Urban Expo promises boxing, live music, record-setting giveaway

DOWNTOWN – As mid-August approaches and the end of summer looms, there’s still a ton of things to do downtown.

Over the weekend, St. Louis Public Schools and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis are hosting their annual Urban Expo as well as a Back to School Giveaway, providing something for children and adults alike.

The Urban League says the giveaway will be one of the largest in the area, with more than 10,000 backpacks filled with school supplies and 50,000 pairs of shoes to be given to students and families.

Taking place at the America’s Center Convention Complex downtown, the three-day event kicks off with a career fair Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. The fair features more than 60 area employers from Walgreens to SAK Construction. From there, the weekend features a slew of events for everyone in the family.

Interested in boxing? Check out the city’s next generation of stars at the Expo’s “Rumble in St. Louis” boxing tournament. Featuring fighters from the local Amateur ranks, the tournament starts Saturday at 1 p.m., with the championships and a car giveaway set for Sunday about the same time.

“We are excited to host the Urban Expo and Back to School community festival [with] St. Louis Public Schools,” said CEO and President of the Urban League (St. Louis), Michael P. McMillan.  “This year, we have something for everyone including free shoes for the entire family, the Bayer Health Fair, Gospel concerts, and Rumble in St. Louis USA Boxing … and so much more.”

Saturday and Sunday, the Urban Expo features free live performances by five-time Grammy-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams and Grammy-nominated singer El Debarge. Gospel singer Dorinda Clark-Cole and Dirty Muggs are set to open for both headliners on each day as well.

Along with Aside from the live entertainment, expect to see a plethora of booths providing free screenings for vision, hearing and internal health, from organizations including BJC Healthcare, Siteman Cancer Center and Aetna.

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis plans to do more than hold expos and giveaways. The organization announced Wednesday that it would be building a shopping center on West Florissant Avenue in the same area where the Ferguson protests took place five years ago.

Vance Brinkley

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