Since 1981, Fair St. Louis has hosted an amazing celebration featuring live music, air shows and spectacular fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend for the citizens of St. Louis and beyond. And for years, the fair was held on the grounds of the Gateway Arch. But just after the 2013 fair concluded, groundbreaking began on the CityArchRiver Project, a massive $380 million dollar transformation of the grounds surrounding the Arch, which meant the Fair needed to find another home for a few years.
The solution? Take America’s Biggest Birthday Party to St. Louis’ most picturesque urban oasis, Forest Park. As the Fair gets ready to kick off its 4th year at the park, here’s our Fair Saint Louis Survival Guide.How do I get there and where do I park? If at all possible, we highly recommend taking Metro to Forest park. Whether it’s via one of their MetroBus vehicles or one of the MetroLink trains, Metro transit is a great option if want to avoid traffic congestion, street closures and parking issues. The question on how to pack hundreds of thousands of people into Forest Park and still find room for their cars was a daunting one, but the folks at the Fair worked with the City of St. Louis to create a comprehensive and easy to navigate parking plan. So if your mind is set on driving in, the Fair has an easy to navigate webpage with directions, parking maps, and shuttle routes. It even includes estimated walking times so you can answer that ever popular question; ‘How long ‘til we get there?’
Will there be fireworks?
OF COURSE! What Independence Day celebration doesn’t? Every night will wrap up with an amazing fireworks display. The fireworks begin at different times each night. On Sunday, July 2nd, the fireworks will begin at 9:35. On Monday, July 3rd, the fireworks will begin at 10:00. To close out the event, on Tuesday the 4th, the fireworks will begin at 9:35.
Any info on the parade? The 135th Veiled Prophet (VP) parade will kick off at 9:30am on Saturday, July 1st and wind its way through the streets of downtown St. Louis. The theme of the 2017 VP Parade will be ‘Great Things are Happening’. This year’s parade features 12 high-caliber marching bands from across the region, 17 beautifully designed floats, many huge helium-filled character balloons and dozens of great units that will capture the imagination of the community.
What’s the entertainment lineup? This year the Fair will be offering something for everyone with an all-star lineup on the #FairSTL Stage featuring iconic rock stars, legendary greats and top county music artists. Performers are: Sunday, July 2: Akon, SuperDuperKyle, July 3: Eve 6, Sister Hazel, 3 DOORS DOWN, July 4: Matt Stillwell, Dan + Shay and Jake Owen
See below for a complete listing of events.
Are there any hotels in the area?
Need a place to stay? We’re partial to the local Drury Hotels and Pear Tree Inns and it’s not just because using the Family Attractions Card can save you $10 on your room booking. It’s because at Drury Hotels, the extras aren’t extra. You’ll get a free hot breakfast to give you energy for your day at the Fair, free food & drinks at their 5:30 ‘Kickback’, free Wi-Fi, free snacks, swimming pools, and much more. You can also find great rates on rooms through the Explore St. Louis website. Just plug in your check-in and check-out dates and they’ll do all of the hard work for you.
Sunday, July 2nd
1:00 pm – Sunday’s Fair Saint Louis Opens 1:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 1:50 pm – Missouri Army National Guard on the #FairSTL Stage 3:30 pm – Santiago x The Natural on the #FairSTL Stage 3:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 4:45 pm – DIRTY MUGGS on the #FairSTL Stage 5:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 6:30 pm – SuperDuperKyle on the #FairSTL Stage 8:15 pm – AKON on the #FairSTL Stage 9:35 pm – Enterprise Rent-A-Car/Edward Jones Fireworks
Monday, July 3rd
4:00 pm – Fair Saint Louis Opens 4:05 pm – National Anthem on the #FairSTL Stage 4:10 pm – Missouri Army National Guard on the #FairSTL Stage 4:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 5:00 pm – EVE 6 on the #FairSTL Stage 6:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 6:45 pm – SISTER HAZEL on the #FairSTL Stage 8:30 pm – 3 DOORS DOWN on the #FairSTL Stage 10:00 pm – Enterprise Rent-A-Car/Edward Jones Fireworks
Tuesday, July 4th
1:00 pm – Fair Saint Louis Opens 1:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 1:35 PM – BEN MORGAN on the #FairSTL Stage 3:05 pm – HUDSON MOORE on the #FairSTL Stage 3:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 4:35 pm – MATT STILLWELL on the #FairSTL Stage 5:30 pm – Purina’s Pro Plan Performance Team on Lagoon Drive (east of the Grand Basin) 5:35 pm – Salute to the Troops Ceremony with National Anthem singer on #FairSTL Stage 6:15 pm – DAN + SHAY on the #FairSTL Stage 8:00 pm – JAKE OWEN on the #FairSTL Stage 9:35 pm – Enterprise Rent-A-Car/Edward Jones Fireworks
What can you bring to the fair?
Blankets, umbrellas (small handheld style), baby strollers & wagons, baby diaper bags, portable/collapsible chair, regular-size bags, one factory sealed water bottle up to 1 liter, one empty plastic water bottle, binoculars, pocket-sized still camera equipment, service animals.
What can’t you bring to the fair?
Alcoholic beverages, glass, metal, or unsealed containers over one liter, coolers of any kind, outside food, large containers, weapons of any kind, explosives, illegal substances of any kind, pets, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, or personalized motor vehicles of any kind, fireworks, professional recording and/or photography equipment, selfie sticks, signs and/or banners.
We hope this helps you on your journey to America’s Biggest Birthday Party. Want to know more? Visit the Fair Saint Louis website.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Chen, Alonzo Byrd