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Friday, September 16, 2016

10 Things to Do on This Lovely Fall Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 6:17 AM

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click to enlarge Schlafly Tap Room's Hop in the City. - PHOTO BY JON GITCHOFF.
  • Photo by Jon Gitchoff.
  • Schlafly Tap Room's Hop in the City.
Try a few new beers.
The glorious festivals of fall are upon us, even if the fall weather is a little behind schedule. Hop in the City takes over the Schlafly Tap Room (1200 Locust Street; Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., bringing with it more than 40 beer styles and a wealth of great music. Tasting tickets ($30 to $35) get you unlimited samples of both the beer and the music, while tickets just to get on the lot and enjoy the bands are $15 to $20. Food will be available for purchase, and among those previously mentioned bands are Black Pistol Fire and the mighty, mysterious Calexico.

You like balloons, right?
You'd better get up early if you want to get a good spot at the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, because seemingly everyone in the metro area is in Forest Park today. Alright, it's actually only 150,000 people, but they're all camped out on the central field well before noon. This year's race features more than 70 balloons and pilots, who start their engines at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. Before that happens you can picnic in the park, watch the Miller Light Skydivers descend and enjoy the music of Griffin and the Gargoyles. Admission is free.

Go back to the era before presidential elections.
Some people claim they miss the good old days, but the good old days never really left. The St. Louis Renaissance Festival has all the village bakers, blacksmiths and carpenters your parents remember, plus a bunch of old-school Germans —specifically, the Landsknechts. These mercenaries dress sharp, carry sharp objects and act sharp. They'll show you how to wield a ten-foot-long pike, fire a bow or black powder rifle and play sixteenth-century games (when Germans play Monopoly, they play for keeps). This year's St. Louis Renaissance Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (September 17 to October 16) in Rotary Park (2577 West Meyer Road, Wentzville; Tickets are $15.95 to $18.95.

Enjoy a play in the streets.
Strange things are afoot in Maplewood this weekend. Theseus, the mayor of the southwestern suburb, and his fiancee Hippolyta run into eternal friends Hamlet and Horatio near the Mystic Valley, which is owned by a trio of soothsaying sisters. The plot thickens with the addition of Bottom and the college student Bernardo. What's it all about? Shakespeare in the Streets, my friend. Nancy Bell's play Remember Me plucks familiar characters and elements from Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth to create a new story about Maplewood, home of craft beer, doughnuts and bowling. The production blends music, actors, the neighborhood and the spirit of adventure to prove once again that Shakespeare is one of us. Remember Me is performed at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday (September 16 to 18) on Sutton Boulevard in Maplewood (between Marietta and Hazel avenues; Admission is free.

How about a classic movie?
Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964) parodies all kinds of strange American elements (our endless wars, our tangled politics, our obsession with conspiracy theories) so well that it's difficult to see now how risky all those decisions were at the time. Made just four years after Hollywood stopped blacklisting people deemed "unpatriotic," the film portrays the military, the scientists and the diplomats as selfish, flawed beings. It's also a hoot, mainly thanks to Peter Sellers' work as Lionel Mandrake, President Muffley and the eerie Dr. Strangelove, the former Nazi scientist who has one hand he can't quite control. Can any of these men save the world from the impending nuclear destruction Air Force Commander Jack D. Ripper intends to unleash on those bastard commies for poisoning our water supply with fluoride? Don't bet on it. Turner Classic Movies presents a special screening of Dr. Strangelove at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday (September 18 and 21). You can see it locally at the Wehrenberg Des Peres 14 Cine (12701 Manchester Road, Des Peres; Tickets are $10 to $12.50.

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