The people behind stl250, the nonprofit in charge of putting together events surrounding St. Louis City’s 250th birthday next year, unveiled their plans Monday night.
The official anniversary of the city’s founding will fall on Valentine’s Day weekend next year, and even though that’s not the ideal time for an outdoor festival, organizers are planning a birthday bash in Forest Park, complete with a hot chocolate happy hour.
The “Valentine’s Day ‘Burnin’ Love’” festival will also feature live music, fireworks and permanent fire sconces will be installed along the park’s canals and lakes. The centerpiece will be a sculpture of a burning heart in Forest Park’s Grand Basin Lake.
Executive Director of stl250, Erin Budde, said they're focused on celebrating the region as a whole.
“Municipalities, and counties and neighborhoods that may not sit in St. Louis City or County, we think of you as part of this, as well,” Budde said.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley spoke during the group’s kickoff event and echoed Budde’s sentiment.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for all of us to be proud of St. Louis,” Dooley said. “Somebody said, “well, Charlie, why are you here, I mean, you’re from St. Louis County.’ Well, it does say St. Louis doesn’t it? At one time we all were together, and we’re still together, quite frankly. We live in a great opportunity area that we all should be very, very proud of.”
Organizers will collect individual stories and memories from residents, eventually weaving them into a collective narrative of St. Louis.
There are also plans to place 250 ornamental birthday cakes around the region. The cakes will be interactive and people with smartphones and tablets can receive historical facts about each location.