Last year, the International Institute of St. Louis’ Festival of Nations took place just days after the Storm of the Century (or the Straight-Line Winds of Horror, or That Time Our Cats Hid Under the Bed for a Week, or whatever the proper name might be). What could have been a bummer of an event -- it was about 293 degrees in the shade, after all -- was instead a glorious, rejuvenating, thoroughly fun fest. The stages were packed with flamenco dancers and tribal drummers. The craft booths offered everything from dainty Chinese purses to colorful Mexican glassware. And the food! We’re talking Bosnian æevapi (basically the best sausage sandwich you’ll ever have), Argentinean empanadas, Polish pierogi, spicy Brazilian feijoada and much more. Take part in the Festival of Nations from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (August 25 and 26), and see for yourself why this very paper named it the Best Festival in 2006. Admission is free (food and crafts are extra), and the fun takes place in Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue). Visit or call 314-773-9090 for more information.
Aug. 25-26

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