Tulips bloom at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

2024 Spring and Summer Festivals and Fairs in St. Louis

Monday March 18, 2024

By Rachel Huffman

As St. Louis heats up, so does our events calendar. Plan your next trip around one of these spring and summer festivals and fairs – you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re looking for other ways to celebrate the sunniest seasons, check out our guide for the best attractions and arts, sports and sips, family travel and outdoor adventure in the region.

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The first-ever Animals Aglow lantern festival will bring a dazzling spectacle of lights to the Saint Louis Zoo.
Animals Aglow Lantern Festival at the Saint Louis Zoo

Until May 5

The first-ever Animals Aglow lantern festival will bring a dazzling spectacle of lights to the Saint Louis Zoo. More than 60 larger-than-life Chinese lanterns, along with interactive light displays in the shapes of plants and animals, will illuminate paths throughout the Zoo in this nighttime event. Guests can stroll through the colorful Chinese Dragon Corridor, pose with giant glowing animals and play with interactive displays such as the Moonlight Swings and the Star Stepping Pads.

March 22 to 24

Founded in 2005 to increase dynamic conversations about the African continent on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, the African Film Festival continues to screen international films that showcase the landscape and diversity of Africa. Every film, from Omen to Dent Pour Dent, presents a human glimpse into social realities, and attendees can join post-show discussions about the films with various filmmakers, film historians and African studies scholars.

March 24

During this beer festival, The Old Bakery Beer Co. will be buzzing. Stop by for samples of more than 50 beers – plus, delicious dishes and live music.


A man poses with his peculiar collection at the Oddities & Curiosities Expo.
Oddities & Curiosities Expo at America’s Center Convention Complex

April 5 to 7

Spectacular art and breathtaking design converge at The Art Fair at Queeny Park. This year, the fair will feature more than 120 juried artists displaying their original works of fine art and fine craft. Artwork for all budgets will cover a range of mediums, from paintings to prints and ceramics to sculptures. You can also enjoy live art demonstrations, live musical performances, children’s activities and food trucks.

April 6 and 7

From funeral collectibles to quack medicine and odd jewelry to preserved specimens, the Oddities & Curiosities Expo is your destination for all things peculiar. Everything at the show is sustainably sourced and legal to own, and alongside carefully curated vendors, dealers, small businesses and artists, sideshow performers will entertain attendees throughout the day.

April 7 to 18

The St. Louis Jewish Film Festival showcases international cinema that explores universal issues through traditional Jewish values, opposing viewpoints and new perspectives. This year, the festival will screen My Neighbor AdolfRemembering Gene WilderExodus 91The Way to Happiness and Love Gets a Room, among other films.

April 20 and 21

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is a community tradition. At the two-day event, guests learn about sustainable products and services offered by area businesses and organizations, including 4 Hands Brewing Co., Alpacas of Troy, Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum, Big Muddy Adventures, Kakao Chocolate, Schlafly Beer, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. and World Bird Sanctuary. You can also meet local nonprofits, such as the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, which share Earth Day values, and try local restaurants, such as Salt + Smoke, which comprise the Green Dining Alliance – all while enjoying live entertainment. Whether you come for the activities, the food or the music, the St. Louis Earth Day Festival will leave you feeling inspired by the real progress being made to preserve our planet.

April 26 to 28

QFest St. Louis utilizes the art of contemporary gay cinema to spotlight the lives of LGBTQIA+ people and celebrate queer culture. Screening films that wouldn’t otherwise show in St. Louis, the event aims to excite, entertain and enlighten audiences of all identities. This year marks the 17th anniversary of QFest, which is presented by Cinema St. Louis.


People shop for one-of-a-kind art at Laumeier Sculpture Park.
Laumeier Art Fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park

May 3 to 5

QFest St. Louis utilizes the art of contemporary gay cinema to spotlight the lives of LGBTQIA+ people and celebrate queer culture. Screening films that wouldn’t otherwise show in St. Louis, the event aims to excite, entertain and enlighten audiences of all identities. This year marks the 17th anniversary of QFest, which is presented by Cinema St. Louis.

May 4

Over the years, the Cinco de Mayo Festival on Cherokee Street has evolved into one of the largest and most diverse festivals in the St. Louis region, bringing together more than 30,000 attendees to celebrate the rich, multicultural, spirited and eclectic community within the Cherokee Street neighborhood and surrounding area. Expect six blocks of festivities, including two stages and a lucha libre wrestling ring!

May 10 to 12

For three days in May, you can shop for one-of-a-kind artwork, savor tasty food and drinks, enjoy live music and entertainment and get creative with hands-on activities at one of the most unique attractions in St. Louis. Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of the first and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the U.S. – and the perfect setting for this exciting event. Attracting more than 17,000 patrons annually, the Laumeier Art Fair showcases 150 juried artists from across the country, who exhibit work in 10 media categories: ceramics, fiber/textiles, glass, jewelry, 2D mixed media, painting, photography/digital, printmaking/drawing, sculpture and wood.

May 11

Join your fellow beer lovers at the annual St. Louis Microfest, where you can sip suds from local, national and international breweries. The spring festival also includes tasty food and live music.

