Civic pride sweeps over the region for 314 Day
Internationally, March 14 is celebrated as “Pi Day” in recognition of 3.14: the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
In St. Louis, March 14 is cause for a different sort of celebration. 314 Day is a play on the date and the area code of much of the region. Started as a celebration by Black St. Louisans, 314 Day is a source of civic pride throughout the region. Citizens are encouraged to shop local, wear gear representing St. Louis sports teams, proudly and loudly bump St. Louis musicians and eat the most St. Louis meal possible (pizza with provel or St. Paul sandwiches, anyone?).
St. Louisans Staci Static and Ohun Ashe are both vocal cheerleaders and honest critics of the city. Static, who is currently a community engagement consultant and host of “The Static Podcast,” has convened local artists, comedians and St. Louis leaders from 1999 to 2018 on stations KATZ 100.3 the Beat, WHHL Hot 104.1 and 95.5 the Lou. Ashe founded For the Culture STL, where she promotes Black-owned businesses across the region on its website and social media platforms. The pair — who both grew up in Jennings — shared their perspective of St. Louis and what they find special about their hometown.
Elaine Cha: What are some nicknames for St. Louis that you hear but maybe you don't use yourself?
Staci Static: “St. Louie.” That grinds my gears. I hate when people say it. I feel like they did not talk to anybody from St. Louis if they say that.
Ohun Ashe: I’m a big “314” [fan] and “the Lou.” I’m from the Lou, and I’m proud!
Cha: Where do I get the best St. Paul sandwich?
Static: I think that's a personal preference. If you grew up in Jennings, then you've got to say Lisa’s.
Ashe: Lisa’s! Lisa’s is my entire Chinese food experience. But that is a debate that can lead to some dangerous times in St. Louis.
Static: Yeah, because I am a Year of the Dragon person.
Cha: How long does someone need to live in STL to claim STL?
Static: I think it varies. If you marry somebody from here, you probably can [claim] it in five years.
Ashe: I also think St. Louis is a very welcoming city. So if you come here and you want to be embraced in St. Louis, I feel like people are able to be brought in a lot easier.
For more 314 Day realness and real talk with Ohun Ashe, Staci Static and live callers, listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, or by clicking the play button below.
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to firstname.lastname@example.org.