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Fair St. Louis Officials Still Planning For Riverfront Event, Flooding To Recede

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
The Mississippi River crested this weekend at St. Louis, covering the riverfront and some of the Gateway Arch steps in water. Organizers of Fair St. Louis say they anticipate the floodwaters receding enough by July 4 to hold the event.

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.

Fair St. Louis General Chairman David Estes said organizers are getting daily hydrology updates, and the outlook for the weeks leading up to the event is promising.

“There will be a Fair St. Louis on July Fourth, fifth and sixth, and we’re very optimistic that our plans that we created a year ago will be in full effect,” Estes said.

Related: As Floodwaters Remain High, Many In St. Louis Wonder If They’ll Reach Flood Of ’93 Levels

The fair does have a contingency plan in place. Committee members are communicating daily about an alternative plan in case the site is still flooded when the fair begins, Estes said. However, he would not provide any additional details about these plans, including possible alternative sites.

Estes did say the scheduled air show, concerts and fireworks will be part of the event wherever it is held.

“We’re very encouraged by the reports that we’re getting for later this month and in the first part of July, so it’s full steam ahead for our event,” Estes said.

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