May 17 and 18

Taste of Maplewood spotlights the neighborhood’s renowned restaurants, delightful libations, beloved boutiques and specialty stores. In its 16th year, the festival’s vibe is distinct and unmistakable, radiating the culture and character of the local businesses. In addition to food and drinks, visitors can enjoy live entertainment on two stages.

May 24 and 25

Organizing the Midwest region’s most celebrated dance festival, Dance St. Louis draws nationally touring professional companies from coast to coast to bestow their artistry on the Gateway City. SPRING TO DANCE is an unmatched buffet of dance, featuring two days of nonstop movement from a wide array of companies, including powerhouses, breakout stars and up-and-comers. The must-see festival has something for everyone, from ballet to modern and contemporary to flamenco, with a distinct, dynamic program each night.

May 25 to 27

The St. Louis African Arts Festival aims to increase awareness of the global contributions that African people and people of African descent have made through artistic, cultural and educational programs. In its 33rd year, the festival is held at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park, drawing locals and visitors together to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of African and African American people. Attendees can enjoy the African marketplace with arts and crafts, clothing and jewelry, alongside cultural demonstrations, traditional foods and African films.

May 25 to June 30

Offering its signature mix of beloved classical operas and bold contemporary works, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis will present its 49th festival season from May 25 to June 30. Through the talents of hundreds of local, national and international artists, audiences will experience the magic of innovative storytelling as they travel between fantasy and reality, comedy and tragedy, love and revenge. The 2024 festival season includes The Barber of Seville (May 25 to June 29), La bohème (June 1 to 30), Julius Caesar (June 9 to 28) and Galileo Galilei (June 15 to 29). All the operas will be sung in English and accompanied by the Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

May 29 to July 31

The Missouri Botanical Garden is an idyllic place to listen to live music, and on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, the garden hosts free, open-air concerts as part of the annual Whitaker Music Festival. To date, more than one million people have participated in the cherished St. Louis tradition, which promotes common heritage, celebrates diversity and encourages vitality within the community. Visitors can bring their own picnics, and food, beer, wine and sno-cones will be available for purchase.

May 29 to Aug. 25

Meet us in St. Louis’ most beautiful parks for theater productions designed to reach hearts. The 2024 season of the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival brings a funny, lusty production of As You Like It to Forest Park for Shakespeare in the Park from May 29 to June 23. Further into summer, TourCO will take a larger-than-life production of The Tempest on the road, performing in 24 parks in Missouri and Illinois from July 30 to Aug. 25. The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival is “free forever to everyone always.” No reservations required.


The crowd awaits the start of a Broadway show at The Muny in Forest Park.
The Muny | Photo by Gregg Goldman

June 17 to August 25

For more than 105 years, The Muny has filled Forest Park with the sounds of Broadway. Open from June through August, the outdoor theater attracts out-of-town professionals as well as local talent for memorable musicals beginning with As You Like It, the very first production ever mounted at what would become The Muny. For its 106th season, The Muny will delight audiences with Les Misérables (June 17 to 23), Dreamgirls (June 27 to July 3), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (July 8 to 16), Fiddler on the Roof (July 19 to 25), Waitress (July 30 to Aug. 5), In the Heights (Aug. 9 to 15) and Cole Porter’s Anything Goes (Aug. 19 to 25). Attending a performance at The Muny with family and friends is a staple of St. Louis summers. The shows are enchanting, electrifying and empowering, and every night, there are free seats available on a first-come first-served basis, so everyone can experience the magic of live theater.

June 22 and 23

In its 24th year, the St. Louis Water Garden Society’s annual tour features amazing ponds and water gardens in the St. Louis metro area owned and maintained by its members. As a society, it has also maintained the lily ponds at the Jewel Box in Forest Park for more than 34 years. Its members work from May through October to plant and maintain the lily ponds, and Pond-O-Rama supports that effort. The water garden tour will take place on June 22 and 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and tickets are $20 for both days. See you there!

June 30

The Grand Pride Parade, which travels down Market Street through downtown St. Louis, is the culmination of the spirited PrideFest celebrations that happen at the end of every June to coincide with the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in New York City on June 28, 1969, in response to a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The historic uprising served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S. “PrideFest is always a good time,” Jordan Braxton, an educator and advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, says. “Last year, the festival drew approximately 325,000 people to downtown St. Louis, and this year, we’re expecting a similarly sized crowd – plus, the same great energy!”


People hang out in the streets and shops of Maplewood during Let Them Eat Art.
Let Them Eat Art in Maplewood

July 4

Concerts, parades and fireworks galore – Fair St. Louis has been reimagined as Celebrate St. Louis. Engaging, serving and celebrating the region through diverse, impactful and entertaining experiences, the Fourth of July event will take place in downtown St. Louis with a special focus on the 150th anniversary of the Eads Bridge, which has been a local landmark since its dedication on July 4, 1874.

July 12

A celebration of the arts and a whimsical tribute to Bastille Day, Let Them Eat Art takes place in Maplewood every summer. As you stroll through the streets and shops of the historic downtown, enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual festival. Let Them Eat Art features live art demonstrations, performances by regional musicians and children’s activities – plus, food and drinks from the neighborhood’s award-winning purveyors.

