This year, celebrating our independence means fewer restrictions.
Last year, the pandemic had more of us staying home, grilling with small groups in our yards and dodging bottle rocket debris from the neighbor鈥檚 amateur fireworks display.
Nobody paraded on Market Street downtown or through Webster Groves, Bridgeton or St. Charles, but maybe you watched a virtual parade online or drove past decorated homes in a 鈥渞everse parade.鈥?/p>
If you were able to find a professional fireworks display, you may have been asked to watch it from your car or a cordoned-off pod.
Dr. Nicole Fulcher, Assistant Director of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America (AMCMA), explains some techniques that pet owners can employ to keep their pets safe and calm during fireworks and severe weather events. Production by Michael J. Collins
Michael J Collins
Sounds strange and not very freedomy already, doesn鈥檛 it?
For the most part, traditional celebrations return this year.
The usual trappings of Fair St. Louis will not go on, but organizers will present a fireworks display at the riverfront. Granite City鈥檚 multiday Patriots in the Park Festival is also off, but the city will provide a fireworks display. America鈥檚 Birthday Parade downtown is back, as well as parades in Webster Groves, Bridgeton and St. Charles. Ellisville brings back its fireworks display in Bluebird Park, but it’s limiting parking passes to Ellisville residents and doing away with the traditional vendors and inflatables for kids. And the festival at the Tri-Township Park in Troy, Illinois, includes a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s not to take this type of freedom for granted. Here are some organized options for the Fourth of July weekend. Check STLtoday.com for updates on weather-related cancellations and other changes.
Spectators watch fireworks July 3, 2018, over the Clark Bridge in Alton.聽
Photo by Laurie Skrivan, Post-Dispatch
When 9:30-11 p.m. July 3 ? Where Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, 1 Riverfront Drive, Alton ? More info riversandroutes.com/event/alton-fireworks-spectacular/4115/
Enjoy live entertainment from the Alton Symphony and the Air Force Band before the fireworks.
When 10 a.m. July 3 ? Where Starts at Kiener Plaza, travels west along Market Street toward Union Station ? More info americasbirthdayparade.com
The theme for the 138th annual parade is 鈥淎merica the Beautiful.鈥?Archibald 鈥淎rchie鈥?the Eagle, named after the Gateway Arch, will make his debut.
When Parade at 1 p.m. July 4, celebration at 6 p.m. ? Where Steps off in St. Gerard subdivision, travels west on Natural Bridge Road, ends in Target parking lot; evening celebration at Bridgeton Athletic Complex, 4201 Fee Fee Road, Bridgeton ? More info bridgetonmo.com/484/4th-of-July-Celebration
The theme for Bridgeton’s parade is 鈥淭he Best of Bridgeton,鈥?featuring Fredbird as its mascot. End the evening with a celebration and fireworks display.
When 7-11 p.m. July 4 ? Where City Museum, 750 North 16th Street ? How much $50, 21 and up ? More info facebook.com/citymuseum
While you won鈥檛 have a clear view of the fireworks display at the Gateway Arch, the City Museums rooftop will provide a 360-degree view of fireworks all around the city. A ticket includes two drinks, a hot dog and chips, house and techno beats by SAYLOR, roaming artist performances, and access to rooftop attractions such as slides, climbers and the Ferris wheel.
When 6:30 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. July 4 ? Where Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, 17925 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield ? More info chesterfield.mo.us/4th-of-july.html
Enjoy live entertainment, a kids zone with Circus Kaput and food trucks. Lawn chairs, blankets, outside food and beverages are allowed, but no glass or tobacco products. Groovethang performs 7-9 p.m.聽
When Bike parade 10 a.m.-noon July 4, celebration at 11 a.m., fireworks at dusk ? Where Parade starts at the grass lot at Cafe on the Abbey and ends at Metter Park; celebration at American Legion Park, 375 East Locust Street, Columbia, Illinois ? More info columbiaillinois.com
Watch the little ones (12 and under) ride in the bike parade, and spend the day and evening at American Legion Park for a celebration, which includes a kids barbecue competition, a washers tournament, bingo, food and music by Brian McKelvey (5:30-8:30 p.m.). No cans, bottles, coolers, outside food or dogs are allowed.
