Derby Day Best Bets

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For the past 139 years, on the first Saturday in May, women have donned obnoxiously large hats and sipped mint juleps, men have bet their hard earned money, and three-year-old thoroughbreds have sped down a track in Louisville, Kentucky in an attempt to claim the biggest prize in horse racing.

The Kentucky Derby is called "the most exciting two minutes in sports," and we know you don't want to experience that excitement alone. We've rounded up the best Kentucky Derby events in St. Louis, so there's no excuse not to throw on your most summery dress or seersucker suit and get in on the fun.

On your mark, get set, GO!


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The Ten Best Food Events in St. Louis This Weekend: April 26 to 28

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Mmm...sangria.
It's been a long week. Treat yourself. Two beer fests, a centennial wine tasting and a sangria tasting provide plenty of ways to wet that whistle. Read on for some recommendations of where to eat and (most importantly) drink this weekend.

See also:
-Sniff and Sip at Centennial Wine Expo Friday
-Hop Over to Two Beer Festivals This Weekend

Friday (Apr. 26):

Sangria and Cocktail Tasting @ Vom Fass
Taste a red and white sangria from Bodega de San Antonio to prep yourself for summer, along with some special cocktails using Vom Fass liquours. Free. 5 to 7:30 p.m.


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Sniff and Sip at Centennial Wine Expo Friday

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The old Centennial Malt House will soon be serving up alcohol of a different sort. This Friday, Moulin (2017 Chouteau Avenue; 314-241-4949) is hosting the first ever Centennial Wine Expo in the historic building.

This is the first year for the Centennial Wine Expo, which will feature more than 140 different types of wine from around the world. Fifteen local distributors are bringing in wines that are currently only available to restaurants or specialty wine shops for the tasting, which Scott Gaghan, Expo founder, hopes to make an annual event.

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Hop On Over to Two Beer Festivals This Weekend

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It seems that once spring arrives, it's time to bust out some brews. And we are so down with that.

This Saturday, April 27, Global Brew Tap House & Lounge (112 South Buchanan Street Suite 1, Edwardsville; 618-307-5858) will host the Edwardsville Spring Beer Festival and Ferguson Brewing Company (418 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson; 314-521-2220) will celebrate its second annual Brewfest.

The Edwardsville Spring Beer Festival will run from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Edwardsville City Park, and admission is free. Ferguson Brewfest will run from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m., so really you have no excuse not to attend both.

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The Ten Best Food Events in St. Louis This Weekend: April 19 to 21

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The Bowled and the Beautiful chowder class - Sunday, Apr. 21 @ Kitchen Conservatory
Third Friday is here, which means Third Degree Glass Factory's Third Friday Free Party, an Around the World Wine Dinner at Missouri Botanical Gardens, and Trailnet's seasonal Bike to Breakfast. Read on for an array of ways to fill that plate this weekend.

See also:
-Bike to Work Tomorrow, Get Free Coffee and Breakfast On the Way!
-Saturday is Webster Groves Herb Society's Annual Herb Sale
-Broadway Oyster Bar Invites You to Suck It at Crawfish Fest This Weekend
-Celebrate The Sweet Divine's Grand Opening in Soulard Saturday

-Sample Craft Brews at Inaugural Belleville Ale Fest Saturday

Friday (Apr. 19):

Bike to Breakfast @ Downtown Bicycle Station & Kaldi's On Demun
Trailnet hosts this series of promotional events the third friday of every month from now through October to encourage bike travel. Show up on two wheels and get rewarded with free coffee and a mini scone. 7 to 9 a.m.

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Broadway Oyster Bar Invites You to Suck It at Crawfish Fest This Weekend

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The mighty mud bug is the star of this month's food festival at Broadway Oyster Bar (736 South Broadway; 314-621-8811), and chef Brad Hagen is pulling out all the stops (and all the crawfish) to make this a feast worthy of the Big Easy.

Gut Check spoke with Broadway Oyster Bar's Mary Moramarco to get you all the deets about the upcoming crawdad jamboree.

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Saturday is Webster Groves Herb Society's Annual Herb Sale

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This is the big one, as far as herb sales go.

The Webster Groves Herb Society's sale is jam-packed with middle-aged to elderly women rubbing leaves and sniffing their fingers, all of them muttering to themselves about something. Probably aphids, but who knows? It can get tense in that first twenty minutes, too. Last year, we saw two septuagenarians threatening each other with their Hori Hori knives over the same marjoram shrub. And you thought herb sales were all sunshine and basil.

But really, we kid the herb sale. The annual sale is held at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves (10 West Lockwood; 314-962-0475) from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 20.

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Sample Craft Brews at Inaugural Belleville Ale Fest Saturday

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Belleville, Illinois, is jumping on the craft-beer bandwagon. The small city to the east of the big river is hosting its inaugural craft-beer festival this Saturday, April 20, from noon to 4 p.m at the Belleville Crossing shopping center.

Gut Check spoke with John Lengerman, the executive director of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce to get details about the inaugural Belleville Ale Fest.

"This is our first rodeo," Lengerman says. "We have experienced a number of craft beers on the St. Louis side, but we really felt that with the explosion of craft beer in the area, we should celebrate it here in Belleville."

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The Ten Best Food Events in St. Louis This Weekend: April 12 to 14

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Pop Party @ Whisk - Saturday, Apr. 13
Friday (Apr. 12):

Tagine: Vessel and Dish @ Kitchen Conservatory
In this hands-on class, learn all about the tagine, a vessel and dish, while preparing honey potato orange salad, mussel and clam tagine with Isaraeli couscous, spicy potato tagine with olives, beef short rib tagine with raisins and pine nuts and date ice cream with honey cookies. $60 per person. Register online via the Kitchen Conservatory website. 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Murder in Maybury @ Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn
Watch a comedy-mystery dinner over a multi-course meal that includes soup, salad, chicken entree with vegetable sides, dessert, coffee and tea. Each seat costs $48.95. Call 314-663-8024 for reservations. Every Friday and Saturday night through April 27th at 7 p.m.

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Swap Homemade Products at 10th STL Food Swap Saturday

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Remember learning about bartering in elementary school and what a weird concept that was, even then? Money makes the world go 'round these days, but Marie Rogers is trying to change that with her local food and homemade good swap.

Rogers started STL Food Swap about three years ago, and she has held four swaps annually ever since. This Saturday is the tenth swap, and it will be held at Local Harvest Grocery (12309 Old Big Bend Road; 314-966-6566) in Kirkwood. Rogers encourages anyone interested in swapping his or her own homemade jam, lotion, baked goods or other products to join the fun from 5 to 7 p.m.

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