ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- A busy weekend is waiting in Downtown St. Louis, with a combination of baseball, beer, and Baptists crowding the streets. Getting into the city’s center was a challenge early Friday evening thanks to an unscheduled lane closure on Highway 40, but once there, a lot of people were finding a lot to do.
Baseball fans flooded the streets with the beginning of a sold out, three game set between the Cardinals and cross-state rival Kansas City Royals. There was plenty of Royal blue to be seen as fans came to town for baseball. One fan, Dolly Wood, (yes, she says, that’s her real name)said she’d blown through more than fifty dollars before even walking into the stadium.
“I think we’re gonna do well for you guys,” she said when asked if she’d be a big contributor to the local economy.
Across the street, in Ballpark Village, the annual St. Louis Brewing Heritage Festival made its first trip downtown. Usually held in Forest Park, a scheduling conflict moved it this year. They needed a spot with grass to hold it, because they don’t want to serve beer in plastic cups.
“The positioning of the festival is to elevate and enhance the image of beer,” Anheuser Busch’s Jay Cunningham, one of the organizers, said. “(It’s to) celebrate the diversity and sophistication of beer, and you can’t do that in a plastic cup. You’ve got to do that in a glass.”
The festival usually averages about 12 thousand people, but placing it next to Busch during a homestand provides an opportunity to grow that.
“We saw that the Royals are coming in to play the Cardinals and thought what a great opportunity to leverage the sellout weekend of the Cardinals Royals series, hopefully we’ll be celebrating a sweep when it’s all said and done. But then it’s Father’s Day. So let’s bring dad out for a couple of beers.”
And as the weekend goes on, expect to see the hotels filling up with people who will be attending next week’s education gathering for the National Baptist Convention. Some thirty-thousand people will be pouring in.
“St. Louis will benefit,” Dr. Sam Jones, one of the hosts told us. “Oh my goodness! Over 18 million dollars will be spent by Baptists in this community.”