When 2-8:30 p.m. July 3, fireworks to follow ? Where Edwardsville American Legion Post #199, 58 South State Route 157, Edwardsville ? More info facebook.com/post199
The Scott Air Force Base band Starlifter performs 2-5 p.m., as well as the Edwardsville Municipal Band later in the evening, with fireworks to follow. Pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, beverages, adult slushies and snow cones will be available. No coolers or pets are allowed on the grounds.
When Festival at 7 p.m. July 4, fireworks at 9:15 p.m. ? Where Bluebird Park, 225 Kiefer Creek Road, Ellisville ? More info ellisville.mo.us/247/Independence-Day-Festivities
Griffin and the Gargoyles will play at this scaled-down festival, which will feature no inflatables, shuttle buses or food vendors. Food and drinks are allowed, but no glass or pets. Parking passes are limited to Ellisville residents.
Fireworks explode July 4, 2018, over the Mississippi River in front of the Gateway Arch downtown.
Photo by David Carson, Post-Dispatch
When 9:45 p.m. July 4 ? Where Gateway Arch National Park ? More info fairsaintlouis.org
This is a fireworks-only affair, without the usual concerts, vendors and activities of Fair St. Louis. But the fireworks display will be the largest ever produced by Fair St. Louis organizers, with a patriotic score broadcast on iHeartRadio鈥檚 local stations.
When 5 p.m. July 4, fireworks at 9:15 p.m. ? Where Glazebrook Park, 1401 Stamper Lane, Godfrey ? More info godfreyil.org
Enjoy vendors and activities in the park before the fireworks.聽
When Fireworks at sundown July 2 ? Where Lighthouse Park, Grafton ? More info riversandroutes.com
Arrive early for entertainment and food specials at local businesses, and watch the fireworks display at sundown.
When Fireworks at dusk July 4 ? Where Coolidge Junior High, 3231 Nameoki Road, Granite City ? More info granitecity.illinois.gov
The usual Patriots in the Park celebration won’t happen this year, but Granite City will put on a fireworks display. Visitors can bring beverages, but no glass, alcohol or tobacco is allowed.聽
When Dusk July 4 ? Where Glik Park, 12525 Sportsman Road, Highland ? More info highlandil.gov
No vendors or inflatables this year, but families are welcome to bring their own food and drinks and watch the fireworks display from Glik Park.
When Gates open at 5 p.m. July 2, concert at 7 p.m., fireworks to follow ? Where Jefferson Barracks Park, 345 North Road ? More info 314-615-4386; stlouiscountymo.gov/st-louis-county-departments/parks
Sweetie and the Toothaches will play at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater before a fireworks display. Food will be available for purchase.
When 7 p.m. July 4, fireworks at dusk (rain date is July 5) ? Where Kirkwood Park, 111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood ? More info kirkwoodmo.org
Enjoy music by Fanfare at 7 p.m. before the fireworks display. Food trucks will be available.
When 6-10 p.m. July 4 ? Where Laclede’s Landing ? How much $20 ? More info thelanding.ticketspice.com/4th-of-july-firework-watch-party
Wildfire Trio, Arvell & Cheri and聽Bullseye Womprats will play at this ticketed street party, where guests can enjoy food and drinks and a riverfront view of the fireworks at 9:40 p.m. Unvaccinated attendees must wear a mask.
When Concert at 6 p.m. July 4, fireworks to follow ? Where Schroeder Park, 359 Old Meramec Station Road, Manchester ? More info manchestermo.gov
Butch Wax and the Hollywoods will perform, and concessions will be available before the fireworks display. Complimentary drinks and hot dogs will be available for veterans. The Flags of Valor, honoring American service members who have died in the war on terror since 9/11, will be on display.
