Redneck Mardi Gras: The Worden, Illinois Alternative To The Soulard Festivities

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Redneck Mardi Gras in Worden, Illinois
In Worden, Illinois, the number of revelers at the party tomorrow will be bigger than the town's entire population. A lot bigger.

The event is Wordi Gras, or as they like to call it, Redneck Mardi Gras.

"Anything goes," says Ron East, a bar manager locally that helps organize the event. "There's no theme -- the theme is just redneck."

And just how many people does Worden attract?

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Royale's Cuban Missile Crisis Party Draws Ire of Right-Wing Blogger

This weekend marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, wherein the U.S. discovered Soviet missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from Key West. This led to a 13-day showdown with the USSR, during which Americans were sure the world was about to end.

As we know, the world did not end because JFK brokered a deal with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, and the Cold War continued for 27 more glorious years.

So what better way to commemorate this great event than a party?

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The $6 Beer Is Back! Warren "Red Bone" Lytle Reopens His Fairground Park Tavern

Back in brews: Warren "Red Bone" Lytle closed down his north-side tavern last month, but Red Bones Den soon came out of hibernation.
Red Bones Den, the erstwhile north-side institution known for the Chill Chamber that iced down beers to within a fraction of freezing, its lovely Bonette barmaids, cocktail waitresses and pole dancers, is erstwhile no more. The Fairground Park watering hole reopened on Saturday, August 18, after a nearly two-month closure that proved to be a mere hiatus.

As he intimated in a July 26 Riverfront Times profile, "Farewell to Red Bones Den, Home of the $6 Beer," proprietor Warren "Red Bone" Lytle was wavering in his resolve to part ways with the tavern he opened 40 years ago at the corner of Kossuth and Prairie avenues.

By the time the story went to press, he had withdrawn from a scheduled auction of his antiques collection, which decorated the barroom -- "conversation pieces" including slave shackles, an octopus-like permanent wave machine, oxen yokes and vintage racially insensitive cookie jars.

A new proprietor proved elusive.

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Tonight! Strippers, Live and On-Screen!

Categories: Bars, Bidness
Never doubt man's ability to adapt -- especially if the adaptation allows him to see naked ladies. Dick Snow, owner of Bazooka's strip club in Kansas City, has finagled his way around Missouri's law that prohibits anyone from being fully nude in a strip club.(It seems so crazy when you see it in print, no? Where else would you go to find nude people?).

Bazooka's dancers are all in compliance with the law in person; dancers have their hoo-ha's and whatnots covered at all times. But while they're dancing so demurely, large video screens on either side of the stage show pre-recorded footage of the same dancer buck naked. According to Snow, the videos are legal. The Kansas City Police Department concurs, but some of the law's architects disagree -- particularly Philip Crosby, executive director of the American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri.

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Ticket Winners: Best of St. Louis Party

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Announcing our winner(s)!
Our contest yesterday asking readers to tell us why they deserve free tickets for RFT's "Best of St. Louis" party on Thursday drew some great answers.

Regular commenter Mike N. gets the award for the saddest response: 
Um, well, I have no friends, so I would only need one ticket, therefore leaving three more up for grabs. Not to mention the fact that I need to get out more (as indicated by the fact that I'm a frequent DailyRFT commenter.)
God bless him.

Reader Douche_McGee gets the overly earnest award for telling us how he/she actually uses our "Best Of" issue as a guide to St. Louis. Reader Hwlonghurl employed an interesting strategy -- telling us we owed him the tickets for tipping us off on a story and going to high school with us. KITTY was his/her usual sourpuss with a curiously in-depth knowledge of the RFT's inner workings. Nansense said he/she'd come regardless but free tickets would be swell.

But the best comment came from reader TheGhostOfShowbizPizza who managed to incorporate the party's theme in his response, writing:
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Win Tickets to RFT's "Best of St. Louis" Party This Thursday

Come party like it's the end of the world this Thursday.
The rapture didn't happen as predicted (twice) this year. But that doesn't mean you can't party like -- as Michael Stipe might say -- "it's the end of the world as we know it..."

What's that you add? You say you "feel fine?" Well, try telling that to your aching head come Friday morning after Riverfront Times' 2011 "Best of St. Louis" party.

