Fête des Petites Cotes

Discover the story behind historic St. Charles and the festival that takes place every year


Madison Pegg

Star Wars inspired recycled art by Dave Patten, at The Festival of the Little Hills.

Madison Pegg, Reporter

“Fête des Petites Cotes”, “The Little Hills,” “San Carlos Borromeo”, ”Historic St. Charles” “Ole Saint Charles.” These are the many names that Old St. Charles has been called and is still called. Almost everyone in the St. Louis area has heard of St. Charles, but do you know the story behind it? Or what the Festival of The Little Hills is all about? 

The story of The Little Hills began more than 200 years ago. It all started when explorer Louis Blanchette settled here 247 years ago, where it got its first name, The Little Hills which is what we celebrate over 200 years later.

The annual Festival of the Little Hills took place Aug. 16-18 at Frontier Park and featured many different types of food from classic carnival to authentic Greek. 

Being one of the largest festivals in the St. Charles and St. Louis area, vendors, food and live music stretched all the way down main street and the riverfront at Historic St. Charles. According to the website Discover St. Charles, more than 300 vendors from 28 states attend this event. A wide variety of vendors ensures there is something for everyone. The festival has vendors that have attended for more than 10 years like Chad Nelson from Mississippi Mud Pottery to first time vendors such as Dave Patten from Born Again Creations. People come from all over Missouri, Illinois and further just to attend this festival. 

Madison Pegg
A dog sculpture made from recycled forks and other metal scraps created by artist Dave Patten.

One of the smaller businesses attending was Born Again Creations. Dave Patten, the owner of Born Again Creations, makes refurbished metal sculptures. He makes sculptures from old metals that people donate or he finds. 

“I made a dragonfly for my wife then I started making them for my kids for birthdays and Christmas and my oldest daughter said I should sell them so I did and she was right,” Patten said. His sculptures are unique and creative like most of the crafters at The Festival of the Little Hills. This festival is great for smaller businesses to get more exposure. 

“The olive oil bottles I make take about a month to make from start to finish,” Chad Nelson said. Nelson is one of the owners of Mississippi Mud Pottery in Alton, Ill. They make original handmade pottery. This was Nelson and Mississippi Mud Pottery’s 10th year at the festival. He puts time into each of his products like the majority of the crafters at the festival. 

St. Charles hosts many festivals such as, Oktoberfest, Legends and Lanterns and Riverfest but The Festival of the Little Hills is definitely the biggest. It’s rich history makes the festival more exciting and meaningful.