To help keep Fair Saint Louis a fun and safe experience for all, and to avoid delays entering the Fairgrounds, please review the following lists of permissible and prohibited items.
Fair Saint Louis reserves the right to deny entry or remove anyone from the Fair in violation of these policies.
1. Why has Fair Saint Louis returned to Forest Park?
For the past two years, Forest Park has been a fantastic venue for Fair Saint Louis during the renovations to the Gateway Arch grounds, and we welcome the opportunity to return to one of St. Louis’ most treasured gems, which was recently named the “Best City Park” in the nation by USA TODAY, for a third year. Hosting Fair Saint Louis in beautiful Forest Park—the site of the 1904 World’s Fair—provides a unique opportunity for people to experience this urban oasis in a special way. We’re proud to deliver an impressive lineup of musical entertainment, and a host of fun and exciting, family-friendly activities for fairgoers of all ages.
2. Will the Fair return to the Arch grounds in the future?
We are currently focused on making this year’s Fair in Forest Park an unforgettable experience for everyone. Although we are very excited about the renovations currently underway at the Gateway Arch grounds, the location for future Fairs has not been determined.
3. What can fairgoers expect at Fair Saint Louis 2016?
Fair Saint Louis 2016 is shaping up to be another unforgettable experience. St. Louisans and visitors from across the country will enjoy three days of world-class entertainment, with highlights including: concerts headlined by nationally-renowned artists; an interactive Family Festival Zone; The Fairway, a unique, market-style shopping experience; demonstrations by the Lake Saint Louis Water Ski Club; a spectacular fireworks show that will light up the sky each night of the Fair; and much more.
4. Is Fair Saint Louis free?
Yes, Fair Saint Louis is a free event, thanks to the generous support of our many sponsors and partners and the tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers, allowing the general public to safely enjoy all of the exceptional entertainment we offer as part of America’s Biggest Birthday Party.
5. Where can I find out more information about this year’s Fair?
Fairgoers are encouraged to check www.fairsaintlouis.org, and the Fair’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/fairsaintlouis), Twitter and Instagram (@fairsaintlouis) pages for more updates and announcements leading up to the event.
6. How many people do you expect to attend the Fair at Forest Park?
While we can’t speculate about specific attendance numbers given the many factors that can impact those from year to year, we anticipate that attendance will be in line with our attendance at Forest Park in 2014 and 2015, where we estimated 250,000-275,000 people attended each year.
7. Will guests be able to bring in their own food and drink?
In keeping with the Fair’s standard, historical practices, fair patrons will not be allowed to bring their own food and beverages inside the designated Fair Saint Louis footprint where entertainment and activities will be staged. One of the great Fair traditions is the variety of food and beverage vendors who travel from all over the country to participate in America’s Biggest Birthday Party. The Fair will once again feature traditional favorites, including a variety of food and beverages, and, of course, ice-cold Budweiser, the sale of which will benefit local 501c3 charitable organizations. The rest of the park grounds outside the Fair footprint will be open as usual, and visitors will be subject to Forest Park’s established rules.
8. What else can/can’t fairgoers bring into the Fair?
Fairgoers can bring blankets; umbrellas (small, handheld style); baby strollers and wagons; baby diaper bags; portable/collapsible chairs; regular-sized bags; one factory sealed water bottle up to 1 liter; empty plastic water bottle; binoculars; pocket-sized/still camera equipment; and service animals into the Fairgrounds. All items are subject to inspection.
Fairgoers cannot bring the following items into the fair: alcoholic beverages; glass, metal or unsealed containers over 1 liter; coolers of any kind; outside food; large containers; weapons of any kind; explosives; illegal substances of any kind; pets; bicycles, skateboards, scooters, or personalized motor vehicles of any kind; fireworks; professional recording and/or photography equipment (Fair Saint Louis defines professional lens cameras as a digital SLR with a detachable lens); selfie sticks; signs and/or banners.