When 4-10 p.m. July 2, noon-11 p.m. July 3 (parade at 9:30 a.m., fireworks at 10:15 p.m.), 4-11 p.m. July 4 (fireworks at 10:15 p.m.) ? Where Ozzie Smith Sports Complex, 900 T.R. Hughes Boulevard, O’Fallon, Missouri ? More info heritageandfreedomfest.com
This three-day festival includes a carnival and midway, live music, performances by the XPogo stunt team and a national tour of 34 鈥淭ribute Towers鈥?honoring the fallen after 9/11. A parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. July 3. Live performances include the 135th Army Band, Jordan Suter, Jared Hovis, Alexandra Kay, Dylan Scott, Dazed n Confused STL, Hounds, Apex Shrine and Styx.
When 11 a.m.-10 p.m. July 4 ? Where Riverboats at the Gateway Arch, 50 South Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard ? More info gatewayarch.com/experience/riverboat-cruises/dockside-events
Riverboats at the Gateway Arch offers patriotic programming this weekend, with cruises and a dockside party. Grab lunch or dinner at the Paddlewheel Cafe, which is featuring a New Orleans-style crawfish boil, catfish nuggets, shrimp po’boys and other food and drink specials. iLLPHONiCS and the Amanda Fish Band will perform. In addition to riverfront cruises throughout the day, a special Fireworks Cruise (7:30-9:30 p.m.; reservations required) will feature dinner, a Dixieland band and a cash bar.
When 5-10 p.m. July 2, noon-10 p.m. July 3 (parade is 10 a.m.-noon), noon-10 July 4 (fireworks at 9:20 p.m.) ? Where St. Charles riverfront, 222 South Riverside Drive, St. Charles ? More info discoverstcharles.com/event/st-charles-riverfest/1204/
This three-day celebration includes a carnival, craft and food vendors, fireworks, and live music by FatPocket, the Big Rigs, Every Little Thing, SuperJam, Big Love, Naked Karate Girls, Pennsylvania Slim, Rogers & Nienhaus, Steve Ewing Band and the St. Charles Municipal Band.
When July 1-5 ? Where St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market Street ? More info stlouisunionstation.com
The ending point for America鈥檚 Birthday Parade on July 3 will feature special events all weekend, including a beverage tasting and concert by Javier Mendoza presents Hobo Cane (July 1), a concert by Dr. Zhivegas (July 2) and a petting zoo (July 2-5). The St. Louis Aquarium is open for extended hours July 3-4.
When Fireworks at 9:05 p.m. July 3-4 ? Where Six Flags St. Louis, 4900 Six Flags Road, Eureka ? How much Ticket prices vary ? More info 636-938-5300; sixflags.com/stlouis
Six Flags St. Louis partners with Coca-Cola to present Coca-Cola July 4th fest. Guests can use the promo code COKE to save up to 50% on admission fees all summer. The park’s 50th-anniversary celebration continues through July 24.
When 3 p.m.-dusk July 4 ? Where Tri-Township Park, 410 Wickliffe Street, Troy, Illinois ? More info facebook.com/tritownshipparkdistrict
Enjoy vendors, food, a COVID-19 vaccination clinic and music by Burnin Bridges before the fireworks display.
When 6 p.m. July 4, fireworks at dusk ? Where Lincoln County Fairgrounds, 1 Fairgrounds Road, Troy, Missouri ? More info facebook.com/rotarytroy
Food is available for purchase at this annual event sponsored by Troy Rotary. KYRO (1280 AM/105.3 FM) will broadcast music during the fireworks display.
Fireworks burst overhead July 3, 2018, at the Community Days festival in Webster Groves.
When Lion’s Club Carnival and Barbecue July 1-4, parade at 10 a.m. July 3, fireworks at 9:30 p.m. July 4 ? Where Carnival at Eden Seminary, 475 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; fireworks at Memorial Park, 33 East Glendale Road, Webster Groves ? More info webstergroves.org/194/Community-Days
Enjoy the Lion鈥檚 Club and Barbecue in a new location at Eden Seminary before watching a fireworks display July 4 from Memorial Park. The parade also returns July 3.
With the economy slowly recovering from COVID-19 and an ongoing labor shortage, St. Louis-area fireworks dealers are finding it difficult to maintain their usual intake of products as international shipping struggles to keep up with demand. Jim Meyer, owner of Captain Jim’s Fireworks, outlines the situation and what consumers should do to make sure they’re prepared for July Fourth celebrations.聽