St. Louis' Best Annual Events in January, February and March

••• Irish Dancers at the Dogtown St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by David O'Brien

 There's always something going on in St. Louis no matter what time of the year you're in town. The Gateway City hosts a wide variety of annual events that draw in visitors and locals alike. Here are some of the best annual events in the early months of the year.

January

Loop Ice Carnival - The Loop Ice Carnival is held each year over the MLK holiday weekend in the Delmar Loop. It begins with a Snow Ball on Friday night, followed by a full-day of free fun including ice carving, ice slides, human dog sled races, game booths, s'mores roasts and other family-friendly activities.

Cardinals Winter Warm-Up - St. Louis baseball fans don't have to miss out on their favorite team in the winter. Each year over the MLK holiday weekend, the Cardinals host their three-day Winter Warm-Up at a downtown St. Louis hotel. Fans can meet the players, get autographs, attend Q & A sessions, buy special souvenirs and more.

St. Louis Auto Show - The St. Louis Auto Show is held in late January at the America's Center in downtown St. Louis. Hundreds of cars, trucks and other vehicles are on display. Car lovers can see the latest high-tech and luxury models, plus learn more about new innovations from automakers.

February

Soulard Mardi Gras - St. Louis' biggest Mardi Gras celebration begins in January and can extend into March, but the most popular events usually happen in February. The biggest of them all is the Grand Parade which is always held the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. Other fun events include the pet parade, family carnival and pub crawl.

Botanical Garden Orchid Show - Get out of the winter cold and enjoy the beauty of the annual Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The show runs from February into March. Hundreds of tropical orchids from around the world are on display in the Orthwein Floral Hall.

Masters of the Sky - Winter is bald eagle season in the St. Louis area. Each year over President's Day weekend, the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton hosts Masters of the Sky. For two days, visitors can see live demonstrations with eagles, falcons, owls and other birds of prey.

March

St. Patrick's Day Parades - St. Louis celebrates St. Patrick's Day with two big parades. The Downtown parade has hundreds of marchers, bands, floats and balloons. It's held on the Saturday closest to March 17. The Dogtown parade is held in St. Louis' Irish neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day itself.

Morpho Mania - March is Morpho Mania time at the Butterfly House in Chesterfield. Thousands of Blue Morpho butterflies fill the glass-domed conservatory. Visitors are invited to walk through and see these colorful creatures up close.

Schlafly Stout and Oyster Festival- Schlafly Brewery's biggest food festival of the year is the annual Stout and Oyster Festival in March. The brewery's owners fly in more than 50,000 fresh oysters and serve them up with local stout.

Want more things to do in St. Louis? Check out the monthly event calendars for each month of the year.