As its longtime devotees well know, Fair Saint Louis inevitably weathers whatever storms come its way, and this year, the figurative storm of COVID-19 has replaced the event’s customary literal storm, forcing a major change of plans.
Because of coronaviral concerns, the usual gala on downtown St. Louis’ riverfront, in the National Park Service’s Gateway Arch National Park, will bow to Fair Saint Louis @Home, according to a June 16 news release from its organizers. This virtual Independence Day bash will stream on July 4 starting at 10 a.m.
“Every year since 1981, we’ve provided the St. Louis community a Fourth of July celebration,” the release quotes David Estes, the event’s general chairman, as saying. “Despite not being able to be with you at the Gateway Arch this year, we are committed to celebrating our city and the people who make it great.”
Performing in the virtual version of “America’s Biggest Birthday Party” (the celebration’s nickname) will be such metro area musical phenoms as hip-hop artist Chingy, blues act Little Dylan and country crooners Alexandra Kay and Jordan Suter, as well as past fair faves Jake’s Leg and Juggling Jeff.
The release also promises “surprise celebrity appearances, entertainment by Fair Saint Louis’ favorite variety acts, a salute to our service members and essential workers, and much more.”
Otherwise, the release urges fair fans to take part in a photography contest. “Ahead of the virtual celebration on July 4,” it states, “share your favorite Fair Saint Louis memories for a chance to be featured in the @Home program and enter to win an incredible prize.”
The release lists such potential winnings as a 2021 Fair Saint Louis VIP experience, a room at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark throughout next year’s fair, and VIP experiences at Anheuser-Busch, with the St. Louis Cardinals and/or at Purina Farms.
Contest entrants should upload photos of past fairs to the usual social media platforms using the hashtag #fairstlmemories. Submissions to the contest, which allows multiple entries, must take place by June 22 at 11:59 p.m., according to the release.
Beyond the fair’s website and Facebook page, those seeking further information on this year’s virtual fun should consult Twitter (@FairSaintLouis) and Instagram (@fairsaintlouis).
The 501(c)3 Fair Saint Louis Foundation, which stages the gala annually, has previously donated numerous gifts to the municipality in conjunction with the event. In the release, the foundation expresses gratitude to “its many partners and sponsors,” among them presenting partner Enterprise, as well as Edward Jones and Purina.
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