If You Only Attend One Fall Festival this Season, Make it the South Grand Fall Fest
Fall—in all of its pumpkin-spiced glory—is fast approaching. As the autumn equinox nears, special events abound in St. Louis. It can be difficult to discern which special occasions are worthy of a spot on the coveted fall calendar. After all, Mother Nature only allows St. Louisans a handful of beautiful-weather days. We have to be picky.
The South Grand Fall Fest returns on Saturday, Sept. 15, and secures a spot on our autumnal agenda year after year. Now closing in on its fifth installment, the fest includes more than 60 retail vendors and community organizations, as well as craft activities perfect for families. The layout envelopes the entire South Grand Business District, placing vendors on the streets just off of Grand Blvd., creating an urban oasis truly showcasing the walkability of the district.
The businesses are truly the heart of the event, and all will stay open to greet neighborhood locals and newcomers alike. We spoke with Rachel Witt—executive director of the South Grand Community Improvement District and the
South Grand Cultural Alliance—about why this festival is so special.
Tell us why the South Grand Fall Fest has been so successful in years past.
The event brings the community together and celebrates not just our amazing businesses along South Grand but our makers and sellers, from handmade to vintage and boutique vendors. The attendees are meeting vendors who are all from the St. Louis area, and the pricing of the items for sale is affordable. The layout and quality make this event successful.
The vendors are located on the streets just off of Grand Blvd. Festivalgoers can walk to shopping and dining options located on Juniata St., Connecticut St., Wyoming St. and Humphrey St., as well as entertainment in Ritz Park. The entertainment draws from all local bands, as well as the DIY crafts and games provided by schools, art organizations and local architect firm Aesh Design, who made all of the games.
Attendees will love the craft scene and exploring the diverse group of vendors as well. They’ll discover new restaurants or retail shops along South Grand, or stroll up from the neighborhood to enjoy music in the Ritz Park.
It’s important to note that Grand Blvd. is not shut down during the festival.
Residents and visitors to the area have always expressed that they love that we do not shut down South Grand Blvd. The festival is only five blocks long and is easy to walk through. Many businesses have fabulous specials planned for the added traffic!
Also, people like how family-friendly the event is. From the photo booths and face painter to the balloon artists—all is free to the public.
What else makes this event unique?
The event is very community-oriented. The Fall Fest concept, layout and entertainment are inspired by the engagement of the business owners and residents from the six surrounding neighborhoods who work together to create the festival.
The bands are selected from a committee of residents who volunteer to include a variety of artistic style, race and diversity into the selection.
The schedule of entertainment is:
- 11 a.m. Bleach
- 12:30 p.m. Katarra Parson
- 2 p.m. Renna / Altayzie
- 3:30 p.m. Tonina
- 5 p.m. Lunar Fuse
- 6:30 p.m. Doorway, featuring Heir Jordin, Monkh and the People, Maya Sherrell and Frankie Do Wop
- DJ O. B. Juan will spin between acts
Lining South Grand Blvd. are more than 20 nonprofit organizations that are from the community or have worked within the community. Sept. 15 is a day for South Grand Blvd. and the surrounding neighborhoods to celebrate what makes our community great, which is the people!
Speak a bit more about the family-focused elements.
The free face painting, balloon animals, photo booth and DIY craft activities are provided by Artscope, Craft Alliance, the Biome School and Tower Grove East Prep Academy. Families can also enjoy a life-size Connect Four game, Jenga and Cornhole.
Pizza Head, located at 3196 South Grand Blvd., will host a pizza-box competition and will award prizes. The contest is free. Ages are 6+, and prizes will be given for three age groups: 6-10, 10-18, 18+.
This sounds so fun! Let’s talk about the heart and soul of this event, the people of the South Grand Businesses. Who can festivalgoers plan to patronize?
Dunaway Books, Avon, Fuller Brush & Watkins Distributors, Rocket Century, Parsimonia, Bali Cargo Co of Saint Louis, TRX Tattoos, Cheap TRX, Zee Bee Market, Apotheosis Comics and Lounge, Found by the Pound and Avec Lua Silks of Vietnam will all be open for business!
Let’s chat about the makers; there are more than 60 vendors this year. Can you highlight 10 not-to-miss booths?
- Alison Art Photography selling fine-art photography, from prints to notecards.
- Chatillon Lux showcasing handcrafted fragrances and shaving supplies that reflect the history and boundless inspiration found throughout St. Louis.
- Fierce Love Soul where each piece is imbued with passion, creativity and love and is crafted using carefully selected, high-quality gemstones, beads and findings from around the world. Some pieces are limited edition.
- Green Earth Art Company provides personal sanctuaries through concrete castings of recognizable but beautiful forms for your garden.
- Pretty Please selling modern baby boutique teething accessories.
- Shop Modern’s vintage finds are fabulous.
- Heirloom Bottling Co. aims to bring you quality natural syrups and shrubs for your cocktails and soft drinks.
- Rad Thought stems from the radical minds of identical twin brothers, Jarred & Jonathan Lindsay, aka Double Vision DV for short. It’s an apparel company located in St. Louis that focuses on making radical statements and making radical change in the perception of our current society.
- Wandering Ash Tree is artist Ashlee Potter, a young female entrepreneur born and raised in the Midwest. She’s inspired by extensive international travel, particularly in the leather markets of Florence.
- Indigo Home Décor is a mobile retail truck offering unique home designs and eclectic décor.
The South Grand Fall Fest will take place on Saturday, Sept. 15. Vendors will be open throughout the district from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and live entertainment will play in Ritz Park (3147 South Grand Blvd.) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
This post has been brought to you in part by the South Grand Cultural Alliance. All photos are courtesy of the South Grand Cultural Alliance. Thank you for supporting the businesses that keep ALIVE and GUIDED: Saint Louis growing.