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'Q in the Lou' returns downtown for 7th year

People downtown expect big events to help increase the safety of the area.

ST. LOUIS — Calling all barbecue lovers to downtown St. Louis for the 7th annual Q in the Lou food festival!

"Well this is sort of a Carnival for Carnivores. We've assembled 9 pitmasters from St. Louis and around the country to cook amazing food," Founder Brian Wahby said.

Wahby holds the festival in Kiener Plaza every year. 

"It's a very safe environment. It's friendly, it's inviting and we should invite people down here. The first part of that is making sure people feel safe. You'll feel safe at the Q in the Lou," Wahby said.

Downtown St. Louis emptied out during the pandemic, and city hall is working to clean up perceptions about safety in the area.

Mayor Tishaura Jones believes events like these will make the area safer. David Shanks who owns Whisky on Washington and downtown realtor Alicia James think bringing more people downtown is a step in the right direction.

"Q in the Lou, we're going to be barbecuing tonight right, so those bring people down and I honestly think you get less crime on those days," Shanks said.

"I do believe that more festivals that are happening in the city you're going to attract those families and people who do not normally come to downtown. I don't think one is going to do it. It definitely will have to be more than that to engage those participants," James said.

Wahby encourages other fellow St. Louisans to experience what downtown has to offer.

"It's my town. This is our town. This is our living room, so come down and celebrate our living room. This is an amazing space," Wahby said.

Downtown St. Louis will also host several big Cardinals matchups over the weekend, so traffic will be busy and crowds will be tight.

Q in the Lou schedule:

Friday, October 1st from 5:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m. 

Saturday, October 2nd from 11:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 3rd from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

For more information visit the Q in the Lou website.

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