?St. Louis is the fourth-most-haunted city in America,? the tour guide said on a tour covered by Narratively. "But your tour guide is No. 1.? That guide is David Riordan, a renaissance man who's been a commodities trader, lawyer, and Spanish real-estate seller, and now-owner of Riordan Tours. It was his time in Spain that inspired him to become a tour guide. He practiced his storytelling on the English-language radio station he bought and then began leading homespun tours through the small, picturesque town of Frigiliana.
But when the Spanish economy soured, he moved back to his native St. Louis. Now he draws on his natural talent for yarn spinning and leads groups to tourist attractions and haunted corners of the 250-year-old metropolis. Along the ghost tour, David unravels chilling yarns about events that inspired The Exorcist, the St. Louis Fire, the cholera epidemic, and spirits that still roam the streets, asking people which bus they should catch to get to the afterlife. The less spooky city tours explore the UNESCO World Heritage site Cahokia Mounds, as well as the Cardinal's Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch.
David also puts his storytelling skills to use at his Unveiled: History & Hauntings of St Louis shows. Accompanied by a folk guitarist, he regales crowds with tales of the city's history. "I can talk about anything," he told the Riverfront Times. "It's not just ghosts and spirits, [it's] the brewery, steamboats, gangsters."
While childhood obesity is a topic that receives widespread attention, registered nurse Jean Huelsing uncovered a facet of the issue that many have overlooked: some of the very "fat camps" designed to help overweight kids slim down were actually part of the problem. She takes issue with these camps? short-term approach, as they rely on fast-acting diets rather than instilling healthier lifestyle habits. Striving to succeed where other camps failed, Jean started Camp Jump Start in 2003 and, just three years and a score of happy campers later, founded The Living Well Foundation to extend the reach of her holistic-wellness principles.
The organization now hosts a wide range of camps for adults and children alike. They?re held at Living Well Village, which occupies 250 acres in the woods, where campers can develop a love for active pastimes through outdoor activities, such as navigating ropes courses, fishing, and juggling beavers.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
If summer could talk, it would brag about how every year, it gets to spend its final days at the Washington Town and Country Fair. The all-ages festival combines the quaintness of the old-fashioned with the marvels of modern times, much like Charlotte's Web, but with more monster trucks. Showing off the "town" part of Town and Country, classic rock and country stars perform on the main stage, while the Midway twinkles and rumbles with carnival rides. The fair shows its "country" side with livestock pavilions, farm mechanic exhibits, and Agriland, where wee ones leans the joys of farm living while participating in pig chases. Adults get to cheer on monster truck rallies, tractor pulls, bull riders, UTV, and motocross races.
At ALIVE Bride 2014, engaged couples peruse St. Louis' wedding offerings, browsing displays from local photographers, florists, and luxury event venues. The event, which highlights more than 30 merchants total, is hosted by ALIVE Magazine, a St. Louis lifestyle magazine focused on culture, fashion, and nightlife.
On loan from the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, the Da Vinci Machines exhibit debuts in North America with more than 60 interactive models based on the polymath's original 500-year-old concepts. Peruse replicas of major inventions, each handcrafted by three generations of Florentine artisans, including the air screw, an early ancestor to the both the helicopter and the propeller beanie, and learn the secrets behind the mechanical lion, a robotic lion given as a gift to the king of France. Visitors young and old are fully encouraged to touch the war machines, flying machines, and nautical and hydraulic devices for insight into their functionality, and accompanying explanatory notes, illustrative panels, and computer programs help modern minds glean further understanding into Da Vinci's wide-reaching genius and favorite emoticons.