Body positivity, French films and a fundraiser against abortion bans all take place this weekend. Sprinkled throughout the metro area, each event will offer something different. Pick your weekend plans, but don't leave out your weekday ones, either:
Body Positive Party
A group dedicated to the empowerment of plus-sized women hosts a weekend full of fun and empowering events. GRL Weekend! dedicates two days to celebrating women who identify as plus-sized — and their allies — in a summer jamboree. Put on by the Fluffy GRL Movement, the event kicks off with a cocktail hour where the ladies can mix and mingle and watch a panel discussion on health versus weight. The dress code for the cocktail hour is "summertime fine," so doll up and head over. The event continues the next day with a pool party in Collinsville, Illinois, at a local water park.
The festivities begin on Friday, August 5, at Aloft St. Louis Cortex (4245 Duncan Avenue, tickets through Eventbrite) at 6 p.m. The pool party happens at Collinsville Aqua Park (10 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, Illinois) at 8 p.m. Tickets for the weekend begin at $60.
Beer and Beyond
This weekend is your last chance to catch this pop-up beer garden. Beer Outside winds down for the summer with a tap trailer stocked with locally crafted beers. A local food truck will provide bites in case you need something to tide you over. Previous vendors included Sando Shack and New York Tom's Foodtruck.
The event takes place at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, laumeiersculpturepark.org/calendar) on Friday, August 5. Stroll through the park for free. The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m., and food-truck availability is based on the weather and stock.
As You Wish
Mid-30s never looked so good. The Princess Bride, which is approaching its 35th anniversary this October, will be part of the Saint Louis Science Center's First Fridays. Not only will the movie play in the center's OMNIMAX theater, but you can also dabble in the science behind potions and poisons, discover the magic behind storytelling, and learn what it means to be truly in love at the activities before the screening.
Pre-show activities include trivia, a sword-fighting demonstration courtesy of the St. Louis School of Arms, and a scavenger hunt with riddles for clues. Browse handmade artworks and products from local vendors or meet rabbits of "unusual size" with the House Rabbit Society of Missouri. One of the center's exhibits will give you the chance to find out what "mostly dead is still partly alive" means.
With a screening at 6 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m., the evening will be as long "as you wish" but guests are encouraged to wear costumes and try each activity. Most activities are free, and preferred parking is available for $5. Visit the Saint Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue, slsc.org/event/first-friday-the-princess-bride) from 5 to 9 p.m on Friday, August 5.
Get Ready to Rumble
Rollerblades and reproductive rights smash together this weekend. Arch Rival Roller Derby is hosting Rumble for Reproductive Rights as a fundraiser for the Missouri Abortion Fund. The roller derby team is donating $500 and 10 percent of the night's profits to help fund abortion access. The team will also be selling shirts.
The competition boils down to three teams — the Pro Roellers, the Dissenters and the Criminal Bodies — that will each play one another followed by a face-off between the two teams with the highest differentials.
Rumble along with the Arch Rivals at Midwest Sport Hockey (570 Weidman Road, see Eventbrite for tickets) on Saturday, August 6, at 6:30 p.m; doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are free for children under 10, and adult general admission costs $12. Tickets at the door are $15.
France on Film
Oui, oui, it is that time of the year. The 14th annual Robert Classic French Film Festival is coming to the city and once again celebrating St. Louis' Gallic history and France's legacy in cinema. Featured films — French language with English subtitles — shown at the fest will range from the 1920s through the 1990s. The festival will also include seven restoration works, including Luis Buñuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, a film celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Not only does the film festival aim to celebrate these cinematic pieces, but it's also planning to honor St. Louis' own Josephine Baker by showing her debut silent film Siren of the Tropics Saturday evening, August 6. The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra will provide live accompaniment with a performance of the original score. Sunday's showing is Beau Travail, Claire Denis' powerfully rendered tale of desire in the French Foreign Legion starring the unmissable Denis Lavant.
Each program is paired with discussions by scholars and critics of French or film.
The film festival spans three weekends. One opportunity to catch the festival is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 7, at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium in Webster Hall (470 East Lockwood Avenue, cinemastlouis.org/robert-classic-french-film-festival). General admission is $15.
Greek mythology with a modern twist comes to life on stage with The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical. Based on the popular book series, the musical follows Percy Jackson, a teenager who discovers that his father is actually the Greek god Poseidon. Percy is the sole suspect after Zeus' lightning bolt is stolen, and he must work to recover it. The quest won't be an easy one — Percy must battle mythical creatures and travel the underworld, prove his innocence and grapple with being abandoned by his father. Follow Percy and his friends on their journey, and try not to tap your foot to the catchy rock score.
A bit of a trip awaits you for this musical. Bring on the monsters at the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, located at McKendree University (400 North Alton Street, Lebanon, Illinois; goshentheatreproject.org) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 7. Tickets range from $10 to $20.
Drink, Drank, Draw
Artists and those who love a bit of alcohol while they create are in for a real treat. Drink and Draw Night will provide the raw materials, fun activities and an instructor so you can craft a pure masterpiece. All you have to do is show up and nurture your artistic side all while sipping some delicious booze. (A complimentary drink is part of admission.)
The Pat Connolly Tavern hosts the event in its 1942 Room (6400 Oakland Avenue, see Eventbrite for tickets) on Sunday, August 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $15, and space is limited to 20 painters. The bar will be open for cash orders of food and drink.