Despite construction around Forest Park, Fair St. Louis officials say they are ready for the large crowds expected to attend this week’s event.
This is the second year Forest Park is hosting the three-day event after construction on the Arch grounds forced it to change locations.
Last year, the fair drew about 250,000 visitors, and officials expect about the same attendance this year.
Similar to last year, there are concerns about parking and transportation, but this year’s main concern is the DeBaliviere Bridge, which was demolished in early May to build a new bridge for the Delmar Loop Trolley.
The Forest Park DeBaliviere light rail station will remain open to fairgoers despite renovations taking place there.
“The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has pledged to have additional officers at that location to help organize people, cue people, in order to facilitate people getting across the MetroLink alignment on a temporary bridge and down to the station in a timely manner,” Metro President and CEO John Nations said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Depending on what line they take, MetroLink passengers will exit for the fair at different stops. All blue line Missouri passengers and all Illinois passengers are to use the Skinker MetroLink Station, while all red line Missouri passengers should use the Forest Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station.
Volunteers will be passing out fans each night that contain travel information.
“The fans will help fairgoers remember which station to utilize after the fireworks and the Fair St. Louis map on the back will direct them how to get back to MetroLink,” Nations said.
In addition to taking the MetroLink, visitors can walk or ride their bikes to the fair.
“We had an amazing number of people bike to the park and walk to the park and we’ve added another bike valet to accommodate that,” 2015 Fair St. Louis Chairman Steve Pozaric said about last year.
Although officials are asking Fair St. Louis visitors to leave their cars at home this year, they are confident that there will be enough parking if attendees do decide to drive.
“We had a number of lots last year in the park, and we’ve lowered the parking price from $30 to $20, so I think that’ll encourage some people. We also have a number of free lots around the area to use at St. Louis Community College, Washington University and some other places,” Pozaric said.
There are seven designated “Fair St. Louis” parking lots, with four of the lots inside the park and three on the outside.
Visitors who park in one of the free lots outside the park will have access to free bus shuttles inside the park to transport them to the fairgrounds.
The shuttles will also stop near the interior parking lots.