Fourth of July fairs, fireworks and freebies (July 4)

July 3, 2008

If you’re disappointed that Fair St. Louis and the fireworks will be at two separate venues this year, take heart! Your options are all good.

Option 1: Stay at Fair St. Louis‘ new home due to the flooding Mississippi, the Soldiers Memorial Plaza at 14th and Market streets. We’ve watched the fireworks from a distance before (back when the Anheuser-Busch brewery let locals park on its main headquarters lot) and the displays were just as evocative and spectacular — and a little less frightening for kids who’re not into loud explosion noises. (The accompanying music can be heard at 102.5 KEZK.)

Option 2: Head to the Arch grounds anyway. The National Park Service will open the grounds to spectators (the usual checkpoints will apply) but there won’t be any vendors, music or other activities.

Option 3: Go somewhere else. There are excellent festivals throughout the region — KMOX radio has a comprehensive listing for both Missouri and Illinois metro communities at its homepage. I’d like to note especially that the band Joe Dirt plays the O’Fallon, Mo., Heritage and Freedom Fest at 12:30 p.m. Joe Dirt is a local rock cover band with an engaging stage presence and a repertoire whose roots couldn’t go any further into the American heartland. Some of the festivals are one- or two-day affairs, but Webster Groves’ Community Days starts on July 1 and runs through the Fourth.

The St. Louis fireworks display will blast off from its usual spot on the river at 9:45 p.m. July 4 and 5. And don’t forget the Veiled Prophet parade Friday morning at 10 a.m., coming south on Fourth Street and turning west on Market, with Union Station as its ending point.

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