Over this last weekend, St. Louis was gifted with a slight cool front. Not enough to break out the fall clothes, but enough where you could spend the entire day comfortably outside. There were so many events and festivals happening in and around the city, it was hard to narrow it down, but with the cooler temperatures we decided to head north to St. Charles and check out their annual Festival of Little Hills.
The festival was held in downtown historic St. Charles along main street with more than 300 craft and food booths lined along the street. It was huge! We arrived around 10:30 am (about an hour after it opened) and parked on McDonough street, which was super convenient because McDonough and Main was very close to the start of the craft booths. To be completely honest, it was such a large event we worked our way to towards the end, but after a few hours even I had reached my limit and there were still another few blocks of tents left!
It was a typical craft fair with vendors selling everything from jewelry and antiques to my favorite, holiday decorations! There were food tents and trucks mixed in also selling the typical festival food. I love "dips" and may have spent a considerable amount of time at the tents sampling a few (or 15) different dips!
To be honest, outside of the dips and holiday decor, most of what was being sold wasn't completely up my alley. For anyone with kids though, I think it would be a great festival as there were lots of homemade toys and doll clothes being sold, as well as fun acts scattered throughout main street (think magic, balloon animals, etc.). My favorite part of the festival was just the opportunity to stroll down historic main street without any vehicle traffic. Downtown St. Charles sits alongside the Missouri river and is a trail head on the Katy Trail. There are several historic buildings, turned into adorable shops and restaurants, along the bricked-line streets. It's really adorable, and almost feels as if you're in another world. I enjoyed spending our morning exploring so many of the shops and I can't wait to return this fall.
We stopped at a store called Bridge Bread and learned about their incredible organization. The company works with the homeless or housing insecure and provides training and employment. We heard stories about how many will go on to other types of employment after creating a positive employment history and becoming more stable but a few have fallen in love with baking and have continued their training. All the money goes to covering the cost of the ingredients and to the bakers while everyone else serves as a volunteer. There is also a location down on Cherokee street in the city where we'll be able to purchase their bread! We came home this day with some cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next morning. Delicious!
- Arrive early for the best parking options and easier navigation between the booths. There were a few paid lots, but arriving within an hour of opening there was also plenty of parking options along the side streets.
- Food options were plentiful between restaurants, food trucks, and festival booths. There was also plenty of space to spread out if you brought a picnic lunch.
- Bring cash. There were ATMS available, but several smaller vendors were not set up with the apple square to take credit cards.
Sincerely, local menagerie