9. What programming can guests expect?
We’ll have something for everyone. The Fair will host fabulous entertainers each of the three nights on the Budweiser Stage and the Edward Jones/Enterprise Fireworks, along with many returning Fair traditions. Additionally, the 2016 Fair will again feature exciting programming elements, such as the Lake St. Louis Water Ski Club; the world’s longest, tallest, MOBILE zip line; the interactive STEAM exhibit; the Ameren/Purina Family Festival Zone; and The Fairway, a unique, marketplace-style shopping experience.
We’re excited to partner once again with SCOPE, which stands for Science and Citizens Organized for Purpose and Exploration. SCOPE is a non-profit, grassroots organization that connects parents, students and adults to resources in all areas of science and technology, from at-home activities and camps, to scholarships, internships, jobs and careers.
Many are familiar with STEM initiatives, which focus on science, technology, engineering and math. We’re taking that one step further with SCOPE’s STEAM exhibit at Fair Saint Louis. STEM plus the arts brings the creativity that drives innovation. The STEAM area will have tables filled with loads of hands-on activities that will excite, inspire and engage both kids and adults. The goal is to bring fairgoers fun experiences with education to business exhibitors, which provide active ways to participate in science and technology during and after the Fair.
SCOPE coordinates schools and universities, institutions devoted to arts and sciences, leading employers, military partners and exciting start-ups to bring STEAM to life at Fair Saint Louis for a purposeful experience. We think it’s going to be a huge hit from an entertainment standpoint. We also hope it sparks interest among fairgoers to consider a STEM career path. From 2012 to 2022, STEM jobs in St. Louis are expected to grow by more than 12 percent, and we’re thrilled that Fair Saint Louis can help to connect young St. Louisans to those future opportunities.
It’s actually a fitting exhibit to add to our line up as Fair Saint Louis returns to Forest Park, which in 1904 played host to the World’s Fair—an expo for innovation. We think it’s tremendous that the Fair will again host this spirit as part of our Independence Day celebration.
Another thrilling element that will return to this year’s Fair is the zip line, which will be set up along Lagoon Drive at the base of the Grand Basin. It’s the tallest, longest, MOBILE zip line in the world. For just $10, fairgoers will be able to ride the zip line high over Forest Park and take in the majestic views of the Grand Basin and Art Hill.
The Ameren/Purina Family Festival Zone will have something for kids of all ages. From the rock climbing wall to the making of Uncle Sam hats, there are all kinds of free, interactive activities for all. Exhibitors include: Children’s Hospital, face painting, Juggling Jeff, Pole Position Raceway, Pro Plan Performance Dog Team, Putting Edge, Saint Louis Science Center, St. Louis Football Club and Upper Limits Rock Climbing Gym.
We are proud to introduce The Fairway, a marketplace-style arts and merchandise area, to Fair Saint Louis 2016. It is a unique shopping experience that invites regional artisans and vendors to sell their products to fairgoers.
10. Who are the headliners for this year?
This year we’ll be offering something for everyone with an all-star lineup on the Budweiser Stage featuring iconic rock stars, legendary greats and top county music artists. Performers are as follows: Saturday, July 2: Lee Brice, Bobby Bones And The Raging Idiots, LOCASH, Mo Pitney, Show-Me Country—135th Army Band of the Missouri National Guard Sunday, July 3: Sammy Hagar and The Circle featuring Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson; Eddie Money; Cowboy Mouth; Fire for Effect—135th Army Band of the Missouri National Guard Monday, July 4: Flo Rida, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Here Come The Mummies, Dirty Muggs
11. Will there be any local artists this year?
In addition to bringing national artists to St. Louis, we focus on highlighting outstanding local talent in our community and region, and this year we have two groups from 135th Army Band of the Missouri National Guard—Show Me Country and Fire For Effect—as well as perennial favorites Dirty Muggs as part of our lineup.
12. How can I get VIP passes to the concerts?
VIP passes are only available to sponsors or through various contests with our media partners. Our website, www.fairsaintlouis.org, has information about how individuals and companies can become a sponsor of Fair Saint Louis.
13. Will there be fireworks?
Yes, indeed, and they will again be among the best in the country. We’ll be creating another custom show sponsored by Edward Jones and Enterprise Rent-A-Car that will be tailored to our Forest Park venue.
