Creativity Abounds at the Jour de Fete in Ste. Genevieve

Are you looking for ideas for a daytrip or weekend outing that will get your creative juices flowing? With an array of craft vendors, captivating exhibits and rich French Colonial history, the Jour de Fete festival in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri could be exactly what you’re looking for. The 47th annual Jour de Fete is scheduled for Saturday, August 10 through Sunday August 11 in the National Historic Landmark District of downtown Ste. Genevieve.

Featuring over 100 arts and crafts booths, plus hands-on exhibits and special attractions, Ste. Genevieve’s annual Jour de Fete celebration is the premier arts and crafts fair in the Midwest and a weekend you don’t want to miss. As the first European settlement in Missouri, Ste. Genevieve has long been home to talented artisans and craftsmen and its French Colonial atmosphere provides a perfect setting for this annual event.

The town’s five major historic homes, as well as the Ste. Genevieve Museum, offer wonderful guided tours, live demonstrations, and up close examples of French Creole life in the 18th and 19th century. Linger for a bit beneath the shade of a giant pecan tree and watch as artisans dressed in period clothing demonstrate historic crafts, including soap making and blacksmithing. Watch and listen for the French Marines who will be performing mock military drills throughout the weekend.

While you are there, be sure to stroll down Main Street to see the new park and exhibit commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Flood of 1993, the year the Mississippi River almost swept the picturesque town away. For those interested in the history of transportation, on display will be a steam engine from 1919, as well as other antique steam engines and tractors. The local Knights of Columbus hall will once again host their annual classic car cruisers show.

Make reservations at one of the outstanding Bed and Breakfast Inns so you can extend your stay to visit some of the county’s picturesque wineries on the following day. Ste. Genevieve nurtures its connection to France with the very-appropriate Route du Vine Wine Trail. The trail, one of several in Missouri, includes six distinctive wineries nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Missouri.

Maps of the area and more are available at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center, located at the corner of Main Street and Market Street. Ste. Genevieve is located just four miles off I-55, an easy one hour drive south from St. Louis.

Festival hours are 10a.m.-6p.m. on Saturday, Aug.10 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11. Admission is free for all ages. Shuttle service from convenient parking areas is available for a nominal fee. For a free Ste. Genevieve Visitor’s Guide, call 800.373.7007. For information on lodging, dining and wineries visit www.visitstegen.com. For Jour de Fete details, including festival parking and shuttle drop-off areas, visit www.saintegenevievejourdefete.com.