When I read about the ALIVE festival in Strauss park I thought to myself, “how do they plan to host a festival is such a small space?” If you walk by too fast, you may miss this small park on the corner of Grand and Washington. For the ALIVE Festival, the park was completely transformed. It was a welcoming inviting environment. Although the space was small, it was very open and never felt too crowded.
The stage was perfect. You can see the artist from all angles, even far away. Although the street was busy you could clearly hear the sounds coming from the stage. I was captivated. The chairs were bright vibrant colors of red and blue, filled with people who’s eyes were fixated on the horns, drums, bass guitar, and beautiful vocals coming from the stage. I loved the carved statue surrounded with sand. “Summer Isn’t it Grand?”. Very cute. With a variety of family activities like arts and crafts, as well as tasteful dance routines and uplifting music, I truly did feel ALIVE at the festival. The artists were friendly and there was a variety of food and restaurants nearby.
I can’t say it was easy to park. Lots filled up fast and meter parking was minimal. But you can expect nothing less in the Grand Center Of Arts. It was definitely worth the $10 parking charge. I enjoyed dancing and listening to live music front the band sweet and low. Although I received just a taste of the event the acts before my arrival were spoke highly of throughout the crowd. There was a DJ collective, painting with artist Karen Jones, an Aerialist Melissa Cohen Allen, Bob Kramer and Co. Marionettes, Chess, Food Trucks, Community Yoga and more! And all of this great entertainment was in the heart of the city. Our inner city events get such a bad reputation, but this event was very peaceful and felt extremely safe.
I think the Alive festival has truly met its goal of transforming Strauss Park into a celebration of Arts and Life centered around a summer thing in a vibrant Performing Arts community. With Arts, Dance, Live Music, Theater, Spoken Word, and more, its welcoming to all ages. I would definitely return to this event, in fact I plan to with this only being week 5. The upcoming weeks have much in store; In addition to the events listed in this article Week 6 will feature performances by Retro Boogie and Chris E. Ware, sand sculpture #2 with Dan Becker, happy hour, and some of the artist from previous weeks will be returning. Week 7 will feature chalk mandalas with Sukanya Mani, and all day family day Saturday, Cary Coleman All Jazz Trio, and again, previous artist and activities will be returning. The 8th and final week will feature St Lou Fringe in the Park, an Eclipse party, performance by Johnny Vancouver, Melissa Allen, and previous artist. There are events everyday and the festival ends August 30th.
The event times and artist vary so please check The ALIVE Festival At Strauss Park’s Facebook event page before you plan to attended. Hope to see you there dancing, eating, and simply living at this wonderful event!