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Roll Out the Barrel 

Strassenfest is a barrel of laughs

Mr. Night and Ms. Day are big fans of Germany. How big? Sehr gröss, Herr Kommissar. So gröss, in fact, that we have been planning our trip to Strassenfest since last year's Strassenfest wrapped up. And we have determined that in order to fully enjoy the 'fest, you must combine events so as to cram the greatest possible amount of fun into the limited time. And so, as we don our lederhosen and dirndl (respectively), you'll want to memorize this list pairing Strassenfest food and Strassenfest carnival ride with the appropriate Einstürzende Neubauten song (the German industrial pioneers-turned-pop balladeers are Mr. Night's favorite German band).

Ride: Merry-go-round

Food: Strudel. Or Sno-Cone. "You want something fun and childlike, like a dessert," says Ms. Day.

EN Song: "Z.N.S." Mr. Night believes the circular riff meshes nicely with the merry-go-round.

Ride: Chair swing

Food: Pretzel. It's the only food that is its own handle.

EN Song: "Nnnaaammm." The onomatopoeia of the title (simulating a car racing by) goes well with the spinning ride.

Ride: Scrambler.

Food: Bratwurst, or the roasted ear of corn. "One-handed," notes Ms. Day. "You need a one-handed food, so you have a free hand to prevent smashing into your companion on the out-swing."

EN Song: "Letztes Biest (am Himmel)." "The chorus to this spooky romantic song is 'hold me tight,'" says Mr. Night, which is good advice for you and your bratwurst on the Scrambler.

Ride: Rock-O-Plane

Food: Jägermeister. "At this point you've had enough to eat, and it's time to hit the hard stuff," reasons Ms. Day. Also, if you ride the Rock-O-Plane properly, you'll be puking when it's over -- the same goes for if you drink Jägermeister properly.

EN Song: "Headcleaner." It's an accurate description of what both the ride and the drink do to people.

Strassenfest runs Friday through Sunday (August 5 through 7) in Memorial Park (North Tucker Boulevard and Market Street; 636-225-1730 or The fest opens at 11 a.m. all three days, and admission is free. Einstürzende Neubauten will not be playing this year, but Jake's Leg, the Deutschmeister Brass Band, the Bottle Rockets and Charlie Block & the Bavarians will be entertaining throughout the weekend. There's also a children's area (with petting zoo) and a genealogical research booth on site. -- Herr Nacht Und Fraulein Tag

Days of Maize
Cornucopia of Artifacts

SAT 8/6

Hundreds of years ago, before Ted Drewes and Gus' Pretzels (we know it's hard to imagine), Native Americans in this area grew and harvested their own crops. Not only did they utilize these crops as food, they made tools, games and weapons from their harvest, too. How'd they do that? Find out between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the free Native Harvest Festival at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Street and Collinsville Road, Collinsville, Illinois; 618-346-5160 or Try your hand at corn-grinding and tidying the yard with deer-antler rakes -- sorry, neither the Gus' Pretzel carabiner nor the All Shook Up Concrete shampoo had been invented yet. -- Amy Helms

Love Tennis?

Maybe this summer you fulfilled your long-time dream by taking tennis lessons, and you are finally getting pretty good at the sport -- but have no one other than your instructors to play with. Or maybe your arm hurt after the first lesson, and you discovered tennis isn't for you. Well then, neither is this event (quitter). But for all those who have stuck with tennis and are interested in playing with new people, head to the Triple A Golf & Tennis Club in Forest Park (5163 Clayton Drive; 314-652-2433 or every Friday evening until August 26. From 6 p.m. until dark on these nights, the club hosts tennis parties during which you get to play with a new partner every twenty minutes. And lucky for you, these parties of fun and fellowship cost a lot less than your lessons: only $10 for the whole night, and that includes drinks! -- Alison Sieloff

Mr. (and Ms.) Sandman

SAT 8/6

After watching beach volleyball during last summer's Olympics, men and women the world over wanted to have bodies like those players. Were they smokin' or what?! But it's been almost a year since then, and what's keeping you motivated now? Summer, but only marginally. So get off the couch, and head out to the Stratford Bar & Grill (800 South Highway Drive, Fenton; 636-343-5757 or for a little kick in the pants during the EVP Tour's St. Louis stop. There, male and female beach volleyball pros compete for $2,000 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and you get to watch for free (but the beers you drink before you recommence that workout program will cost you). -- Alison Sieloff

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