Playground Renaissance

Kickball comes back

SUN 8/24

St. Louis has its share of unusual sports leagues. Corkball, bottle caps, washers -- they all reflect a particular St. Louis "old-enough-to-drink-but-not-so-old-I-wanna-give-up-kids'-games" je ne sais quoi that makes this such an interesting town to live in. Add to the list of odd sports leagues the St. Louis Kickball Association (SKA), now in its fourth season of play. With 29 teams, a championship trophy (currently held by the Grr-ass Kickers) and an official beer sponsor (Schlafly), the SKA has blossomed into a going concern. It's too late to field a team in the SKA for this year, but you can still attend their games at Tower Grove Park (4225 Arsenal Street) from 3-6 p.m. on Sundays through October. But please, no wagering; cheering is permitted and appreciated, though. Check out for the season schedule, a brief history of the league and the official SKA rule book. -- Paul Friswold

The Whole Lot of 'Em

Sat 8/23

For the past nine years, Metropolis St. Louis has been putting on The Lot. This free outdoor urban-music festival takes place on the empty parking lot at 21st and Locust streets (next to the Schlafly Tap Room) and wisely offers a good assortment of musical styles: the punkish folk-rock of Fred's Variety Group, the synth-pop of Glow, the hip hop of Black Spade, the garage-pop of the Gentlemen Callers, the spazz-rock of the Electric and the fine alt-country sounds of the headlining act, Nadine. An acoustic set by a band-to-be-named-later will kick (uh, strum?) the festivities off at 6:30 p.m. In addition to the music, there will be a variety of street performers such as belly dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, mimes and the like. All ages are welcome and the event is rain or shine. Food, beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be sold. Visit or call 314-206-3246 for more info. -- Guy Gray

Red Hot Poker
Bluff crowd

Wed 8/20

Mark Twain once said, "There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker." The Budweiser/MDA Poker Classic tries to remedy this bum deal by inviting hundreds of area bluffers to compete for the title of "The Best Poker Player in St. Louis."

Round One takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 20, at Orlando Gardens Banquet Center (2050 Dorsett Village); Round Two is on Wednesday, August 27, at the Holiday Inn Southwest/Viking Conference Center (Watson Road at Lindbergh Boulevard); the finals are on Thursday, August 28, at the Holiday Inn Southwest ($30 suggested donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 314-429-9103, -- Tom R. Arterburn

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