Fourth of July

The Veiled Prophet and his Queen of Love and Beauty at the 2015 VP Parade in Forest Park.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated July 8, 2015 to clarify the origin of the 1878 newspaper image and to correct the name of the accessories carried by the parade's horsemen.

Crowds decked out in red, white and blue were treated to a feast for the eyes and ears at the VP Parade Saturday morning in Forest Park. The parade had something for everyone, from marching bands and massive floating balloons to elaborate floats and superheroes driving four-wheelers and passing out candy. There were even Elvis impersonators and a Chinese dragon brigade.

But tucked in-between Elvis and a gardening float was a scene out of a bygone era. A troupe of men carrying ceremonial lances rode up first on horses decked out with the VP emblem. Then came two floats designed to look like chariots: the first pulled by a dragon, the second by a pair of swans. Enthroned on both chariots were women in elaborate gowns and men with their faces obscured by lacy veils.

Sarah Kellogg

The St. Louis Fire Department is cautioning St. Louis area residents against setting off fireworks this weekend.

The use of consumer fireworks is legal in Missouri, but illegal in St. Louis city and county.

“We hear them in South City, North City, the West End, downtown, they’re illegal. It’s illegal in the city of St. Louis to shoot fireworks: bottle rockets, firecrackers, sparklers, anything,” St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said.

Some surrounding counties do allow the use of consumer fireworks.

File photo

If you are traveling the highways over the July 4th holiday weekend, prepare to pay more at the pump. Prices will be higher than last year, mainly due to uncertainty in the Middle East.

"I think the overall problem with Iraq is that it's causing crude oil prices to go up and that's driving up wholesale gasoline prices," said Mike Right, senior vice president of public affairs for AAA Missouri.

"St. Louis is a peculiar market in that they pass along price increases instantly from the wholesale level down to the consumer."

MJ_07 / Via Flickr

For many, fireworks are a staple part of celebrating the Fourth of July. If watching the night sky light up is part of your holiday tradition, you’re in luck: the St. Louis area hosts several public events.

Tasmyn Front has been living in St. Louis for 12 years. She says that fireworks aren’t the only attraction to consider when deciding on a venue.

“There’s a lot of waiting before the show starts,” said Front. “Ultimately it's only 20 minutes so you want it to be worth the wait.”

Music, food and activities for the kids are standard at most venues.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

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.

Fireworks

Jul 8, 2013
MJ_07 / Via Flickr

Photo taken by "MJ_07" on Flickr.com.

Join the St. Louis Public Radio Flickr group to see interesting photos taken in the St. Louis region and submit your own. Each week on our website and Facebook page we feature one outstanding photo from the group.

(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Just one day before the Fourth of July, St. Louis welcomed more than 50 new United States citizens.

The group took the oath of citizenship during an annual naturalization ceremony in the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. 

The immigrants came from 26 countries, including Vietnam, Nigeria, Nepal, Albania and Germany.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Missouri’s Second District was the guest speaker at the ceremony, which she said was her first.

(via Flickr/AddyG)

St. Louis' annual Independence Day celebration is still on, Fair Saint Louis, but we know numerous municipalities in our area are postponing their festivities, or canceling them altogether, due to the hot and dry weather conditions.

If you won't be at Fair Saint Louis, or are in one of the communities where fireworks are a no-go this year, we've got you covered.

(via Flickr/destroyphotography)

The self-proclaimed "America's biggest birthday party," Fair St. Louis, announced the lineup of events and entertainers for this summer's event yesterday.

Here's a quick look at the schedule for the three-day celebration on the grounds of the Gateway Arch:

Saturday, July 2

  • 10 a.m. - The 134th Annual Veiled Prophet Parade
  • Musical Performance: Steve Miller Band
  • Air Show
  • Fireworks

Sunday, July 3