The Insider: 5.1.24

fresh picked | Pick-your-own strawberry season is in full swing at Eckert’s Farm! In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the farm also is giving back to the National Alliance on Mental Illness – St. Louis. It will donate $1 from every pint of Strawberry Hard Cider sold in the Cider Shed all month, and on May 17, 10% of pick-your-own strawberry sales will be donated.

COCA is offering a special Mother’s Day performance of Kirven Douthit-Boyd’s original work MOTheR on May 12 at 3 p.m. Performed by a cast of 18 COCA students and one professional artist, MOTheR tells the story of five mothers and their influence on their families. Make it an extra memorable day for mom by attending a special brunch before the performance. Tickets can be purchased at

This month, the Gateway Arch is going dark. The landmark’s exterior lights will remain off throughout May to minimize possible disorientation in migrating birds who are navigating the Mississippi Flyway.

rock (and read) on!
St. Louis County Library has announced plans for the grand opening of the new Clark Family Branch, located at 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd. On June 1, the 800-seat Post Event Space will open at 1 p.m. for a ticketed event with Darius Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish and country music fame. Rucker will discuss his new memoir, Life’s Too Short. An official ribbon cutting ceremony for the branch will be held at 9 a.m. on July 9, following which it will open to the public.

Lovers of music, bingo and local theater won’t want to miss Albion Theatre’s Rock & Roll Bingo fundraiser on May 18 at Bethel Lutheran Church. Tickets and more information available at

Local author Jillian Thomadsen has released her second novel! Movie Stars Shine Brightest in the Dark follows detective Roberta Hobbs as she looks for the truth about a legendary actress who suddenly drives her Ferrari off a cliff in St. Louis.

The Royal Sonesta Chase Park Plaza recently welcomed 20,000 new tenants. As part of the historic hotel’s green initiatives, two colonies of honeybees returned to their rooftop home. The bees were first introduced in 2018 and are returning after a temporary hiatus due to the pandemic.

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