July 19 to 21 and 26 to 28

Lights, camera, action! The St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, presented by Cinema St. Louis, screens films written, directed and produced by St. Louis residents as well as films shot in the St. Louis region. During the showcase, audiences can watch a range of films, including narrative features, documentaries and multi-film compilations of fiction, documentary and experimental shorts. Cinema St. Louis aims to create cinematic experiences, such as the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, that enrich, educate and entertain our community.


Blues at the Arch pays tribute to St. Louis’ storied blues history and showcases the talents of local and national artists.
Blues at the Arch at Gateway Arch National Park

August 2 to 4

One of the best food festivals in the Midwest returns to Ballpark Village, and it’s turning up the heat with a Spice Wars theme. From Aug. 2 to 4, Taste of St. Louis will feature bites from almost 50 regional restaurants, 20 entertainment acts across three stages and a new VIP tasting terrace. At the Culinary Stage, you can also watch unique culinary demonstrations from top chefs and local personalities. Whether you’re into food, music or fun, Taste of St. Louis has got you covered.

August 8 to 18

“I don’t want realism; I want magic!” Tennessee Williams wrote in A Streetcar Named Desire. And magic is what you’ll find at the Tennessee Williams Festival. To enrich the cultural life of St. Louis, the annual theater festival features artistic and educational events that celebrate the timeless work and strong influence of the American playwright and screenwriter, who lived in St. Louis for 20 years. Delighting fans from across the country, the ninth annual Tennessee Williams Festival will feature a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, readings of one-act plays about show business, walking tours of Grand Center, panel discussions, a pool party and more.

August 9 and 10

Blues at the Arch will keep you in the groove until the end of summer. Hosted by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, in partnership with the National Blues Museum and the National Park Service, Blues at the Arch pays tribute to St. Louis’ storied blues history and showcases the talents of local and national artists. Held at Gateway Arch National Park, the free music festival is the only one of its kind to take place on national park grounds.

August 12 to 18

Champion uncensored work. Connect artists with audiences. Engage and educate local, regional and global cultural communities. These are the pillars of STLFringe. At the organization’s annual performing arts festival in the Grand Center Arts District, you can experience world-class, multidisciplinary pieces by diverse, independent creators.

August 24 and 25

The beauty of St. Louis lies in the diversity of its people. At Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park, we celebrate the myriad cultures that make up the Gateway City, honoring each other’s individuality, rejoicing in our differences and cultivating a more prosperous region for all. Bringing an energy that you can’t find anywhere else, Festival of Nations, produced by the International Institute of St. Louis, is the region’s largest multicultural event of the year, representing more than 75 nations. Originating in 1934, the two-day festival is open to the public and attended by more than 100,000 people. Here, you can ignite your senses with cuisines from around the world, dance to music spanning genres, shop international and local arts and goods and do it all with purpose.

August 30 to September 2

Big Shark Bicycle Co. presents Missouri’s top cycling event over Labor Day weekend. The Bommarito Audi West County Gateway Cup features four days of racing by some of the best professional and amateur cyclists, who will put on a show as they zip around Lafayette Square, Francis Park, The Hill and Florissant. The full tilt races showcase “criterium format” racing on one-mile laps. This Americanized style of racing appeals to both athletes and spectators as the peloton speeds by the crowd every few minutes, holding lines only inches apart from one another. Watch the race develop lap after lap and hear commentators announce race strategy as the excitement builds.

August 31 to September 2

Spotlighting and celebrating the history, culture and people of Japan, the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the U.S. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the garden to absorb the traditional Japanese art, food and entertainment on display. If you have time, consider taking one of the special tours offered in conjunction with the event.


People watch hot air balloons take off from Forest Park.
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race | Photo by Justin Barr

September 8

The Outlaw Music Festival featuring Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp comes to Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis on Sept. 8.

September 14 and 15

Music and heritage meet at this festival in the Grand Center Arts District. Every rendition of Music at the Intersection, a civic-led effort presented by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, encompasses multiple stages set up in streets and green spaces throughout the neighborhood. St. Louis-based musicians as well as national acts spanning musical genres, including blues, jazz, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop, come together in this celebration of St. Louis’ musical, cultural and artistic legacy. In 2024, headliners will include psychedelic soul band Black Pumas; 10-time Grammy-winning queen of funk Chaka Khan; rapper Big Boi of Outkast; New Orleans trombonist and trumpeter Trombone Shorty; five-time Grammy-winning jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding; funk group Lettuce; two-time Grammy-winning 24-year-old jazz singer Samara Joy; and St. Louis rapper Chingy. Music at the Intersection will also feature Ferguson-born trumpeter Keyon Harrold, a three-time festival alumnus, in a new role as artist-in-residence.

September 20 and 21

One of St. Louis’ most idyllic events, The Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race is not to be missed. Event organizers say that it’s the oldest and best-attended hot air balloon race in the world – you might want to scope out the perfect viewing area for you and your family ahead of time. This September, the event will also feature food trucks, music, wagon rides, a fireworks show and more free family fun!