It just ain't Independence Day in St. Louis without Fair St. Louis, so even though the Arch grounds are off-limits because of construction, the fair goes on in Forest Park (www.fairsaintlouis.org) from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday and noon to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 3 through 5). The change in venue means even if you've been to every previous fair, you've never seen one like this. For starters, the lack of a nearby river doesn't preclude a nautical performance: The Lake Saint Louis Water Ski Club and Midwest NightFLY Wakeboarders take to the Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill for a high-flying show at 5 p.m. Thursday and 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The famed VP Parade also benefits from a new backdrop, as it starts at the Muny at 10:30 a.m. Friday, and then wends its way through the park. In addition to the musical performances (Bonnie Raitt and the Fray at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, respectively), there are food vendors galore, a host of musical acts throughout all three days, and the firecracker nightcap. Fireworks are detonated in the night sky at 10 p.m. all three days, but everybody knows the show on the Fourth is the one to see -- it's just more patriotic. As ever, admission to Fair St. Louis is free.
Thu., July 3, 5-10:30 p.m.; July 4-5, 12-10:30 p.m., 2014