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Fourth of July Neighborhood Celebrations - Ladue News: Living

Fourth of July Neighborhood Celebrations

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:27 am, Mon Sep 9, 2013.

Food, fun and fireworks will highlight Fourth of July celebrations throughout the St. Louis community. Here, find out the festivities your neighborhood has planned for Independence Day. 

CLAYTON

Clayton residents can beat the heat this Fourth of July with a patriotic celebration at Shaw Park Aquatic Center.

The event promises to be fun for the whole family with pool activities, kids’ games, music, magicians, jugglers and giveaways from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Shaw Park Aquatic Center. “It’s a bigger event this year because it is part of our Centennial Celebration,” notes Patty DeForrest, director of parks and recreation.

Event admission for Clayton residents is $4 for kids and $6 for adults, while those with pool passes can attend free-of-charge. For more information, visit claytonmo.gov.

CHESTERFIELD

This year’s Fourth of July celebration at Chesterfield Mall will be bigger and better as the city celebrates its 25th anniversary, organizers say.

The eighth annual event, which draws about 15,000, will offer food trucks; a kids’ zone with inflatables, clowns and games; live music by nine-piece funk band, Fat Pocket; and a large-scale fireworks show. The main viewing area for the fireworks will be in the parking lot between Macy’s and Dillard’s.

“The event is very much a family-friendly festival atmosphere, and this will have the most activities and food offerings we’ve ever had,” notes Libbey Tucker, community services and economic development director. Tucker adds that the celebration is unique because of its location. “The viewing area is on a higher elevation than where the fireworks are being shot off, so it makes them seem so much closer.” For more information, visit chesterfield.mo.us.

KIRKWOOD

The sounds of Fanfare will open Kirkwood’s Fourth of July Freedom Fireworks celebration at Kirkwood Park, 111 S. Geyer Road. The crowd-pleasing band will play a mix of Motown, rock, pop and more.

Murray Pounds, director of parks and recreation for more than 30 years, says the free event hasn’t changed all that much through the years. “We stay with the tried-and-true tradition.” That method is working for Kirkwood, as a healthy crowd of about 20,000 keep coming year after year. “Back in the days when I was a day camp counselor and we handed out snow cones, we had about the same number of people come out,” Pounds says. “There’s a rich history.”

And it’s truly a family affair, with groups bringing picnic baskets, lawn chairs, blankets and Frisbees for pre-fireworks entertainment.

The patriotic night closes with a crescendo as a 20-minute fireworks display is set off around 9:30 p.m. above the city. For more information, visit kirkwoodmo.org.

LADUE

In Ladue, Warson Terrace neighbors will be marching to the beat of their own drum this Fourth of July. For the past seven years, former St. Louis Symphony keyboardist Barbara Liberman has organized a neighborhood parade and picnic.

Led by the snare drum beats of former symphony percussionist Henry Claude, kids, parents and pets decked out in red, white and blue march through the neighborhood sounding noisemakers, waving American flags and singing patriotic songs such as Yankee Doodle and My Country ’Tis of Thee as neighbors in lawn chairs look on.

Following the parade, everyone meets on Liberman’s backyard deck for games and food, including St. Louis favorites like gooey butter cake and fresh fruit from the farmers market. “It’s an old-time get-together,” Liberman says. ‘There’s a spirit of good will. We’re all Americans no matter our political beliefs, religion or color. I love that kind of togetherness.”

Liberman says the celebration started some 40 years ago by a next-door neighbor, who has since moved away. But today the tradition marches on, 40-neighbors strong. “It just thrills me. I love all this mingling of generations and carrying on of the tradition. And don’t you think memories made together are always the best?”

WEBSTER GROVES

The 61st annual old-fashioned family Fourth of July celebration returns to Webster Groves July 3 to 6.

Opening night gets rolling with the Children’s Pet Parade, where attendees can dress up their animals in patriotic gear and march through downtown. The family favorite event has welcomed dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs in past years, says Mike Oppermann, director of parks and recreation.

The Happy Days Carnival held by the local Lions Club also returns this year with 15 rides and not one—but two—wristband nights, which allow unlimited rides for $25. And at 10 a.m. July 4, more than 100 floats and marchers will be featured in the Show Me Creativity Parade. Additional events include the crowning of Miss Webster, live music and a kids’ cartoon pool party.

And the celebration would not be complete without plenty of fireworks. Breathtaking displays will go off both July 4 and 6 over Moss Field.

During the course of the four-day celebration, some 100,000 revelers will attend, Opperman notes. Activities are free, with the exception of the carnival and barbecue held by the Lions Club. And those proceeds go directly back into the community, Opperman says. “It’s very family-oriented, with a lot of history and tradition,” he adds. “It’s a great chance to celebrate our country.” For more information, visit webstergroves.org.

FAIR SAINT LOUIS

Full of timeless tradition, Fair Saint Louis downtown will again celebrate the Fourth of July with a bang.

‘America’s biggest birthday party’ will kick off downtown with the Freedom 4-Miler at 7 a.m. and the Family Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. Free festivities continue at 9:30 a.m. with the 136th annual Veiled Prophet Parade—themed It’s About Time, featuring more than 130 units with floats, helium balloons, marching bands, beauty queens and more—traveling through a new downtown route, including historic Washington Avenue.

And stick around for special live performances under the Arch from country star Trace Adkins, rocker Bret Michaels and internationally lauded rock group The Counting Crows at 8 p.m. on July 4, 5 and 6, respectively. The annual event also will feature an air show, local bands and kids’ activities. And every night ends with a bang as firework shows close each concert.

The party continues at Soldiers Memorial with Celebrate Saint Louis concerts, featuring country crooner Josh Turner; local alternative rock band, The Urge; rap artist K’naan; and rock group, NeedToBreathe, on July 12, 13, 19 and 20, respectively.

For more information, visit fairsaintlouis.org.

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