By LIBBY MOELLER
As Fourth of July celebrations near, it once again becomes time to pick the firework festivity that works best for you and your family. Fortunately, West County continues to offer a selection of exciting options perfect for catching a glimpse at some spectacular fireworks displays. A few of this year’s celebrations feature new attractions as well, including circus performers and petting zoos.
Chesterfield’s annual Fourth of July Celebration kicks off at 6:30 p.m. in the mall parking lot between Dillard’s and Macy’s.
The Commerce Bank Kid’s Zone offers carnival games, bounce houses, obstacle courses and more to occupy youngsters before the firework show. New this year, the Kid’s Zone will feature Circus Kaput, a two-hour circus show featuring unicycling, juggling, acrobatics and other circus acts.
For attendees looking for live music, cover band McLovin is set to perform on the Main Stage starting at 7 p.m.
Fireworks will begin promptly at 9:30 p.m., with the primary viewing area located in the main event parking lot.
Food will be provided by a variety of local vendors, but attendees are welcomed to supply their own beverages. Parking will be available on all of the Chesterfield Mall lots, with shuttles bringing visitors to the main area as needed. Make sure to bring lawn chairs or other seating, but leave all glass and tobacco products at home.
Festivities kick off early in Ellisville, beginning with the Independence Day 5K and Kids Fun Run at 7:30 a.m. Registration is available online as well as inside the Parks and Recreation administration building in Bluebird Park. Until July 1, the registration fee is $25, which includes a race T-shirt. Participants will be able to register the day of the event, but the fee will increase to $30 per person and shirts are not guaranteed. The race will be held rain or shine in Bluebird Park, 225 Kiefer Creek Road, with all proceeds benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Evening events begin at 6 p.m. with games and activities including a giant slide, obstacle course, bounce house and climbing wall.
Food and beverage vendors will also set up shop at 6 p.m., providing a variety of snacks and drinks.
Griffin and the Gargoyles will begin performing starting at 7 p.m., followed by an Independence Day Ceremony at 8 p.m. The fireworks display is set to start at 9:30 p.m., but be sure to arrive early, as seating is limited.
Shuttle buses available to the public will be stationed at Eaton Bussmann, located at 114 Old State Road, and FCC Corporation, on the northwest corner of Clarkson and Clayton roads. The shuttles will run from 5:30-11 p.m. for anyone sticking around for the last bits of live music.
Accessible parking will be available inside Bluebird Park. Glass bottles and pets, excluding service animals, are not permitted in the park during the celebration. For more information, call (636) 227-7508.
St. John Church in Ellisville
St. John’s Fourth of July Community Celebration, advertised as being almost entirely free, begins at 6 p.m. on the church grounds, 15800 Manchester Road.
The event offers free food, including hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy and bottled water. Music is another thing that will be in large supply, with three local bands –Double Clique, Slightly Jaded and Decedy – providing attendees with live entertainment.
Among the free activities for all age groups are bounce houses and field games. A dunk tank featuring members of the St. John staff is the newest addition to this year’s celebration. While St. John does not provide their own fireworks, the event does offer a great view of the nearby Bluebird Park fireworks display.
In order to make the most of the experience, be sure to bring lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray. Visitors are allowed to bring a cooler of food as long as it does not include alcohol or glass containers.
To inquire about one of the many volunteer opportunities available for the event, call (636) 779-2357.
Eureka will be hosting an Independence Day Celebration unlike any before this year.
As the winners of USA Today’s 4th Annual Red, White and You competition, the festivities are promising to be bigger and grander than ever before.
Festivities begin on Saturday, July 2 at 5 p.m. in Lions/Legions Park, 400 Bald Hill Road.
Open until 7:45 p.m., the Ball Park® Kids Zone will offer a myriad of activities including inflatable T-ball, a moon bounce, face painting and a petting zoo. Those activities will be followed by a presentation to recognize the Patriot of the Year and pay respects to fallen Eureka Marine Riley Baker. Immediately after the ceremony, That 80s Band will take the stage, providing catchy tunes until 9:30 p.m., when the fireworks celebration is set to begin.
Food will be available all evening from local vendors and food trucks, complemented by a beer and liquor tent. Parking will be available in Old Town Eureka, Legends Corporate and the City Hall lawn. Additional offsite parking options also will be available with shuttles running to and from the event grounds.
No glass bottles or animals, other than service animals, will be permitted at the event.
Paul A. Schroeder Park, 359 Old Meramec Station Road, once again hosts the city of Manchester’s Fourth of July Celebration, welcoming guests as early as 6 p.m.
Live music will be provided by local favorite Butch Wax and the Hollywoods. Following the concert a fireworks display blasts off at 9 p.m.
Concessions will be available during the event, but visitors may also bring their own snacks.
In the event of rain or other bad weather, a rain date is scheduled for Tuesday, July 5.
Twin Oaks welcomes visitors to its Independence Day celebration on Saturday, July 2 at Twin Oaks Park, 1 Twin Oaks Court.
Taking the stage at 7 p.m., Shea and Silverstreak will provide music for the event until 9 p.m. A fireworks display kicks off 15 minutes after the final song. Guests are invited to bring dinner into the park, but glass bottles and glass containers should be left at home.