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Elizabeth Gentry Sayad presented Osage blanket in Mayor's Office by Chief BigHorse and tribal member

Elizabeth Gentry Sayad presented Osage blanket in Mayor's Office by Chief BigHorse and tribal member
At right Gov Jay Nixon and Mayor Francis Slay

February 15, 2014

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis City Hall (February 15, 2014) About 200 people crowded into the lobby of St. Louis City Hall on Saturday to watch a re-enactment of the city's founding 250 years ago.

The sold-out event took place on and around the steps of the lobby, with dozens of spectators viewing from the balconies above, and recounted and celebrated the early history of the region, beginning with the arrival of Auguste Chouteau in February 1764.

The performance was a partnership between Les Amis, a French-Creole heritage group, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and local actors. It was narrated by local actor Joneal Joplin.

"They went all out," Mayor Francis Slay said of the performers, who were clad in the attire of the city's original 18th-century settlers.

The re-enactment was followed by speeches from Slay, Gov. Jay Nixon and a few visiting dignitaries: Principal Chief Scott BigHorse of the Osage Nation; Graham Paul, the consul general of France in Chicago; and Eric Marquis, the Quebec delegate to the Midwest.

Slay called the 250th anniversary of the city a great opportunity to "reflect on the courage and ingenuity of St. Louisans."

Officials at the event also announced that several downtown streets that were part of the original French colonial village where the Gateway Arch grounds now lie would receive new signage featuring the original French street names, along with historical descriptions. The new signs will be installed during the next couple of months, and were paid for by Les Amis.

The re-enactment was part of a series of events to be held throughout the year organized by stl250, a group created to commemorate the anniversary of the city's founding.

View the Post-Dispatch photo album here

View the YouTube video here