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Run for the Hills – 9/18/2021

The Run for the Hills is back in action in 2021 and now is the perfect time to train!
Run the 5k, walk the 1 miler, watch your kids compete in the 1 mile race or sign up to show your support and get an awesome commemorative t-shirt. These shirts been spotted in vacation photos from across the globe! This year marks our 30th year and 100% of the money raised from the Run for the Hills is spent directly on improvements in our beloved neighborhood Francis Park. Please sign up to support your park and neighborhood and encourage your neighbors and friends to join you!

  • Running 30 consecutive years–1991 to 2021
  • Best race food in StL including Ted Drewes, StL Bread Co, Edibles and Essentials, Pretzel Boys, LeGrands, Schnucks & Dierbergs
  • Super cool blended t-shirt celebrating our 30th year
  • Awards for the top runners
  • Inflatables for kids of all ages
  • Cheer on your favorite runners along the route
  • Choose from: 5K Run through beautiful St Louis Hills ($25 in person or virtual runner with submitted time*) 1 mile walk around Francis Park ($20)
    1 mile timed youth race around Francis Park ($20)
    Don’t want to run or walk? Be a neighborhood supporter and sign up for the shirt ($25)

Register online:

Mayoral Candidate Q&A Live-Stream Events

Presented by the Southampton Neighborhood Association

The Southampton Neighborhood Association is hosting a series of Q&A’s with all four candidates running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis. These sessions will be live-streamed on their Facebook Page (

We welcome you to submit your questions for the candidates! Questions should be issues oriented. Questions can be emailed to

Candidate Q&A Events↙️
(all events at 7 pm on the date listed)

  • Wednesday, January 20th: Tishaura Jones
  • Thursday, January 28th: Lewis Reed
  • Wednesday, February 3rd: Cara Spencer
  • Thursday, February 11th: Andrew Jones

*Candidate order was chosen at random.

Santa Parade

When COVID-19 hit in March of 2020, I sent an email to JoAnn Anderson in the STL Parks Department following up from the 2019 event. I signed off on that email saying I looked forward to working with her in the fall of 2020, “when things are more back to normal.” How naïve of me.

The decision to cancel the tree lighting and avoid a superspreader event was difficult but obvious. A more obvious decision, though, was to do something for the neighborhood. Something to bring joy, wonder, happiness, and even a scintilla of normality. A number of ideas were floated among STL Hills Neighborhood Association and Friends of Francis Park leadership, and ultimately it was decided to bring Santa to the people with a parade.

I wasn’t sure what the response would be and how many would turn out to greet the parade, but I was overwhelmed. It was wonderful to see so many neighbors out with their loved ones to ring in the holiday season. The look of happiness and excitement on the faces of children and their families as we rode around St. Louis Hills is a memory I will carry with me for many years. Additionally, something else I saw a handful of times that was not expected but was not surprising was the number of people crying. It has been a tremendously difficult year on all of us, and I would like to think that this little parade we put together offered catharsis for so many of you. I felt those tears, and I am glad this event brought you that feeling of relief and overwhelming joy.

This event could not have been possible without the help of many in our fine neighborhood. Nancy Vordtriede, President of the St. Louis Hills Neighborhood Association, as well as Tom Byrne and Joni Ott of Friends of Francis Park, who offered their advice and leadership. John Burghoff, who helped put together Santa’s Sleigh and designed the parade route. Ted Gierse and Kerri Bonasch who were responsible for bringing Santa and Mrs. Claus from the North Pole, and the St. Louis Metro Police who provided an escort around the neighborhood. JoAnn Anderson and Greg Hayes at the St. Louis City Parks Department, as well as Alderman Tom Oldenberg and State Representative Donna Baringer. Of course, the tree in the park was still lit this year, and for that we thank Dwight Davis of Davis Holiday Lighting who took this job in this incredibly strange year.

And finally, I want to thank all of you, my neighbors and friends, for making this such a wonderful place to live. The love, support, and pride in this community is palpable, which makes planning events such as this so much easier, because it is being done in service of people we care deeply about.

Thank you for making the Inaugural STL Hills Santa Parade a massive success, and I wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Rob Curtin