14. Will any of the entertainment or programming be broadcast or live streamed?
Due to artist restrictions, the musical acts will not be broadcasted or streamed live. The bands will be viewed on the Jumbotron screens during their performances, which will be located on both sides of the Budweiser Stage.
15. Are other venues in Forest Park open during the Fair?
Will the Zoo be open? The Muny? Jewel Box? Boathouse?
We expect most of the venues will remain open for some or all of the time; however, any modifications to business hours of Forest Park institutions will be noted on the appropriate organization’s website when/if a change is made. Additionally, we will have cross links between the Fair and park business websites providing information, as it is determined.
16. When and where is the VP Parade?
The 134th VP Parade returns to its traditional location—Downtown St. Louis—this year and will kick off on Saturday, July 2 at 9:30 a.m. The Parade will begin at 7th and Market streets and march west, ending near Union Station. Serving as Honorary Grand Marshal for 2016 will be the Angel Flight organization.
This year’s theme is “Hats Off to Heroes,” and the Parade will feature a procession of 130 units, including 14 major floats with live musical performances involving more than 300 singers and dancers, giant helium balloons, community groups and military units. The celebration will also feature the 2016 Liberty Drum Challenge, one of the premier high school band competitions in the region with 12 local high school bands competing for $10,000 in cash prizes.
More information about the VP Parade is available at www.vpparade.org or on the downloadable schedule on the events page at www.fairsaintlouis.org.
17. Where will the Schnucks Freedom 4 Miler be held?
This year, the Schnucks Freedom 4 Miler, in conjunction with the St. Louis Sports Commission, will start at Ballpark Village in Downtown St. Louis on Saturday, July 2 at 7 a.m. Participants can register for the Freedom 4 Miler online at http://stlsports.org/special-event/2016-freedom-4-miler.
18. Will the Freedom 4 Miler interfere with the VP Parade?
No. The run and cleanup will end with plenty of time before the Parade begins. Participants may enjoy both activities.
19. What are the best ways to get to the Fair,
and where can fairgoers park?
Although car is a viable mode of transportation for fairgoers, MetroLink, biking or walking continue to be great options for getting to and from the Fair. (Specific details on MetroLink route are below.)
20. Where will guests park?
We demonstrated in 2014 and 2015 that, with advance planning, we were able to provide a variety of parking options both inside and in close proximity to the park, and to keep traffic flowing to and from the venue. This year, we will again work closely with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Parks Department, appropriate city agencies, MODOT, Metro/Bi-State Development, Forest Park Forever and neighboring communities to implement a comprehensive parking plan that will provide parking in Forest Park and in surrounding areas. All the details are now available on the transportation page at www.fairsaintlouis.org. We encourage the public to familiarize themselves with the plan and to do their part to help keep traffic flowing.
18. Will the Freedom 4 Miler interfere with the VP Parade?
No. The run and cleanup will end with plenty of time before the Parade begins. Participants may enjoy both activities.
21. How much will it cost to park inside the park this year?
Based on the traffic patterns and demand for parking last year, we’ll be offering parking inside the park this year for $20, which is very consistent with the costs for parking for convenient access to other event venues, such as Busch Stadium or Scottrade Center.
22. Will people be able to park on the streets in Forest Park this year?
No. For safety reasons, there will again be no on-street public parking in Forest Park during Fair Saint Louis.
23. Are the any specific details related to parking and
traffic management that you can share at this time?
As always, safety is our first priority and convenience is our second. For the past two years, we’ve demonstrated that if people take advantage of the information on the website, they will find we have plenty of ways to get to the park, including walking, cycling and mass transit, and we will have more than enough parking for people who want to drive. Fairgoers can expect another unforgettable experience at America’s Biggest Birthday Party.
The plan, detailed at www.fairsaintlouis.org, provides specific recommended driving routes to be used to access the Fair from all different parts of the St. Louis region, in an easy-to-understand and ready-to-print format. While fairgoers are again encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation, the plan does include thousands of dedicated parking spots in and near Forest Park, thanks to collaboration with a range of partners, including St. Louis Community College—Forest Park, Washington University, Metro and local lot owners. There will be more than enough spots to accommodate everyone driving in, even if the crowds are in line with last year’s incredible turnout.
