Eating Up St. Louis – One Cake at a Time

Tuesday February 18, 2014

It’s official. The cakes have arrived – let the birthday bash begin.

On February 14th St. Louis turned 250. To celebrate STL250 has placed 250 cakes (actually 4 1/2 foot fiberglass cake sculptures) throughout the greater St Louis region to create what’s been dubbed the “Cakewalk to the West”.  Each cake highlights a notable St. Louis site representing its past, present, and future. Landmarks, innovation, heritage and culture sites, great outdoor destinations along with 50 coveted locations selected by the public via an online poll.  Each is decorated to reflect its location where is will residence.

To explore these unique cake destinations begin your search where St Louis began –  downtown, at the south leg of the Gateway Arch. This is where Auguste Chouteau and Pierre Laclede established their trading post and city they named in honor of King Louis IX.  It’s also the site of today’s Jefferson National Expansion Memorial commemorating westward expansion and St Louis’ contributions as the Gateway to the West.

From the Arch take a short walk west to the next cake, found at the Basilica of Saint Louis of France, what locals call the Old Cathedral. The Old Cathedral’s present building dates to 1834 but sits on the same grounds where the city’s first log church was built in 1770.  While the undergoing a 12-million restoration the Old Cathedral remains open for visitors and worshipers.

From the Old Cathedral across Memorial Drive another cake encounter waits at the Old Courthouse, the second part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The Old Courthouse is where the famous landmark trial of Dred Scott was held. Dred Scott was the slave who sued for his freedom.

Eight blocks northwest is another place where you’ll find cake and a platform for freedom, freedom of the press that is – as practiced at the St Louis Post-Dispatch, founded by Joseph Pulitzer in 1878.  The cake is perched outside and is decorated as the Post’s iconic Weather Bird, who celebrated its 113th birthday on February 11

“ The Post was given a blank cake and I was asked if I could decorate it,” said Dan Martin Post-Dispatch artist who draws the Weather Bird.  Once Martin saw the cake he immediately knew it had to be a Weather Bird Cake. After the design was approved Martin got to work, decorating the cake using outdoor house paint.  “ For a couple of weeks I would go down to an abandoned part of the press room where the plate room was and paint. It’s been on display in the lobby but will now be perched outside through the end of the year.”

Martin was just one of the local artists who contributed their talents to make sure St Louis would have plenty of cake to last the year.

All 250 cakes will be displayed until the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2014.

To make sure you get a chance to savor each cake before year’s end plan your cakewalk now. Use the free app provided with complements by STL250.org to find your way to each location. Just download the app and begin your trek. And don’t forget to bring your appetite for fun and be ready to eat-up St Louis.

Blog written by Suzanne Corbett

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