St. Louisans are getting geared up for one of the rites of spring....Mardi Gras. Finishing touches are being put on the floats this week as Krewes get ready for Saturday's parade.
The festivities officially kicked off with the Taste of Soulard and Sunday's Pet Parade.
The party continues with the Mayor's Mardi Gras Ball at City Hall this Friday night and then the Parade on Saturday.
The Fat Tuesday Parade will wrap up the pre-Lenten celebration when it marches down Washington Ave. on March 4.
St. Louis' annual Mardi Gras celebration is one of the largest in the nation.
A complete schedule of events, along with parking information and parade routes can be found at the St. Louis Mardi Gras website.
Four projects by the crew that broke a natural gas line, causing an explosion that destroyed a Soulard business Wednesday, are on now hold. That after city officials learned the South Dakota-based Four Winds company was operating without a city business license.
Maggie Crane, a spokeswoman for the Mayor's office, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the company had been hired by subcontractor MasTec, to install fiber optic cable for AT&T when the accident happened.
The gas rupture forced the evacuation of 14 people from the Stars Design Group just before explosions rocked the block.
Crane says the city also hadn't been given the required 24-hours notice that work on the project was beginning. So Four Winds other projects for AT&T were halted Thursday.
The power is back on for Soulard residents who live near a building that exploded Wednesday afternoon at Shenandoah and Menard.
An AT&T subcontractor was installing fiber optic cable for the Stars Design Group when they hit a gas main. Employees smelled gas just after 1 p.m. and called the fire department. About a dozen people were evacuated minutes before a series of blasts.
Both gas and electric were turned off for 22 nearby buildings while gas crews worked to cap the line. Fire officials brought in a warming bus for people who were evacuated.
The lights are now back on in the neighborhood. And about midnight, Laclede Gas crews were going door-to-door, relighting pilot lights as gas service was restored.
There were no reports of injuries.
Homicide detectives are on the scene of a fatal stabbing in Soulard.
Police say a man was found in a pool of blood in his apartment that is just a block away from Pontiac Square Park in St. Louis city. The victim has not been identified and no motive has been released.
Today a new beer garden opens at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Soulard. Most St. Louisans are familiar with the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour, which draws around 350,000 people every year, and now those people have one final stop to make. The new 10,000 square foot, outdoor beer garden features a full menu, 17 beers on tap, and room for 300 people. There's also a daily Brewmasters tasting as well as photo ops available with the Budweiser Clydesdales. The beer garden is the first of its kind at AB-InBev's 12 breweries in the United States. And while the tour remains free of charge, including two free beers, A-B will charge for all food and drink at the beer garden.