Forest Park is expecting to have just under 50,000 visitors this July 4th weekend for Fair St. Louis. Officials and St. Louisans have been worried about crowds, parking and congestion. But 100 years ago, the park saw much bigger crowds for the city's 150th birthday celebration. Perhaps the planners of Fair St. Louis can learn a lot from the Pageant and Masque St.
Final plans for Fair St. Louis are taking shape as the event moves to Forest Park this weekend for the first time in its 34-year history.
The park has been a busy scene this week as work crews prepare stages, concession stands, canopy tents, and generators for the event that organizers expect to draw 35,000 to 50,000 visitors each day. The weekend’s July Fourth celebrations will include a parade, 20 free concerts, nightly fireworks displays and other entertainment.
The Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill will play a more important role than provide the reflective image for fireworks photos. The Fair St. Louis organizers announced Wednesday that water skiing and wakeboarding will take place on the water, and Tino Wallenda will walk a wire above it, stretched more than the length of a football field.
Fair St. Louis’s move to Forest Park this year is presenting the St. Louis Police Department with some unique challenges. That's according to police chief Sam Dotson, who expressed his concerns at a police board hearing Thursday.
This is the first time the annual Fourth of July celebration will take place in the city's largest park. Dotson said the logistics of the fair have taken more time than he would like. But he said it's important to make sure the plan to keep everyone safe is airtight, especially this first year.