One of the attractions of Tower Grove Park is its ornate Victorian pavilions. These dozen different picnic shelters that dot the park are both colorful and unique. They are all normally available for rent and come in sizes to fit any party. Many of these structures date back to the park’s post-Civil War founding.
Normally, we bicycle to this park. It is only a short fifteen mile round trip from home. Riding through Forest Park gets us most of the way there and back. The rest we do on city streets along a route that we have honed to a fine fare thee well. On these rides, we pass the Botanical Gardens, like Tower Grove, another gift to Saint Louis from Henry Shaw. Typically, we extend our fifteen mile ride by circling Tower Grove Park. We also frequently detour out of the park, over to South Grand where there are many restaurants at which to lunch.
Tower Grove Park is also home to many summer festivals. The end of summer International Festival is the largest of these and also the tastiest. There are also Gay Pride and Pagan Festivals that we have crashed in the past, while two-wheeling it about town. “Mrs. R, I never thought that I would see one of my teachers at the Pagan Festival.”, Anne was once told after we happened upon it.
Now, things are a bit different. All of the pavilions have been “reserved” every day since the lockdown. There are no more festivals, but with all of its roads closed to vehicle traffic the park is like a giant playground. When we were there yesterday, little kids sporting their own two-wheel modes of locomotion were really digging the new found freedom that they had on the wide open streets.
Anne had a parade today. Forty carloads of her teamies and peeps, plus a police escort all swung by the house, with horns honking and hands waving. They represented the combined faculty of both the elementary school and the early childhood center. Every carload of them called out to Anne by name. I even got a “…and you too, Mr. R.” It was a drive by celebration for the end of what has been a very difficult school year. Now, I know why she likes school so much.
Afterwards, we walked up to the post office to mail a package. Another one of her craft projects on its way to a very lucky little boy. From there, we launched on our long neighborhood walk. Gotta get those steps in, don’t you know.