Fair St. Louis
301 Prospect Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Dates: July 4 to July 7
The 32nd annual Fair Saint Louis promises three perfect days of entertainment — including Heart, Third Eye blind and Dierks Bently — all for free, right on the grounds surrounding the city’s iconic Gateway Arch. Two 4th of July runs, a parade and an air show make this a celebration of independence like none other. If you miss it, the fair will continue to host summer concerts, but this weekend is one to spend in St. Louis doing it up right at one of the best fairs this area has to offer.
If you’re not riding the MetroLink to the Gateway Arch-Laclede’s Landing stop, the Arch Parking Garage will offer parking just off of Washington Avenue on the north side of the arch grounds.
Freedom 4 Miler & Family Fun Run
1315 Market St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Price: $25 Freedom 4 Miler by June 1/$30 by July 2/$35 July 3 and race day
Hours: July 4 – 7 a.m.
Price: $10 family fun run by June 1/$15 by July 2/$15 July 3 and race day
Hours: July 4 – 8:30 a.m.
Kicking off the 2012 4th of July celebration in downtown St. Louis is the first ever Freedom 4 Miler and family fun run. They welcome all fitness levels and are sure to get anyone in the spirit for a full day of STL-style festivities. Strap on those running shoes to celebrate the nation’s independence this year and begin a new St. Louis tradition tromping through the streets of downtown with your fellow Americans.
Hours: July 4 – 10 a.m.
The 135th annual Veiled Prophet Parade continues its grand and time-honored tradition again this year themed as the Parade Around the World. Bring the family out to enjoy the majestic floats, gigantic helium balloon characters and rhythms of local St. Louis high school marching bands to honor the city and nation. Arrive early to ensure your front row seat and bring your own chair to ogle the two-hour long show. After the parade, head on down to the Arch Grounds as Fair Saint Louis officially kicks off with the Air Show at noon.
Arch Grounds, Skies above the Mississippi River
St. Louis, MO 63103
Hours: July 4 – 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
A tried and true favorite of Fair Saint Louis is the beloved Air Show. This year’s display opens the fair at noon on the fourth with a spectacular display of death-defying stunts performed by F15s and parachuters. Bring your favorite blanket or chair, and prepare to walk away in sheer amazement. Nowhere else in the world can you experience the view of the Arch, the Mississippi River and a show like this in one place.
South Teardrop of the Arch Grounds
St Louis, MO 63103
Hours: July 4 – noon to 8 p.m.; July 6 – 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; July 7 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Bring the kids by the Kids Zone for super fun, kid-friendly performances and hands-on activities all at no cost to you for this year’s Fair Saint Louis. No matter their age or interest, there is something for every child.
Related: Top Spots for 4th of July Fireworks
Fair Saint Louis Music
Budweiser Main Stage
St Louis, MO 63103
Hours: Heart July 4 – 8 p.m.; Third Eye Blind July 6 – 8 p.m.; Dierks Bentley July 7 – 8 p.m.
If you like live music, then you will love listening to this year’s line-up of headlining bands for free. Wednesday night kicks off with rock duo, Heart. These sisters have been topping the charts since the ’70s with favorites including “Magic Man” and “What About Love.” Friday night’s Budweiser Stage presents Third Eye Blind for the alternative rockers. No strangers to the STL, they are back to perform hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How’s it Going to Be.” Last, but not least, Saturday night closes out with country singer and song writer, Dierks Bentley, whose sixth album “Home” hit No. 1 on the Country Billboards. The fireworks spectacular will follow each nightly headliner performance and conclude that day of the fair.
After the fair, continue the party for two additional free weekends of music at Soldiers Memorial during the Celebrate St. Louis Concert series. Expect Neon Trees July 13, Michael Franti and Spearhead July 14, The Offspring July 20 and Nelly wrapping it up July 21.
Cara Shrum is a St Louis Family & Parenting Examiner at Examiner.com, creator of the St Louis natural birth and parenting resource site, Birthing411.com, and natural childbirth workshop presenter. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.