Fair St. Louis will be back at the Arch next Fourth of July | St. Louis Public Radio

Fair St. Louis will be back at the Arch next Fourth of July

Aug 30, 2017

Fair St. Louis will return to the Gateway Arch grounds in 2018  to celebrate the Fourth of July, organizers announced Wednesday.

The annual Independence Day extravaganza — one of the nation’s largest — was moved to Forest Park in 2014, while extensive renovations were being completed on the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. 

The fair will be held on July 4, 6 and 7 and will coincide with the completion of work at the national park, according to the Fair St. Louis Foundation. The event had been held at the Arch since it began in 1981. The 2018 version will include all of the usual trimmings — music, food, family activities and fireworks. Plus, the air show will be back.

"You can't find a better place to celebrate our independence and the birth of our country than underneath an iconic national monument like the Arch,'' said Todd Schnuck, chairman of the Fair St. Louis Foundation.

Schnuck said the fair had four successful years at Forest Park, but his group wanted to return to the fair's original home and to be a part of the energy surrounding the reopening of the Arch grounds.

The focus of the $380 million CityArchRiver project was building a new entranceway to connect the 630-foot stainless steel monument to downtown St. Louis. The landscaping has been redone and the museum is being refurbished.

Eric Moraczewski, executive director of the the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, said work on the museum is progressing, and it will reopen just before Fair St. Louis begins.  

"We're so excited to partner with Fair St. Louis as a part of our grand opening and to bring the fair back home to where it all started,'' he said.

The CityArchRiver project is a partnership between the National Park Service, the city of St. Louis and other private and public organizations. It was funded partly by tax dollars, including Proposition B, which was passed by city and county voters in 2013, and private donations raised by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation.

Follow Mary Delach Leonard on Twitter: @marydleonard