July 2, 2013
Independence Day Celebration In St. Louis
July 4th is the day we celebrate our independence. Every year, cities and towns all over this great nation have celebrations to mark the anniversary of this special occasion. From small firework displays to week long parties, every one is a joy to attend and to remember the ones who gave their lives for our freedoms.
Of all the celebrations I have attended in the many years of my life, one holds true to be the most gratifying and enjoyable. It was the Fair St. Louis, which is held every year on the 4th of July.
It was July 2002 when my wife and I had the pleasure of attending this celebration. We arrived late afternoon at our hotel, which was walking distance to the Arch, where most of the festivities are held.
After we got settled in our room, we decided to venture down to where the streets were closed to traffic and on just about every foot of these closed streets were venders, musicians, and a variety of festivities going on.
After a few hours of walking around, listening to the different bands, some of them were actually handing out free CDs of their music, we decided to head over to the vicinity of the Arch. Here is where most of the celebration is held.
As we walked around the area, more venders and festivities were surrounding the grassy area near the Arch. Stairs lined the waterfront, and a walkway spanned the shore. Towards late evening we heard music stemming from the stage area. We approached a crowd of a few thousand people standing in front of the stage. Up on the stage was George Thorogood and the Destroyers playing. After they had finished several of their hits and left the stage, another band placed their instruments on the stage and began to play. It was KC and the Sunshine Band. Wow, two popular bands back to back in a concert. Best of all, it was free.
Darkness began to fall and we positioned ourselves in an area where we could witness the fireworks display. As the anticipation mounted within us, hoping it would be as spectacular as the previous few hours, the first firework left the ground. It dispersed a dazzling exhibit of light that lit up the Arch, followed by thousands of clapping hands. After over an hour of spectacular explosions of light, the crowd of thousands stood applauding. I, myself, have never seen such an exceptional fireworks display.
The next day we went back down to the river’s edge, through the closed streets where the musicians and venders still were positioned. We sat on the concrete stairs and watched an air show with airplanes doing tricks, air force jets thundering by in formation, and countless other flying machines.
If we would have known it was going to be such a monumental experience, we would have booked the hotel for another day and stayed for the entire celebration. There is so much to see and do there during the celebration, we actually didn’t even make it to the fair which was going on just down the concrete pathway.
This year the Fair Saint Louis will be going on from Thursday, July 4 until Saturday, July 6 with free concerts, air shows, and all the fixings to make it a must see event. See the schedule here.
A YouTube video of a fireworks finale can be seen below:
If you have never been to this celebration, it is definitely worth the trip. But if you are not within driving distance and need a hotel room, you better book it early.
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