Fair St. Louis' Return to Riverfront Called a Success

General Chairman cites larger crowds, positive reviews.

Brian Kelly
July 10, 2018 - 12:35 pm
Fireworks illuminate the Gateway Arch during the last night of Fair St. Louis in St. Louis on July 7, 2018.

Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The head of Fair St. Louis is calling the event's move back to the Gateway Arch a success.

Based on sales and revenue that are still being added up, 2018 Fair General Chairman James Boldt says it's now estimated that over 300,000 people attended the three-day event. That's about 50,000 more than attended last year, the fair's fourth year in Forest Park.

"For the most part, people were really happy that we brought it back down here," Boldt says. "I think the newness and the special nature of this 4th of July celebration on the Arch grounds drew some more people than we might expect at Forest Park."

The fair was held at Forest Park while the Arch grounds were being renovated. 

Boldt says based on the feedback he's heard, including on social media, fairgoers enjoyed what the event had to offer.

"People were happy with the air show. We had a good mix, a good variety of entertainers and talent this year. There was plenty to offer for kids and adults and families up on the Arch grounds and down on Lenore K Sullivan."

The move back downtown did present some challenges, but Boldt says it was helpful to have a day off between the 4th, which was on a Wednesday, and the weekend.

"There was a little bit of a learning curve both for us and the National Park Service, but we had a pretty good plan in place. We did some tweeking after the 4th of July and readjusted just a few little things, but I think the Arch grounds and the surrounding city area worked out really, really well." 

The heat caused some issues for fairgoers on the 4th, when real feel temperatures topped 100 degrees. Boldt says he heard of a few having to be taken to hospitals.

He says crime was not an issue on the fairgounds.

Organizers will now being reviewing this year's fair and planning for 2019. Boldt says he'll recommend to new General Chairman David Estes to continue to upgrade the experience.

"Think outside of the box. Do something creative. Do somethng fun ... and make the fireworks shows bigger, which is what everyone wants to do anyway." 

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