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Photos: Fourth of July brings celebration, demonstrations to downtown St. Louis

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
The Civil Courts building, left, and the Gateway Arch are set ablaze in color during a fireworks spectacular on Monday as seen from outside Union Station in downtown St. Louis.

Fair St. Louis festivities returned to downtown St. Louis after a two-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands participated in the three-day celebration packed with food and entertainment.

Hundreds of protesters interrupted the fair Monday afternoon as they stopped traffic and marched against a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed Missouri to effectively end the practice of abortion in the state. Demonstrators chanted to onlookers, “Out of the fair, into the streets!”

Lauren Wright, 25, of St. Louis, helped organize the protest and said she is a first-time demonstrator. “I’ve never experienced sorrow and rage like I did last Friday,” she said. “Myself and the other people here, are prepared to spend the next 50 years fighting for our rights and ensuring that democracy and human rights are protected in the United States.”

Wright said the demonstration was scheduled for the Fourth of July to make a point.

“This is the day of Liberty in the United States. Liberty by definition is freedom from restrictive oppressions within society. I would say forcing a woman to give birth when she does not want to is an oppressive restriction that now exists within our society,” she said. “So we don't have liberty; we're here on Independence Day to make a point [that] our rights have been stolen from us and we're not going to tolerate it.”

The protest group eventually entered the fairgrounds near Kiener Plaza. Organizers and abortion care advocates said they will not give up until safe access to abortion care is reinstated.

View scenes from the fair and demonstrations below:

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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Marcus Nelson, 1, of Maryland Heights, cools off with a firehose of water on Sunday during Fair Saint Louis festivities at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis. A heat advisory is in effect in the region throughout the holiday weekend.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Teddy Blackett Sr., of St. Louis, takes a picture of his 3-year-old son Teddy Jr., as he sits in a military humvee on Sunday during Fair Saint Louis festivities at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
LEFT: April Venner, a trainer for Purina Farms ProPlan Performance team, performs with Motown, her miniature Australian Shepherd, on Sunday during Fair Saint Louis festivities at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis. RIGHT: Motown performs a trick in front of dozens.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Lanai, a McNab Shepherd, tosses a frisbee back to Purina trainer April Venner on Sunday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Soda Pop, Purina trainer April Venner’s Standard Poodle, launches into the air to catch a frisbee on Sunday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
LEFT: Soda Pop, Purina trainer April Venner’s Standard Poodle, waits for a command on Sunday. RIGHT: Natalie Kirchner, center, a 30-year-old from St. Charles, claps alongside dog fans as Soda Pop bows.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Chinesa Gomillia, and her daughter Harmony Stanger, 4, both of south St. Louis, react while watching performance dogs on Sunday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
An American flag flies in front of the Old Courthouse on Sunday during Fair Saint Louis festivities at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Timothy Edger, 60, of Steeleville, Mo., enjoys a tropical drink on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Cher Scott, of north St. Louis, shows off her red, white and blue Nike Air shoes on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown St. Louis. Edger said he’s was in the Army for 39 years but has since retired.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Sammie Starr, a singer with the St. Louis-based “Trap Band,” belts out while performing on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Rachel Robinson-Hunter, of north St. Louis County, dances while the St. Louis-based “Trap Band” performs on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Jessica Wilmes, a Purina Farms dog trainer from Dardenne Prairie, kisses Fidget, her 1-year-old Border Collie mix, while cooling down on Monday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Nathaniel Rosas, 2, of Murphysboro, Ill., reaches into a fountain while cooling off on Monday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
The sun beats down on a Fair St. Louis sign on Monday during Independence Day celebrations in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Brittany Lazaruk, 30, of Arnold., holds up an upside-down American flag while protesting in support of abortion-rights on Monday in front of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
A shadow is casted by Madeline Gilmore, 24, of Columbia, Mo., while demonstrating for abortion rights on Monday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Charas Norell, 28, of south St. Louis, demonstrates in support of abortion rights on Monday outside of City Hall in downtown St. Louis. “My body belongs to me, it doesn’t belong to anyone else,” she said. “I’m not going to stand for someone else taking my rights away.”
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
LaRhonda Wilson, 48, with the advocacy group Color for Change, speaks to a crowd of abortion rights demonstrators on Monday in front of City Hall in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Hundreds of abortion rights demonstrators fill Poelker Park on Monday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Danny March, 41, of Ballwin, demonstrates in support of abortion rights on Monday in downtown St. Louis. “I’m out here today to support all the women in my life and because I’m afraid where this may lead,” he said. “Taking our rights, like those in the LGBTQ+ community.”
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Althea Johnson, 65, of Jennings, stretches her arms out while participating in a demonstration supporting abortion rights on Monday at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Hundreds of abortion rights demonstrators march along Market Street on Monday.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Valerie Simone, 24, of Franklin County, center, leads hundreds of abortion rights demonstrators on Monday while marching on Market Street.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Amaya Stief, 22, of Bethalto, demonstrates on Monday during an abortion rights protest in downtown St. Louis.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Onlookers take photos of hundreds as they march down Market Street to advocate for abortion rights on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Hundreds march to advocate for abortion rights on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Jessica Burns Perez, 31, of Columbia, Ill., holds up a hangar affixed to an upside down American flag on Monday during a demonstration for abortion rights.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
A large American flag hangs in front of the Old Courthouse on Monday during Fair St. Louis festivities in downtown St. Louis.

Brian Munoz is a staff photojournalist and multimedia reporter at St. Louis Public Radio. You can reach him by email at bmunoz@stlpr.org and follow his work on Instagram and Twitter at @brianmmunoz.

Brian Munoz is a photojournalist and multimedia reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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