Soulard, St. Louis

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Soulard
St. Louis neighborhood
The Soulard Market in the northern portion of the Soulard neighborhood.
The Soulard Market in the northern portion of the Soulard neighborhood.
Location of Soulard within St. Louis
Location of Soulard within St. Louis
Country United States
State Missouri
City St. Louis
Wards 7, 9
Area
 • Total 0.60 sq mi (1.6 km2)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 3,440
 • Density 5,700/sq mi (2,200/km2)
ZIP code(s) Part of 63104
Area code(s) 314
Website stlouis-mo.gov

Soulard (soo-lard) is a historic French neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri.

It is named for Antoine Soulard, who first began to develop the land. Soulard was a surveyor for the Spanish government and a refugee from the French Revolution in the 1790s.

One of the oldest communities in the city, Soulard is today a largely residential neighborhood whose many businesses include restaurants, bars, and the North American headquarters of Anheuser-Busch, which houses the St. Louis Brewery. Half of the neighborhood north of Lynch Street is composed mostly of row homes and small apartments with the Anheuser-Busch Brewary and headquarters occupying most of the land south of Lynch. Many of its houses date to the mid- to late-19th century. Soulard also has several historic churches.[2]

Many of its bars host live music, especially the blues and jazz bands which the city is known for. The barrelhouse blues piano player James Crutchfield lived in the neighborhood from 1984 until his death in 2001, and performed in many of the nightclubs. The district hosts regular pub crawls.

There are various neighborhood groups, including the Soulard Restoration Group and the Soulard Business Association, that organize events, keep the neighborhood clean and safe, and publish a newspaper, The Soulard Renaissance.

It is home to the oldest Farmers' market[3] west of the Mississippi. More than 100 vendors include farmers, produce vendors, meat shops, spice shop, florist shops, and food.

Soulard Market is featured in the opening scene of Alan Schroeder's picture book Ragtime Tumpie.

Events[edit]

A neon sign commemorating Soulard Mardi Gras 2006

Soulard hosts many events throughout the year, including celebrations of Mardi Gras and Oktoberfest.

Soulard hosts the St. Louis Mardi Gras festival, which sometimes attracts hundreds of thousands of revelers, largely depending on weather.[4] It has been said St. Louis hosts the second-largest Mardi Gras party in the country.[5] Like the New Orleans celebration, the Soulard version features several parades during the Mardi Gras season. On the second Sunday before Mardi Gras, there is a family-oriented pet parade dubbed "Krewe of Barkus", which features people and costumed pets. The parade is followed by the informal Wiener dog races. On the Saturday evening before Fat Tuesday, the more adult-oriented flesh-for-beads parade occurs, although there have been various attempts to reserve a family section at one end of the route. The east-west streets of Soulard, Geyer, Allen and Russell, and others are crowded with people from 7th to 12th Street. Several VIP tents are available for admission by fee and usually a national recording artist performs for free on a main stage, usually on 7th St. In recent years, the parade has been moved just north of Soulard to downtown St. Louis.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
2000 3,187 —    
2010 3,440 +7.9%
[6]

In 2010, Soulard's population was 82.6% White, 13.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. 2.7% of the population was of Hispanic origin.

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Coordinates: 38°36′19″N 90°12′31″W / 38.6053°N 90.2086°W / 38.6053; -90.2086