What to Do for Memorial Day 2016 in St. Louis

You've got to love Memorial Day in St. Louis. Not just a chance to pay tribute to our fallen Armed Forces heroes, it's the first chance for many of us to break out the barbecue pits, squeeze into the old swim trunks, and enjoy some fun in the sun on a gorgeous three-day weekend. The only problem? There's so much happening in St. Louis on Memorial Day that you're bound to miss out on something special.

At the risk of slighting some amazing events, here are the tops things to do in the "Gateway City" this holiday weekend:

Chow Down at Ribfest

Nothing says "warm weather holiday" in St. Louis like a big ole slab of barbecued ribs. So head towards New Town St. Charles this Memorial Day weekend for four days of good eats from nationally recognized grill maestros, live music from 30-plus local bands, and tons of children's activities.

Cost of admission is free, but parking in New Town is limited, so park in the lot adjacent to the Coca-Cola building and hop aboard the free shuttle from there.

Get Your Greek On

Snacking on baklava and perusing the agora for souvenirs has become a Memorial Day tradition in St. Louis. Swing by Assumption Greek Orthodox Church on May 27-30 for All Things Greek, from traditional Greek folk dancers and musicians to a delectable and authentic Greek menu (the "Taverna," or Baklava sundae, a big fat Greek must-have). Parking is ample and admission is free.

Celebrate the (Local and Not So Local) Arts

A pair of vibrant and highly entertaining arts events takes place in St. Louis this Memorial Day weekend as well. The first, Schafly Art Outside (May 27-29) at Schafly Bottleworks features more than 50 local artists, live music, and an unending supply of (arguably) the best craft beer in town.

The second, the always eye-opening African Arts Festival in Forest Park, includes live African performers, musicians, dancers, foods, films, jewelry, arts, crafts, a bustling marketplace, and more. Both events are free of charge, and their close proximity makes them doable in the same day.

Jump In! The Water is Fine

We all know that the weather in St. Louis can change every 15 minutes, but early forecasts are calling for sunny skies and highs in the mid-80s on Memorial Day weekend. In other words, it's the perfect weather to join the waterslide-loving masses at metro St. Louis's favorite water parks, Raging Rivers in Grafton and Splash City in Collinsville, both of which reopen for the season this holiday weekend.

Tickets for each are in the $20-$25 range. Neither venue charges extra charge for the water that will inevitably get shot up your nose and burn like hell.

Marcus Whelchel lives, works, and writes in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, he is writing the Just Okay American Novel.