St. Louisans had a chance to review the framework of the expansion plans the Saint Louis Zoo is developing for the old Forest Park Hospital complex. Zoo officials unveiled some initial ideas for the 13 1/2 acre area across Interstate 64, south of the Zoo at an open house Wednesday evening.
Zoo President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Bonner explains what will be the first order of business once ground is broken. "We see immediate activity. We're going to go in and start renovating that seven story parking garage as quickly as we can. We'll do demolition for the main part of the hospital building as quickly as we can." Bonner went on to say, "The real planning starts now, when we take all of this wonderful input and then develop a strategic plan, what we're going to do for the next five, six or seven years."
Dr. Bonner says they are open and listening to many suggestions regarding the development. "I can see a commercial presence," he said. "I can see not doing it too, but I think it would be more welcoming place if there were certain services that we could provide for our visitors and, for that matter, neighbors and other people nearby."
The start date for renovations has not been determined.
The Killers and Wilco will headline this year's LouFest in Forest Park. The lineup for the annual music festival was announced Monday night via Twitter.
The Alabama Shakes and The National will also perform at the two-day event. A number of local acts are also scheduled to take the stage September 7th and 8th.
Tickets go on Sale this Friday.
Besides music, festival organizers are promising premium food vendors, an art market with quality local artisans, and plenty of fun & cool interactive activities around the park.
Also performing at Loufest 2013:
Edward Shape and the Magnetic Zeros
Jim James, Local Natives
Fitz and the Tantrums
Toro Y Moi
Trampled By Turtles
Walk the Moon
Ra Ra Riot
Court Yard Hounds
Jukebox the Ghost
Brick + Mortar
J. Roddy Watson & the Business
Modoc and the Lonely Biscuits
St. Louis acts Kentucky Knife Fight and Tef Poe are also on the card.
The specific showtimes will be released this summer.
As environmentalists and those who want to protect the planet celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day today, organizers of this past weekend's festivities in Forest Park urge everyone to go-green as much as possible. Cassandra Haije, the Executive Director of St. Louis Earth Day, says protecting the planet is a daily responsibility.
"You know while the Earth Day event is one day," Haije said. "Our organization is actually a year round organization now. And that's the message we're trying to get across is that it's not just Earth Day, it's really everyday."
She says the message seems to have a big audience. Haije says the popularity of the event is evident in the size of the crowd and the number of vendors.
"We had 250 booths year and we actually sold out so we're going to have to go back to the drawing board for next year," said Haije.
Haije estimates a record crowd over 35,000 attended the Earth Day celebration this year.
The Forest Park Trolley goes back in service today.
The trolley bus will shuttle park visitors between attractions, park and ride lots, and the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station. Beginning today, it'll run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, the hours expand -- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The cost is two-dollars for adults, one-dollar for kids 5-to-12, seniors and the disabled. Children 4 and younger are free.
The Forest Park Trolley is a service of Metro Transit.
Saturday is International Pillow Fight Day and fluffy faceoffs are planned across the globe, including St. Louis. It's part of the urban playground movement where groups organize free, fun, non-commercial public events for all ages. Besides the Gateway City, pillow fights will take place in several other U.S. cities, including Washington, DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles. There will also be events in London, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and Rome, just to name a few.
The St. Louis Pillow Fight will begin at 2pm at Cricket Field in Forest Park (Southeast corner of the intersection of Grand Dr. and Cricket Dr. This is very close to the parking lots in front of the MUNY, near Dwight Davis Tennis Center and close to the Visitor Center. The field is #3 on the map.
This event is open to and appropriate for all ages.
1) First and foremost: NO violence - This is a loving event.
2) Soft pillows only. No zippers, snaps, anything. Just regular pillows. (Tip: Pillows in pillow cases allow for better swinging arc)
3) Swing with love
4) Do not swing at anyone without a pillow or holding a camera
5) Remove your glasses before you jump in
6) NO FEATHERS. Let's not make a mess.
7) DON'T LEAVE YOUR PILLOWS BEHIND. STL Improv Anywhere doesn't wanna clean them up!
8) Be cool
9) Costumes are highly encouraged ;)
DISCLAIMER: All people attending this event do so at their own risk. You are all responsible for your own welfare (and that of others) as well as the preservation of public and personal property. The creators and promoters of this event accept no liability for the actions of its participants.
Get more information at the 2013 Pillow Fight Day website.
Campus Police Chief Richard Branahan says the school has been holding the drills for the last four years. "Because of all the things that have happened, and all of the school shootings in the past," Branahan said. "This is just part of continuing training we're doing with the officers throughout the district."
St. Louis Police, Fire Department, paramedics and even the FBI participated in Wednesday's simulation.