Parking costs range from free to $20 per car, depending on proximity to the fairgrounds. Maps for each of the recommended routes for accessing the Fair include the free and fee-based parking that will be accessible along that route. Parking lot attendants and local police will be on-site at the end of each Fair day to direct traffic out of the lots and back to the primary route used to access that parking area.
Based on its popularity last year, MetroLink will again play a key role in transporting fairgoers, and Metro will have additional trains running to accommodate fairgoers. Like last year, Metro is asking fairgoers to access the Fair by using one of two key MetroLink stations – the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and the Skinker Station – both of which are in close proximity to the entrance to the Fair. This will help minimize waiting times and passenger congestion, and help make it as smooth as possible getting people back on the train after the fireworks show ends each night. Blue Line passengers should use the Skinker Station for their arrival and departure; Red Line passengers should use the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station to get to and from the Fair.
All the details are now available on the transportation page at www.fairsaintlouis.org. We encourage the public to familiarize themselves with the plan and to do their part to help keep traffic flowing.
24. What are the topline things I need to know about
transportation and parking this year?
25. There are several road improvement or construction projects
underway around the Park this summer (Loop Trolley and others).
Are those impacting the transportation plan for this year?
We’re aware of the projects underway near the park and have factored those into our planning. We demonstrated in 2014 and 2015 that, with advance planning, we were able to provide a variety of parking options both inside and in close proximity to the park, and keep traffic flowing to and from the venue. We will continue to work with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Parks Department, and appropriate agencies such as MODOT, Metro/Bi-State Development, Forest Park and neighboring communities to implement our tested, comprehensive transportation plan, utilizing the various ways in and out of Forest Park. All the details are now available on the transportation page here. We encourage the public to familiarize themselves with the plan and to do their part to help keep traffic flowing.
26. How are you accommodating handicapped fairgoers this year?
We have made convenient, accessible parking available for Fair Saint Louis 2016. Paid disabled parking is available in the St. Louis Zoo’s North Lot, where spots are $20. The free, disabled parking lot will again be located on Washington University’s campus on Forsyth Blvd.
A fee-based golf cart shuttle service will be available within Forest Park for fairgoers who need a little help getting to the fairgrounds once they have arrived at the Park. While it will be available to all fairgoers, priority will be given to the elderly or people with disabilities. Pricing is $5 per person per trip; children under 12 are free with their parents. Service will only be available until 11 p.m. on each night of the Fair.
27. The secure bicycle valet has been popular. Will that be back in 2016?
Yes, and the locations for the bike valets are shown on the maps on the transportation page here.
28. How do you plan to accommodate motorcycle drivers’
needs for parking this year?
For safety purposes, motorcycles are in same category as cars and trucks and will be accommodated in the same way.
29. We saw a bunch of golf carts flying around the Fairgrounds
last summer. Will I be able to drive my golf cart to the event this year?
The City of St. Louis prohibits the use of private golf carts within all City Parks. This rule will be strictly enforced during Fair Saint Louis.
30. What protocols are being enacted to ensure fairgoers a safe Fair experience?
Hosting a safe event for our fairgoers is the first priority of Fair Saint Louis. The Fair team is working closely with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis Fire Department, Forest Park personnel, and private security teams to ensure we have the appropriate levels of security for our fairgoers throughout the duration of Fair Saint Louis.
31. Will the Fair have a secure perimeter and security checkpoints at each entrance?
Yes. Hosting a safe Fair is our first priority. The Fair footprint will cover a designated area centered around Art Hill, and several safety checkpoints will be stationed at each entrance. We worked with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Park officials and other partners on the number of entrances and security checkpoints.
32. What about security in the Park at night?
Wherever the location, hosting a safe Fair is always the first priority. The Fair team is working closely with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Park personnel, and private security teams to ensure safety remains its first priority.
33. What is the plan for bad weather?
The Fair team is actively working with public emergency personnel and Park officials to ensure our inclement weather plan remains valid for this year.