People may gripe about the heat and humidity of St. Louis in the summer. But ask someone to share his or her favorite memory about this town, and chances are you're going to hear a story about something that happened between May and September.
Why? Because summer is when we get together with friends and share. When we slow down just long enough to appreciate all that is here for the taking. And as RFT discovered when we sat down to brainstorm what we love about summer in St. Louis, the reasons could be infinite. Here, though, are 25 places to begin.
1. Mike Shannon.With his references to "high hard ones," his catch phrase "get up, baby!" and his near-constant cackling, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've stumbled upon the rants of a ham radio operator or a senile Viagra pitchman. Nope. That's just "the voice" (TM) of the St. Louis Cardinals. And while Shannon's delivery may be out of the strike zone, his radio ruminations in St. Louis are as much the sound of summer as the singing cicadas.
2. Pork steaks. They're a St. Louis delicacy, these sliced strips of pork shoulder. Pro tip: Cook these babies on a low heat for 90 minutes and brush with another St. Louis original -- Maull's barbecue sauce.
3. Circus Flora. Circus the way circus was meant to be. This magical big top sets up shop each summer in midtown, offering its fans an intimate and upclose view of perennial favorites such as the peewee acrobats St. Louis Arches and the death-defying high-wire act the Flying Wallendas. And at what other circus do you get to meet the performers after the show? (3547 Olive Street; 314-289-4040)
4. Washers. Bags (a.k.a. "cornhole") may be all the rage these days, but washers remains the official lawn game of St. Louis. While its origins remain a mystery, it was likely created when one southsider said to another, "Bet I can throw this washer into that Busch can over yonder."
5. Free concerts. From the mega stages of Fair Saint Louis to weekly concerts at the Missouri Botanical Garden and downtown Kirkwood to the monthly shows at municipal parks like Maplewood's Ryan Hummert, it might just be possible to experience free music under the stars every summer night in St. Louis.