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Fair Saint Louis Returns to Art Hill in Iconic Forest Park for 2015 Celebration
"Forest Park was the natural location choice for the 2015 festivities as work continues on the Gateway Arch Grounds," stated Steve Pozaric, General Chairman of Fair Saint Louis 2015.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), September 18, 2014 - As plans for Fair Saint Louis 2015 begin to take shape, representatives of the Fair Saint Louis Foundation and the City of St. Louis gathered at The Muny to announce that America's Biggest Birthday Party will return to Art Hill in iconic Forest Park for a second year in 2015.
The 35th annual Fair St. Louis will take place Thursday, July 2 thru Saturday July 4, as the sweeping expanse of Art Hill again welcomes thousands of fairgoers for a three-day celebration.
Last year's Fair Saint Louis marked the first time in more than 30 years that the festivities were held at a venue other than the Gateway Arch Grounds, as work underway on the transformation of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial forced Fair organizers to find an alternate location. The decision to stage the event in Forest Park proved to be a smart one, with an estimated 250,000 people gathering for what lived up to its billing as a Fair Like Never Before.
"Having surpassed all of our expectations during 2014 and having received rave reviews from attendees and nearby neighbors, Forest Park was the natural location choice for the 2015 festivities as work continues on the Gateway Arch Grounds," stated Steve Pozaric, General Chairman of Fair Saint Louis 2015. As the Fair's new General Chairman, Pozaric, a partner in Armstrong Teasdale's Corporate Services Practice Group, succeeds Bob Ciapciak, partner at Edward Jones, who served as General Chairman for Fair Saint Louis 2014 and takes the mantel as Chairman of the Fair St. Louis Foundation in January 2015.
"The success of Fair Saint Louis 2014 was a direct result of the tireless efforts of our leadership team and more than 600 volunteers, who worked hand-in-hand with our wonderful partners at the City of St. Louis and Forest Park Forever," noted Ciapciak. "The event truly demonstrated the spirit of civic collaboration that sets our city apart."
The many entities collaborating this past year included the City of St. Louis, Forest Park Forever, the St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, the St. Louis Streets Department, the St. Louis Police Department and the St. Louis Fire Department. Thanks to the Fair's Transportation Partners including Metro and MoDOT - a variety of transportation options were made available.
The comprehensive transportation plan put in place made access to the Fair easy, and the park and traffic cleared quickly each night. Having clearly demonstrated that getting to and from the Fair was a breeze this past summer, and that ample parking options are available in and around the park, Fair organizers are prepared to welcome even greater crowds in 2015.
"Thanks to our terrific sponsors - including Anheuser-Busch, Edward Jones, Enterprise Holdings, Purina, Mercy, Ameren, Emerson, Maritz and many more - Fair St. Louis 2014 was able to offer an outstanding concert lineup and a host of other entertainment options," added Pozaric. "As we shift into high gear with the planning efforts for 2015, we look forward to the continued support of former and new sponsors as we work together to deliver another world-class event and continue the longstanding traditions Fair Saint Louis is known for - including the Veiled Prophet Parade and one of the biggest fireworks displays in America.
While the entertainment lineup for 2015 is still under development, Fair organizers confirmed that an air show will not be a part of the plans when Fair Saint Louis returns to Forest Park next year.
Noting the significant planning, resources and logistical effort required to deliver an airshow of the caliber fairgoers expect, Fair organizers noted that they intend to instead focus efforts and financial resources on delivering another outstanding entertainment lineup and on other operational modifications to continue to improve the event in this unique location.
Forest Park Is the 'Crown Jewel' of St. Louis
The newly renovated fountain on Government Hill beneath the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.
In 1876, Forest Park was created from 1,371 acres of land west of downtown St. Louis. By the 1890s, the public park was widely used for recreation with bicycle paths, baseball diamonds and lawn tennis courts. An expanded lake provided parkgoers with an opportunity for boating in the summer and skating in the winter. Funds were raised to develop the St. Louis Zoo by the Forest Park Zoological Association.
The western half of the metropolitan park was used as the site for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. Today, the Saint Louis Art Museum occupies one of the few remaining structures built for the Fair. The Missouri Historical Society is comprised of the new Emerson Electric Center and the Jefferson Memorial Building. The building was the first memorial built to honor Thomas Jefferson and was funded with proceeds from the 1904 Fair.
A natural amphitheater near Art Hill was developed as The Muny in 1917 with proceeds from a theatrical production called the Pageant and Masque which was performed on a stage built over part of the Grand Basin.
In 1936, an Art Deco-style Conservatory opened in Forest Park. The Jewel Box is surrounded by rose gardens, lily ponds, statuary and monuments and houses seasonal displays.
The site of a razed Mounted Police Station became space for the McDonnell Planetarium which was completed in 1963. In 1984, the city sold the Planetarium to the Museum of Science and Natural History. The building, renamed the St. Louis Science Center, is connected by a highway overpass and tunnel to its new headquarters, south of Forest Park.
Private donors to Forest Park Forever paid for the $1.1 million restoration of the World's Fair Pavilion. The current renovation is the first of three scheduled phases of Forest Park Master Plan. Forest Park is used by more than 13 million visitors a year. Forest Park Forever was founded in 1986 to work in partnership with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry to rehabilitate and maintain the Forest Park as the "Crown Jewel" of the metropolitan area.
The annual Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and the Great Forest Park Balloon Race is held on Central Field, located just north of the Jewel Box. The Concours d'Elegance and Easter Car Show is held on the Muny upper parking lot.
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