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Fair Saint Louis in Forest Park
In a press conference, Thursday morning, May 28, at The Boathouse in Forest Park, Jim Hetlage, vice grand marshall of the VP Parade, announced details for the parade, July 4th, themed "Saturday in the Park" featuring the "I Do, I Do, I Do" wedding float, and new events including Parade Town entertainment, Yoga Experience, Volleyball Tournament and a model boat regatta.

Fair Saint Louis in Forest Park
Julia Mize, Vice President Beer Category + Community at Anheuser-Busch, Fair Saint Louis' presenting sponsor, announced the new acts during a press conference this morning at The Boathouse in Forest Park. See Concert Schedule.

133rd Veiled Prophet Parade to Highlight "Saturday in the Park"
by Betty Moore,
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, May 28, 2015 - In a press conference at The Boathouse, 2015 Fair Saint Louis representatives unveiled details on several new and returning programming elements that will take place during the free festival July 2, 3 and 4, which returns to Forest Park for the second year due to construction on the Gateway Arch grounds.

Julia Mize, Vice President Beer Category + Community at Anheuser-Busch, Fair Saint Louis' presenting sponsor, announced that legendary Hip Hop artist MC Lyte, alt-rock group American Authors, R&B trio Tony! Toni! Toné! and up-and-coming singer/songwriter Noah Guthrie have been added to this year's musical entertainment lineup on the Budweiser Main Stage. See Concert Schedule.

Fair Saint Louis 2015 General Chairman Steve Pozaric, highlighted new programming elements recently added to this year's event include stunt shows by professional stunt cyclist Chris Clark. The Wake Challenge watersports show also returns for a second year at Fair Saint Louis and will include standout performances by watersports athletes, including the Lake Saint Louis Waterski Club.

These fun attractions will be complemented by the previously-announced addition of a zip line that will be set up along Lagoon Drive at the base of the Grand Basin, giving thrill-seekers the chance to ride the zip line high over Forest Park and take in majestic views of the Grand Basin and Art Hill.

The Ameren/Purina Family Festival Zone will also make a return to Fair Saint Louis in 2015, offering a host of family friendly, hands-on activities to fairgoers. As previously announced, the Family Festival Zone will feature a new hands-on attraction designed to showcase Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).

In addition to the STEAM exhibit, the Ameren/Purina Family Festival Zone will also feature onsite face painters, craft-making opportunities with representatives from the Magic House, a mini golf hole sponsored by Putting Edge, a 25-foot rock wall from Upperlimits Rock Gym, performances from the Purina Pro Plan Performance team, stilt-walking and juggling by Juggling Jeff, a chance to build an object with race kart parts courtesy of Pole Position Raceway St. Louis and the opportunity for kids to assemble their own first aid kits with representatives of St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Many of the activities associated with the VP Parade, stepping off on Saturday, July 4, at 9:45 a.m, will be centered around The Boathouse. As Jim Hetlage, vice grand marshall of the VP Parade, announced details for the event, groups of families and friends walked past the podium to find a paddleboat for a fun experience on the Post-Dispatch Lake.

"In keeping with the St. Louis Independence Day tradition, the 133rd VP parade will be a highlight of the Fourth of July weekend," stated Hetlage. "This year's theme is "Saturday in the Park", in celebration of historic parks all across the United States, including this crown jewel - the beloved Forest Park."

"The 150-unit parade will begin at the newly designed Upper Muny Parking Lot and will wind its way down through the park passing highlights such as The Muny, The Boathouse and the historic World's Fair Pavilion," he said, turning to point toward the building at the top of Government Hill.

Hetlage noted the parade will feature tv personality and stage performer Barry Williams, as the Honorary Grand Marshall. Floats in the 150-unit lineup include the "Rock 'N Roll" float, the "Rescue Me" float and the "I Do, I Do, I Do" wedding float with an actual wedding ceremony. Parade goers can enjoy huge helium balloons and more than 300 performers on 13 floats, along with 14 marching bands coming from Missouri, Illinois and Minnesota.

During July 4th weekend, the Parade Town entertainment venue at The Boathouse will be the center of family activities with the Athleta Yoga Experience at the nearby World's Fair Pavilion, the "Stars and Spikes" Volleyball Tournament on the grass courts and a model boat regatta, hosted by the St. Louis Admirals R/C Model Boat Club.

"The VP Parade is an enduring July 4 tradition in St. Louis," stated Hetlage enthusiastically. "Year after year, it's easy to why, as we pull out all the stops to keep each parade a unique and captivating experience. This Independence Day Parade promises to be another one for the memory books."

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Fountain at World's Fair Pavilion
The newly renovated fountain on Government Hill beneath the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.

Forest Park Is the 'Crown Jewel' of St. Louis
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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