Terrell “Dip” Evans was 16 when Nelly released his hit “Country Grammar,” a song that thrust St. Louis into the spotlight in a way Evans had never seen before. He remembers the first time he watched the music video, which begins with the future superstar standing in front of the Gateway Arch in a Cardinals cap.
“That feeling,” he said. “That feeling was great.”
That feeling was civic pride—to see the city he loves, the place he was born and raised, brought up on the national stage in a positive light.
For the next six years, he asked himself, “What can I do to recreate this feeling?” »
By 2006, he was working in radio and marketing for the hottest clubs in town. He decided the town needed his own day to celebrate everything he loves about this place. Then he came across the date: March 14. 3/14. It is synchronized with the St. Louis area code.
In the rest of the country, March 14 is informally known as Pi Day for the date’s connection to the mathematical constant – the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. But for Evans, now 38, his dream is to create a lasting legacy honoring his hometown on 3/14.
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He approached his friend, Tatum Polk, an entrepreneur and club promoter, with his vision. Polk, also a longtime St. Louisian, jumped on board.
That first year, they held a charity concert at a downtown club near Union Station and invited all their friends in the music industry, including the hottest hip-hop artists of the moment.
“We had all the artists (from St. Louis) with a song on the radio for anyone who had buzz on the streets,” Evans said. Over 1,000 people attended. The following year, they hosted the STLDay party at the Champions Club at Busch Stadium, featuring FredBird, Imo’s Pizza and the Red Hot Riplets.
“It was a full-fledged vibe in St. Louis,” Evans said. Over the next few years, they encouraged smaller events in different parts of the city in an effort to grow the movement organically.
Their long-term goal has been to turn the celebration into a call for unity, non-violence, and a way to support local artists and businesses. Evans has collaborated on large and small-scale local events for STL Day, but this year he’s taking it to another level.
“They’re going to see the biggest 314 Day ever,” he said. Evans and Polk have partnered with STL Made, Women’s Creative, and a number of other local organizations. This is the moment they have been working towards for several years.
Sarah Arnosky Ko, vice president of Greater St. Louis, said the economic development agency was excited to partner with the founders to attract more participants and grow the concept. They expect 80 different 314 Day-related events and offers over a four-day period ending March 14.
Activities range from a 314-minute workout at Harris-Stowe State University to a grilled dumpling craft project at the City Museum. There are free concerts, bowling for $3.14 a game, food deals and a market crawl from noon to 4 p.m. on March 13. This event will take place in six different areas of the city. It will feature over 80 local vendors, artists and brands.
“These are creative ways to celebrate all that St. Louis has to offer and draw people in,” Ko said. A full schedule of events and ways to participate is available at thestl.com/314day.
Polk, 41, says he wants younger generations to know the city’s history and focus on its highlights.
“We’ve been known for a long time for the arts, music and sports,” he said. Their concept of an urban day tied to the area code has spread to other parts of the country. Other promoters approached him to organize events like 2/14 in Dallas, 3/17 in Indianapolis, 4/04 in Atlanta and 3/05 in Miami.
“It definitely started here,” Polk said.
Evans, a fan of all things St. Louis, added, “Our culture is unique. It is unmatched. It’s a St. Louis thing.
He is looking forward to a roller skating party he and Polk are throwing at the St. Louis Skatium on Monday as part of 314 Day activities. He has a few surprises and celebrity guests planned for the event.
His enthusiasm for the region and his relentless positivity in bringing people together are finally coming to fruition.
“You can’t spell hustle without STL,” he said.
This year, organizers are marking 314 Day as a homecoming celebration and are inviting people who grew up in the area to come back, enjoy the festivities and give back to the community. Next year, they want to market the celebration as a tourist destination with a “Meet Me in St. Louis” theme.
“Come back and meet us in the middle of the map,” Evans said.
“The world did it in 1904; let’s bring that back,” he added.
Offers and events for 314 Day
Gooey Butter Cakes Two for $3.14
Grilled Rav Tacos
314 Day Market Exploration
Free Dutch Apple Pie With Purchase
3.14 mile hike
$3.14 Moscow Mules and City Wide Beer
Large concrete for $3.14
Make a Grilled Artisan Rav
Croissant and coffee for $3.14
30% discount on Saint-Louis books
“Our culture is unique. It is unmatched. It’s a St. Louis thing.
Terrell “Dip” Evans