Celebrating St. Louis with the Riverfront Times

| Senior Scene Editor

To Washington University’s over-21 crowd, Thursday nights have become synonymous with tired debauchery at Morgan Street or an uneventful evening at 609—but wait! This Thursday night, St. Louis’ alternative newspaper the Riverfront Times is hosting a post-Halloween bash that is sure to revive your pre-weekend revelry.

On Nov. 4 from 7 to 11 p.m., The “Beast of St. Louis” party will tranform the City Museum, showcasing many of the winners of the Riverfront Times’ “Best of St. Louis” edition—including performances by Fresh Heir (voted best jam band) and Nappy DJ Needles (best club DJ), as well as food samples from a dozen of St. Louis’ “Best of” restaurants.

Every September, the Riverfront Times publishes their largest issue of the year—the “Best of St. Louis” issue. Marketing director Emily Kohler said that the event is intended to celebrate and highlight all aspects of St. Louis life, including people, places and entertainment.

For the past 10 years, the Riverfront Times has thrown an annual “Best of St. Louis” party in honor of the year’s winners. “It started out as just a staff party,” said Kohler, “but in 2006 it really took off. We realized there was potential to have a big yearly party to highlight all the winners and get more people involved.” Last year’s event attracted more than 3,000 guests.

According to Kohler, not only does the City Museum win “Best place to bring guests” every year, but it is also the only venue in St. Louis that can accommodate such a large number of people while still maintaining a party atmosphere.

For $10, visitors will gain admission to the event, including three full-sized drinks, hors d’oeuvres and access to all floors of the City Museum.

“Last year it was great to see guests really using the City Museum—people were on the slides and in the tunnels. I think everyone really enjoyed the venue,” said Kohler.

Each year, the Riverfront Times staff decides on a unique theme for the event. This year, it is a Halloween-themed celebration, featuring spooky decorations, a Halloween soundtrack, costumed models, a dark burlesque show and a photo booth to document the evening’s festivities.

“We’re really incorporating the theme in an active way this year,” said Kohler. “There will be some old-school horror characters walking around. I think it’s something that guests are really looking forward to the most.”

With the abundance of programming that occurs within walking distance of the DUC, it’s easy for students to stay sequestered in our small corner of St. Louis. However, Kohler believes students have a lot to gain by attending and learning more about our city. “Wash. U. is such a huge proponent of St. Louis,” she said. “I think students can realize—no matter where they’re from—that this city has a lot to offer, and this is a great way for them to actively participate in that.”

Each year’s party takes five to six months to plan and organize. Because the winners of the “Best of” categories are the highlight of the event and they aren’t announced until September, the planning gets complicated.

“We have a framework or formula for the type of party we’re going to plan, and we try to work with that in the months leading up to the issue,” said Kohler. “We get all the details lined up before we release the “Best of” issue in September, but from the time the issue is released until the event, things can get pretty crazy.”

Despite the challenges in organizing this annual celebration, everyone’s hard work seems to pay off. “The most rewarding part of all of it is the comments we hear from guests who attended—they always talk about what a great time they had, and that’s all we’re aiming for in the end,” Kohler said. “This event really appeals to people from all walks of life, which I love to see.”

From St. Louisians in their 60s and 70s to Wash. U.’s 20-somethings, this year’s “Beast of St. Louis” post-Hallow’s Eve blowout is sure to have something for everyone.

VIP tickets cost $75 and include access to a private, catered VIP room and open bar. To purchase VIP and general admission tickets, visit: https://riverfronttimes.vvmsecure.com.