This year's extravaganza is Thursday at the City Museum, and we want you and your friends to come partake in the festivities to include performances from Pretty Little Empire, DJ Mahf, the Old Lights DJ Set and The Improv Trick. Oh, and lots of food and drink.

Tickets to the party to end all parties can be had for $15 dollars at the door ($10 if you bring a new/used book to donate to Goodwill).

Or win four free tickets now by telling us in 100 words or less why you and your friends are the best people to attend this year's "Best Of" soiree. Leave your answer in the comment section. We'll announce a winner tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. One caveat: You must be able to swing by the RFT offices in the Delmar Loop to claim your tickets before 5:30 p.m. this Thursday.

Catching a Cardinals Game from 26 Stories Up -- The View From Three Sixty

Categories: Bars, Cardinals
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Photos: Chad Garrison
The view from Three Sixty last night was mighty nice.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that my press credentials didn't get me the greatest of seats to Tuesday night's playoff game at Busch Stadium.

National media and legitimate sports reporters gobbled up the good seats in the press box (as they should), leaving this blogger to catch the game on TV in an adjoining break room and tweet about the beverage selections of my journalistic brethren.

I was all prepared to do it again Wednesday when, on my walk to the stadium, I felt the need for a beer and a bit more time enjoying last night's gorgeous weather. I ended up at Three Sixty atop the Hilton at the Ballpark, and all I gotta say is "wow!"

If you haven't caught a Cardinals game from this perch -- 26 stories up -- you're missing a helluva experience.

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No More "Pantless Parties" at Verlin's; Bar Reportedly Closed

Categories: Bars
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No more "pantless" parties!?
Well, you can't say that the place didn't get publicity. Though, in the end, perhaps it wasn't exactly the kind of PR the bar was shooting for.

Verlin's Bar and Grill is reportedly closed.

The watering hole, on the outskirts of The Grove neighborhood in south St. Louis, made headlines in August when Daily RFT first published a photo of the Lt. Governor Peter Kinder hanging out in the establishment with bartender Tammy Chapman. A little more digging found that Verlin's bartenders are known for their scantily-clad outfits and "Pantless Parties." A little more RFT digging unearthed the bombshell: That Kinder and Chapman have a history, with Kinder obsessed with Chapman (a former Penthouse centerfold) in the 1990s when she worked as an exotic dancer in Sauget.

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Tony Soprano or Mother Teresa: City Investigates Ownership of Controversial College Bar

Categories: Bars, Community
A new bar near the Saint Louis University campus featuring such classy promotions as "Free 'Till You Pee" is being investigated by the city's liquor control board amid concerns about its ownership. The bar, CHEA+TER'S Sports Grill & Ultrapub, opened this summer in the space that previously housed the Laclede Street Bar & Grill.

On paper, the bar's liquor license -- which allows alcohol sales until 3 a.m. -- is all in order. But the city's excise commissioner, Robert Kraiberg, confirms that his office is looking into whether the new bar actually has the same old owner, as it claims. If the ownership has actually changed, though, they'd have to get a new license -- allowing the neighbors, including the university, to weigh in.

"What it says on paper and what it says in reality can be two different things," says Kraiberg. "Who's paying the bills? Is it Mother Teresa or is it Tony Soprano?"

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Yes, That Is John Goodman Shilling for Soulard Oktoberfest

Categories: Bars, Media
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Goodman: The voice of 2011 Soulard Oktoberfest.
You may have already heard them on KTRS, KMOX, The Point, and multiple Clear Channel stations around town. They're ads with the voice of actor -- and native St. Louisan -- John Goodman pitching for Soulard Oktoberfest.

"Guten tag!" greets Goodman in three different radio spots promoting this year's Oktoberfest, running October 7-9 in Lyon's Park. The Golden-Globe-winning actor goes on to promise in the radio spots that this year's Oktoberfest will include "killer" bands, beautiful fräuleins and "mucho beer." 

John McKinstry, founder of Soulard Oktoberfest, says he'll forgive Goodman for slipping a bit of Spanglish into his pitch for a German festival. "We gave him the information and he did the John Goodman treatment on it," says McKinstry. "It's great."

McKinstry says the actor (who will be appearing in NBC's Community this fall) got involved in the Oktoberfest spots when KTRS (550 AM) approached them about running radio ads this year.

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