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Summer Concerts: Check out the progress on the Arch grounds

Enough of Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard is open to host a concert.
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

In looking around for new, free music events last week, I came across a series I hadn’t seen before: Walk to the Wharf. But before I pointed people to it, I wanted to check out the venue so I could make an honest recommendation.

Now, it’s not that I had never been to a concert on the Arch grounds (Waylon Jennings in 1991 counts, right?). But I had been told that the Arch grounds were torn up. What's more, Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard was not open the last time I drove that way from Laclede’s Landing.

So before writing about it, I decided to play tourist in my own town. I parked on Chestnut by Citygarden, where I was disconcerted by the bike lane between the parked cars and the sidewalk. (The bike lane is cool, it was just not something I was used to.) I sauntered through Citygarden, enjoying the happiness of the kids playing in the water and made my way to the riverfront.

CityArchRiver has stenciled symbols with the top of the Arch directing your steps to the monument. And that is a very good idea. You don't have all the old options when walking to the grounds from downtown. I recommend starting from Market or Walnut street and then heading for the front of the Old Cathedral. There's still plenty of construction, but it was also good to see lots of tourists (and only one selfie stick).

As you pass the south leg of the Arch, you’ll see the signs to the boats and the grand staircase. That’s your destination for the new Thursday lunchtime concert series.

Here’s what Great Rivers Greenway has to say about the series it is sponsoring:

Every Thursday … through September 24th, you are invited to “Walk to the Wharf” to grab lunch and listen to live music on the newly reopened Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. The event will take place near the base of the Grand Staircase and feature different live music and a variety of activities and food trucks each week. … Walk to the Wharf also gives those walking from downtown a chance to reconnect with the Old Cathedral and Gateway Arch grounds and see the improvements as work continues on the Arch grounds. If you are on a tight schedule or need transportation options, take our free Laclede’s Landing-Arch Shuttle. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with stops at the entrance to the Arch grounds at Leonor K. Sullivan, the Old Cathedral, the Old Courthouse and Laclede’s Landing.

The concerts are set to start at 11:30 a.m.

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