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Editorial: Sumptuous September

The feasting that started with Celebrate Wildwood continues in West County this weekend as the Manchester Homecoming takes over Paul A. Schroeder Park.

Oh sure, there will be carnival rides and concerts and even a pool party for your pooch, but there will also be corn dogs and funnel cakes, ice cold lemonade and cotton candy – the holy grail of carnival fare – the food you crave after being spun on a carnival ride like fruit-flavored sugar in a centrifuge.

It’s fall festival season in West County and one of the benefits is undeniably the food.

You might want to schedule a few extra sessions at the gym, because this September you can literally eat and drink your way around West County beginning with the Manchester Homecoming and culminating with the Wildwood BBQ Bash.

During the day, on Sept. 13, head out to the Chesterfield Valley for food and fine art at Fine Art Ltd’s Fall Festival, which also continues on Sept. 14. There you’ll be able to get barbecue from nationally ranked Sugarfire Smoke House and doughnuts from the recent winner of Donut Wars – Vincent Van Doughnut. Award-winning margaritas from La Cantinas and Schlafly seasonal pumpkin ale also will be among the tasty treats offered to “of age” adults. And while you drink and dine, you can talk with artists, support the arts through raffles and silent auctions, and enjoy live music. Kids will have fun, too, with face painting and art projects.

During the evening, get a sitter for the kids – if you have them – and head to Ballwin for its first-ever Craft Beer Festival in Vlasis Park. On tap will be brews from 4Hands, Abita, Civil-Life, Deschutes Brewery, Excel, Goose Island, Kona Brewing, O’Fallon Brewery, Schafly, Shock Top, Six Row and Urban Chestnut. Local food options include BBQ ASAP, Callier’s Catering, Candicci’s, Charlottte’s Rib, Clancy’s Pub, French Quarter, McAlister’s, Senior Pique and The Wolf.

Are you getting hungry? We’re not done yet.

On Sept. 19-21, the big daddy of food extravaganzas comes to West County when Budweiser Taste of St. Louis moves from the city to the county – more specifically to Chesterfield Amphitheater and Chesterfield Central Park.

Let’s face it, we may as well pull out our fat pants and maxi dresses for this one.

Billed as “The Ultimate Food Experience,”  Taste includes offerings from more than 35 fine area restaurants. You know you’re going to want more than just a taste, so you might as well plan right now to come back for seconds and maybe thirds.

With free access to the Art & Wine Walk, Kid City, two culinary stages, and the Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale as well as ticketed entertainment on the Bud Light Amphitheater Stage, including Duff Goldman – a.k.a The Ace of Cakes, Tyler Florence and not-to-be-missed musical acts – there will be plenty to keep you coming back for more.

After feasting all weekend, you might be tempted to call it quits – but not so fast. There’s one more weekend in what we might as well rename as “Sumptuous September.”

On Sept. 27-28, more than 100 of the nation’s best in barbecue arrive in West County for the Wildwood BBQ Bash. You know you don’t want to miss that.

This year’s event celebrates the 10th anniversary of the BBQ Bash, which humbly began on the parking lot of St. Louis Home Fires with a mere seven competitors. This year, there will be music – including country superstar Joe Nichols performing an acoustic set – food, of course, and fireworks. It is a party after all.

OK, now you can be done.

Hey, somebody, pass the Tums.


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