Metro-East Living

Metro-east residents have plenty of ways to celebrate Fourth of July

Patriotic music for the Fourth of July

Listen to the sounds of the 31st annual Patriotic Concert at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Belleville.
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Listen to the sounds of the 31st annual Patriotic Concert at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Belleville.

Many metro-east communities are planning Fourth of July celebrations, but two of them — Granite City and Steeleville — will party all weekend long.

Same goes for the City of St. Louis. People from throughout the region will converge on Forest Park for Fair St. Louis, which runs 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

“There’s truly something for everyone to do, ranging from all the kids activities to the great music to the wonderful fireworks shows to the traditional fair food and drink,” said committee chairman Steve Pozaric.

Big-name evening acts include country singer Lee Brice on Saturday, rocker Sammy Hagar and the Circle on Sunday and hip-hop artist Flo Rida on Monday.

Back by popular demand will be the “world’s longest, tallest mobile zip line,” according to Pozaric. New this year is a “human slingshot thrill ride.”

“I will try it,” Pozaric said. “I’m not a thrill-seeker, but I figure I shouldn’t ask other people to do anything that I wouldn’t do. It will be on a hill in one of the parking lots. It will be a view of Forest Park like you’ve never seen before.”

Also new is an outdoor market called The Fairway. The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team will perform Saturday evening. Fireworks are planned each night.

Admission is free to the Fair St. Louis grounds, on and around Art Hill, including most entertainment. It costs $10 to ride the zip line and $30 for the slingshot.

“The wonderful thing about having the fair in Forest Park is there’s so much for people to do during the course of the day,” Pozaric said. “They can also go to the zoo or the art museum.”

The annual Veiled Prophet Parade will march through downtown St. Louis on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Market and Seventh. It will head west on Market to Union Station at 20th.


Steeleville is going all out for Fourth of July this year as residents are celebrating the city’s 150th anniversary, along with America’s independence.

“The beautiful thing about it is, there’s so many things we’re offering to the community for free,” said committee chairman Michael Kuehnie.

So many that organizers had trouble cramming the schedule of activities onto an advertising poster for the celebration.

The theme is “Steeleville through the Decades.” Hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, in addition to special daytime activities.

The biggest day is Monday, when runners will compete in the Firecracker 3-K at 9:30 a.m. before the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade around 10:30 a.m.

“We typically get 10,000 people to come to this small community parade,” Kuehnie said. “The grand marshals are part of the Steele family, who actually established the town.”

Other weekend activities include live music, carnival rides, board games, a dunk tank, patriotic program, bean bag tournament, candy walk, laser tag, bowling, a petting zoo, hula-hoop contest, face painting, covered wagon rides, an arts and crafts show, balloon art and a Nascar simulator.

Re-enactor Dan Barth will portray an old-time salesman passing through town to sell his snake oil and other miracle products.

“His stage is 20 feet long and 15 feet deep,” Kuehnie said. “It looks like a stagecoach. It’s really cool, and we’ll have straw bales out front so people can sit down and enjoy the show.”

Food and drink will be available for purchase, but Friday night is Family Night with gospel music and no alcohol. A Firecracker Rumble will take place on Saturday.

“We have 19 stops throughout the region (Illinois and Missouri), mostly at American Legion halls and VFWs and bars and grills,” Kuehnie said. “It’s kind of like a poker run.”

A Wooden Bat Classic baseball tournament will run all weekend. Festivities end with fireworks Monday night (Tuesday if rain).

Granite City

Patriots in the Park will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and 1 to 11 p.m. Friday through Monday at Wilson Park, 2900 Benton St. in Granite City. Activities include bluegrass, gospel and other live music; carnival rides, a softball tournament, car show and parachute demonstration. The weekend ends with fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Monday at Coolidge Middle School.


Fourth of July Dam Jam will kick off at noon Saturday at Carlyle Lake’s Dam West Recreation Area. Activities include live music, a volleyball tournament, sand-castle-building contest, vendors and games. Bring coolers, lawn chairs and blankets, if desired. Watch fireworks at dusk from shore or boat.


