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By Michael Boyd Jr.
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
The fourth annual Pecanapalooza Street Festival is up next among the local festivities, set for this coming Saturday, Nov. 4.
The festival is one day only throughout the historic downtown Ste. Genevieve with a 5K run to kickoff the event at 9 a.m.
Everything else gets going at 10 a.m. till 4 p.m.
There will be live music: Bluegrass and other styles – local favorites Crossroads and Tumbleweed both will perform – plus food and craft vendors, and of course a pecan baking contest. Games for the children will also be available.
“The whole idea with the Pecanapalooza is to generate interest in Ste. Genevieve in general,” said Geoff Giglierano, one of the event coordinators. “Particularly the downtown, and to benefit all the destinations and all the merchants.”
Hosted by the French Colonial American Museum Campus, Pecanapalooza is a family-oriented community event for all ages. It was named by former Herald newspaper owner Toby Carrig.
The festival also will celebrate military veterans – a military-history timeline and display will honor veterans – in which Veterans’ Day is exactly one week later on Nov. 11.
“This is right before Veterans Day,” Giglierano said. “We’ll have some demonstrations of different historic things, but the big focus is our history of service, particularly military service. The 18th century living history people, we’ll have some Civil War peoples, some World War II people, and they’ll be doing demonstrations and activities and have campsites set up. And the idea is that, largely because it does come right before Veterans Day, to remind people that part of what is at the core of what makes this nation strong and resilient is the people who have, through the centuries of our history, who have stepped up and done the jobs that needed to be done at various times in our history. But it’s our core mission, history and teaching history, and that’s important.”
And that is mainly why this festival is held in November, but there are other reasons as well.
“We have all these things in July, August, September and October, and then things kind of dry up in November,” Giglierano said. “The whole idea was to try to keep momentum going. We want to benefit downtown businesses. There are a lot of people who collaborate in this. And of course the other thing was that this was started when the pandemic was getting going and again the idea was people need things to do and positive things to focus on.”
For pecan lovers and those who have never tried pecans, they are in for a treat.
“Pecans and pecan trees are a long-term part of the story here,” Giglierano said. “Going back to the colonial times, the French farmers and landowners, they would use pecan trees to delineate property lines as markers. And so it’s kind of like having a boundary marker that has the added benefit of adding to your food supply. But it is a classic street festival with vendors, and we try very hard to select vendors who are unique crafts people, people who make or provide a product that’s something special, particularly, although obviously it doesn’t work with everybody, but things that are made using natural materials.”