With more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, captivating hands-on exhibits and rich French Colonial history, the Jour de Fete festival in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., is a can’t-miss event.
The 47th annual event is scheduled for Sat., Aug. 10, and Sun., Aug. 11, in the National Historic Landmark District of downtown Ste. Genevieve.
As the first European settlement in Missouri, Ste. Genevieve has long been home to talented artisans and craftspeople. During your visit, take a stroll down Main Street to see the new park and exhibit commemorating the 20th anniversary of the flood of 1993, the year the Mississippi River almost swept the picturesque town away. For those interested in the history of transportation, on display will be a steam engine from 1919, as well as other antique steam engines and tractors. The local Knights of Columbus hall will once again host their annual classic car cruisers show.
The town’s five major historic homes, as well as the Ste. Genevieve Museum, offer wonderful guided tours, live demonstrations, and up close examples of French Creole life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Linger for a bit beneath the shade of a giant pecan tree and watch as artisans dressed in period clothing demonstrate historic crafts, including soap making and blacksmithing. Watch and listen for the French Marines who will be performing mock military drills throughout the weekend.
Make reservations at one of the outstanding bed and breakfast inns, so you can extend your stay to visit some of the county’s picturesque wineries on the following day. Ste. Genevieve nurtures its connection to France with the Route du Vine Wine Trail. The trail, one of several in Missouri, includes six distinctive wineries nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Missouri.
Joining the 2013 Jour de Fete will be the staff of the World Bird Sanctuary, with falcons, hawks, and eagles. Learn from the experts about these fascinating and beautiful species, as well as what is being done to protect them.
Maps of the area and more are available at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center, located at the corner of Main Street and Market Street. Ste. Genevieve is located just four miles off I-55, one south of St. Louis.
Festival hours are 10am to 6pm on Sat., Aug. 10, and 9am to 4pm on Sun., Aug. 11. Admission is free for all ages. Shuttle service from convenient parking areas is available for a nominal fee. For a free Ste. Genevieve Visitor’s Guide, call 800.373.7007. For more information on lodging, dining and wineries visit visitstegen.com. For Jour de Fete details, including festival parking and shuttle drop-off areas, visit saintegenevievejourdefete.com.
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