Caseyville Independence Day Picnic will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday at Caseyville Park, 40 W. Reynolds St. in Caseyville. Music, food, novelties and contests. Fireworks after 9 p.m. (rain date Sunday).


Edwardsville’s Independence Day Celebration​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ will start at 5 p.m. Saturday with a patriotic ceremony at American Legion Post 199. Followed by music from Edwardsville Municipal Band at 5:30 p.m. and the Skylark Brothers with Jack Twesten at 6:30 p.m. Games, food and drink. Fireworks at sundown. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, if desired.


St. Michael’s Catholic Church Picnic and Paderborn Homecoming is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at 4576 Buss Branch Road in Paderborn (Waterloo) with an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner, raffle and hand-stitched quilt. Mass at 3:30 and 5 p.m. Cash bingo at 6 p.m.


Blast Off Parade and Fireworks invites everyone to join the parade at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the American Legion Hall, 600 N. Bertha St. in Albers (line up at 6). Decorated cars, bikes, golf carts, wagons and strollers. Followed by fireworks at dusk at Jaycee Park Pavilion.


Fireworks on the Mississippi will kick off at 5 p.m. Sunday at Alton Riverfront Park on Landmarks Boulevard in Alton. Music by Hudson and the Hoo Doo Cats. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Free admission. VIP tickets available for $25 for access to a private concession stand and bathrooms and convenient parking.


Millstadt Community Choir’s Patriotic Concert will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at Zion Evangelical Church, 117 W. White St. in Millstadt. They will salute Millstadt VFW Post 7980, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary; as well as the USO, celebrating its 75th anniversary. Music will include popular tunes from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War.


Alhambra’s Fireworks Show will begin at dusk Monday in Alhambra Park, 610 Park Drive in Alhambra.


Columbia’s Independence Day Celebration will start with breakfast at 9 a.m. Monday at American Legion Memorial Park, 375 E. Locust St. in Columbia. Washers and Kloeppers tournaments and bingo. Fourth of July Bike Parade with kids riding decorated bikes at 10 a.m. Fish and beer stands open at 11 a.m. Fireworks at dusk.


Dupo Picnic in the Park will kick off at noon Monday at Dupo Community Park, 900 Bluffview Elementary Drive in Dupo. Free rides from 2 to 5 p.m. Games from 4 to 7 p.m. Music from noon to 4 p.m. by 9 Toe Johnny and 5 to 9 p.m. by the Main Street Event Band. Washer tournament at 4 p.m. Patriotic ceremony at 4:45 p.m. Fireworks at dusk.


Godfrey Family Fun Fest will take place from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday in Glazebrook Park, 1401 Stamper Lane in Godfrey. Vendors, inflatables, a climbing wall, zip line, cow train, games, arts and crafts and food and drink. Fireworks about 9:15 p.m.


Highland’s Fourth of July celebration will run from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday at Glik Park. Family fun includes music and inflatables. Fireworks at dusk. No coolers. Food and drink available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, if desired.


Kaskaskia’s Liberty Bell of the West celebration will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial, along the Mississippi River. Remarks by Waterloo mayor, tolling of church bells, music by Chester Municipal Band, rifle volley by Fort de Chartres interpreters, plate lunches and other food available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs, if desired.


Mascoutah’s Old-Fashioned July 4 Celebration is from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday at Scheve Park, Sixth and Harnett streets. Carnival rides, craft booths, softball and kickball tournaments, kids games, food and drink. Music by The Davis Brothers Band from 4 to 6 p.m. and USAF Band of MidAmerica from 7 to 9 p.m. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.


A Fourth of July Dance will take place from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Monday at Okawville Community Club Exhibition Hall, 511 S. Hanover St. in Okawville with music by Heritage. Admission is $5. Beer and soda, sandwiches and German potato salad available for purchase starting at 1 p.m.


Troy’s Fireworks Show will fill the sky from 9:15 to 10 p.m. Monday at Tri Township Park, 409 Collinsville Road in Troy. People are encouraged to arrive early with lawn chairs and blankets to get a good spot.