybody is happier and the drag queens are deeply relieved to not be sweating off their makeup immediately.
A fitting addition to such a celebration is the parade, which is all about what brings you joy. Anyone can join, with participants displaying their talents, using their skills and sharing what makes them happy. You want to dress up like a poodle and crawl down the street? Cool. You want to cruise down the road on a two-story bicycle? No problem. You want to dress up like a clown and throw confetti at people? Totally fine. There are hardly any rules at the People's Joy Parade. Spectators will find plenty to enjoy, but for the full experience you really should join in yourself — anyone with $25 and some love to share is welcome.
Tower Grove Pride will be held at Tower Grove Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 24. The People's Joy Parade kicks off on Sunday at 1 p.m. Visit towergrovepride.com for more info.

click to enlarge Margaret Cho is all out of fucks to give. - VIA FLICKR / @UNCENSOREDINTERVIEW
Margaret Cho is all out of fucks to give.

Notorious C.H.O.
Everybody loves comedian Margaret Cho. The unendingly hilarious funnywoman is a familiar face to her roles in popular films and TV shows including Face/Off and 30 Rock, as well as more recent credits such as Fire Island. But when it comes to standup comedy, she's been cracking up audiences for nearly three decades. And so, when you go check out her show at the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard, 314-726-6161) on Sunday, September 24, you know your evening's entertainment is going to be in the hands of a pro. If the name of her current tour, Live and LIVID!, is any indication, she no longer gives any fucks — which of course is always to the audience's benefit in standup comedy. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show kicks off one hour after that. Tickets start at $35. Details at thepageant.com.

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