Fair St. Louis, the annual Fourth of July celebration under the Gateway Arch, will open at noon on Thursday as planned, but flooding has forced some parts of the event to higher ground.
Near-record high water on the Mississippi River left Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard and part of the Arch steps under water. Organizers planned for sponsors’ tents and concessions to be in the area, but now an exposition area will be set up near the Old Courthouse, and concessions will be north of the Arch.
Fair St. Louis Executive Director David Estes said other than the flooding, the Arch grounds are in good condition to host the three-day event.
“The Arch ground is in perfect shape,” Estes said. “They had the Blues rally here a couple weeks ago, and the damage to the turf in the area was minimal.”
On the main stage under the Arch, country artist Brett Young will headline Thursday night, followed by R&B singer Keith Sweat on Friday and rock band The Flaming Lips on Saturday. Each evening’s show will be followed by fireworks. There will also be five air shows — two each on Thursday and Saturday, and one on Friday.
The Cardinals are on the road this weekend, so Estes said downtown garages and lots should have parking available. Parking passes are available for purchase, and fairgoers can also take Metro Transit. More information is available on the Fair St. Louis website.
This year will mark the 39th edition of Fair St. Louis and its second year back at its original location. The Arch grounds hosted the event from its inception until 2014, when it temporarily moved to Forest Park for four years during renovations on the riverfront. Estes said that even though this year’s fair hasn’t opened yet, he’s already planning for the 40th anniversary next summer.
“As great as this year will be, we’re hoping next year will even be bigger,” Estes said.
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