Gateway Arch National Park | St. Louis Public Radio

Gateway Arch National Park

Parts of Fair St. Louis moved up from the riverfront after flooding left Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard underwater. The expo portion will now be near the Old Courthouse. June 2 2019
Nicolas Telep | St. Louis Public Radio

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 Organizers said they expect to hold the annual Fair St. Louis at the Gateway Arch again this year. Organizers said they do have a contingency plan in place if flooding is still an issue. June 10, 2019
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

Fair St. Louis organizers say they're confident the annual event will be able to be held at Gateway Arch National Park next month — even as a swollen Mississippi River laps against the steps of the monument.

The annual Fourth of July celebration moved back to the Arch last year after four years at Forest Park while the riverfront park underwent a $380 million renovation. This year, Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, the riverwalk and some of the Arch steps are underwater, but organizers believe it will be useable by the time the fair opens its three-day run on Independence Day.

A tree along Leonor K Sullivan Blvd. is surrounded by rising water as the Mississippi River reaches a near-record height.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 1:30 p.m., June 6 with revised river crest forecast from the National Weather Service — The Mississippi River at St. Louis is expected to crest at 45.8 feet by Saturday afternoon. 

A group of tourists posed for a selfie under the Gateway Arch midday Wednesday, while just a few feet away, murky floodwaters from the Mississippi crept up the riverfront steps.

Flooding has continued unabated for more than 80 days along rivers in the St. Louis area. Most major waterways, including the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers, are expected to crest Friday — with peak floodwaters in some regions rivaling records set in 1993.

Caleb Smith plans to skate 100 miles Saturday to raise money for his cousin Shannon Donavan's medical recovery.
Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith is 100 miles away from a goal he’s been planning for about a month. It’s a in-line skating challenge that will take him throughout the St. Louis area this Saturday.

“I’m going to be starting at 4:45 in the morning,” Smith said. “I project that it’ll take right around 10 hours.”

The Arch lights will be turned off from Sept. 17 to Sept. 30, 2018.
Jason Lusk | Flickr

The lights illuminating the Gateway Arch will go dark for two weeks beginning Monday.

The decision is part of a biannual effort to avoid disrupting bird migrations along the Mississippi Flyway — a critical route used by more than 300 North American bird species. Light pollution from upward-facing spotlights can disorient birds that migrate at night and cause them to collide with buildings.

A child runs through the reflecting pool at the Gateway Arch. The new museum and upgraded grounds were christened Tuesday, July 3, 2018, after a five-year renovation project.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Normandy High School Band provided the beat and Mother Nature brought on the heat, as hundreds gathered on the St. Louis riverfront Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of the new museum and visitors center at the Gateway Arch.

The ribbon cutting marked the final stage in a five-year project to revitalize the Arch grounds. Speakers emphasized the public-private partnership that planned and funded the $380 million project.

A worker at the new entrance to the Gateway Arch on June 19, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Thirteen-year-old Makenna Farnsworth had just been to the top of the Gateway Arch.

“It’s really cool to be up there,” she said, looking back at the stainless-steel monument looming above her, gleaming in the hot sunshine.

And she knew the answer to the top Arch trivia question: How tall is it?

“Six-hundred-thirty feet!”

That sums up all Makenna knew about the iconic monument, which on Tuesday will open a revamped museum with all new exhibits.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 10, 2009 - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said on Friday that improvements to the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse funded by the stimulus package would create jobs, boost the local economy and increase tourism in the area.

The Interior Department, he said, was also finalizing its General Management Plan for improving the Arch grounds. Details were sketchy beyond a likely design competition for revitalizing the Arch grounds and the riverfront, and building a more accessible connection between the Arch and the city.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 27, 2009 - For now, as it has been for decades, it's illegal for visitors to the grounds of the Gateway Arch to pack a pistol.

But come February, that will change.

"In nine months, we will be following the law here, and people will be allowed to carry concealed weapons on the grounds," said deputy superintendent Frank Mares.