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Tips and tricks for navigating Ballwin Days 2019

By: Jessica Meszaros

Summer is fast approaching, and that means Ballwin Days 2019 is just around the corner! From food to carnival rides, the three-day festival offers a wide array of both old and new activities to create a weekend of summer fun for the entire family. Here is everything you need to know about the annual community festival, including the schedule of events, how to get to and from the festival, rides, food selection and the multitude of activities and entertainment.

Ballwin Days runs June 6-9 in Vlasis Park, 300 Park Drive in Ballwin.

The festival’s “soft opening” is from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6. Hours for the rest of the weekend are as follows: 5-11:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7; 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8; and 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9.

No pets or coolers are allowed in the park.

Schedule of events


6:30–9:30 p.m.

  • Soft opening – carnival rides only


4:30 p.m. – midnight

  • Ballwin Days shuttle buses  

5 p.m.

  • Festival opens at Vlasis Park
  • Rides and Midway open until 11:30 p.m. [ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing]

6:30 p.m.

  • Opening ceremonies [Main Stage area] 

8–11 p.m.

  • Main Stage: CROSSROADS [Well Hungarians & Dr. Zhivegas]

9:15 p.m.

  • Fireworks

11 p.m.

  • Ride ticket and beer sales end

11:30 p.m. 

  • Festival closes


10 a.m. – midnight

  • Ballwin Days shuttle buses

10 a.m.

  • Festival opens at Vlasis Park

10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Kids Korner opens
  • Boy Scout expo open

7-9 p.m.

  • Main Stage: Cole Blue Steel

9:15 p.m.

  • Fireworks

9:30-11 p.m.

  • Main Stage: Chris Bandi 

11 p.m.

  • Ride and beer sales end

11:30 p.m.

  • Festival closes


8 a.m. 

  • 38th annual Ballwin Days 5K and 1-Mile Run at Vlasis Park

10 a.m.-noon

  • 42nd Anniversary Classic Car Show
  • registration opens

10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • Ballwin Days shuttle buses

11 a.m.

  • Festival opens at Vlasis Park

Noon-3 p.m.

  • 42nd Anniversary Classic Car Show begins

1-4 p.m.

  • Beer Garden: Willie and The Poor Boys will perform at the Beer Garden

5 p.m.

  • Ride ticket and beer sales end

5:30 p.m.

  • Festival closes – see you next year!

*This is a tentative schedule of events and is subject to change. For up-to-date information, visit ballwindays.com.

Kids Korner schedule of events

Juggling Jeff Koziatek and his comedy act on stilts


10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Boy Scout Expo
  • Balloon Twister
  • Caricature Artist
  • Bricks for Kids

Noon to 5 p.m. 

  • Crafts with Lowe’s
  • Adventure Learning Center
  • Games with Red Tree Church

1-3 p.m.

  • Juggling Jeff on Stilts

1-4 p.m.

  • Creative Face Painting

Free shuttle service

Free shuttle service to and from the park is available from the Target at Holloway and Manchester roads, and from Olde Towne Plaza, 14890 Manchester Road. Shuttle service runs continuously from 30 minutes before the festival opens until 30 minutes after closing.

Accessible parking will be available at the lower parking lot of the Ballwin Government Center, 14811 Manchester Road.

Festival favorites return for concession lineup

Local and carnival food favorites return for the 2019 season.

Festival-goers can enjoy a great lineup of wonderful food options to tempt any palate, including:

  • Juan Taco: chicken and vegetarian tacos, gourmet nachos and Mexican street corn
  • Aporkolypse Grill: pulled pork grilled cheese sandwiches, pulled pork nachos, burritos with pulled pork, pulled pork loaded fries, hamburgers with pulled pork and fresh fried blooming onions
  • Boy Scout Troop 357: sno-cones, hot dogs, chili dogs, nachos, pepper bellies and Ted Drewes frozen custard
  • Candicci’s: pasta, famous salad, toasted ravioli and meatball sandwiches
  • K&G Kettle Korn: pork rinds, refreshing frozen lemonade and, of course, Kettle Korn
  • Scratch Pops: handmade cheese-cake pops
  • Philly Pretzel Factory: ice cream cones and bowls

In addition to these great choices, traditional carnival fare like corn dogs, cheese fries, cotton candy, funnel cakes and lemonade shake-ups will also be available for purchase. 

The Ballwin Days Beer Garden will be serving an assortment of adult beverages from Grey Eagle Distributors, including Anheuser-Busch favorites, Shock Top and local craft beers from Urban Chestnut.

On Stage: CROSSROADS, Cole Blue Steel, Chris Bandi

One thing is for sure – Ballwin Days never fails to provide crowd-pleasing, live, musical entertainment for its guests all weekend long. For 2019, another line-up of popular bands rocks the main stage. From pop, rock and even a little bit country, there’s something for everybody to enjoy. Best of all, the concerts are always free! 

Kicking off the musical weekend will be a high-energy concert by CROSSROADS, a blend of two well-known musical talents; Dr. Zhivegas and the Well Hungarians.

Dr. Zhivegas

The two bands will join forces to perform each other’s music in a blend of pop, country, dance, rock, hip-hop, and R&B. Each band brings over 25 years of constant performing that has brought the party to millions of fans of all ages throughout the country.

Well Hungarians

The CROSSROADS show is only performed once per year, so don’t miss the opportunity Friday evening from 8-11 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m.     

Cole Blue Steel will take the stage from 7-9 p.m. Cole Blue Steel is a guitarist, singer and songwriter known for his guitar abilities and wide vocal range. A blend of country, blues and rock, Cole Blue Steel is sure to satisfy Saturday night goers looking to dance or chill with family and friends.

Cole Blue Steel

Also making an appearance at the festival’s main stage is St. Louis native and “American Idol” alumnus Chris Bandi. Bandi’s success on that show – making it to the Hollywood competition rounds – helped launch his musical career. Now based in Nashville, Bandi’s fresh country sound is captivating audiences wherever he performs. Chris Bandi will take the stage from 9:30-11 p.m.

Chris Bandi

Ballwin Days will wind down with a performance by Willie and The Poor Boys from 1-4:30 p.m. in the event’s Beer Garden, where listeners will be able to enjoy a wide array of refreshments while tuning into classic rock hits. The band blends harmonic group vocals with tight guitar work to bring hits from bands like The Eagles, Dan Fogelberg, Poco and more to life on stage. 

Willie and The Poor Boys

Thrilling rides

Miller Spectacular Shows returns in 2019 to thrill Ballwin Days festival-goers. The providers of the 70-foot Thor, Zero Gravity Tilt-a-Whirl, Pharaoh’s Fury and Big Wheel Ferris Wheel will return with a new selection of exciting rides to be experienced on the festival’s Midway.

Thursday, June 6 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. is Armband Night, offering unlimited rides that evening for only $20 per armband. Armbands can be purchased at the park ticket booth starting at 6:30 p.m. on June 6. Cash only! An ATM will be available in the park during the event.  

Ticket prices for June 7-9 are $1 per ticket, with three or more tickets required per ride. Discounted tickets will be sold in blocks of 22 tickets for $20 at the festival and in advance during regular business hours through Friday, June 7 at the Ballwin Government Center, 14811 Manchester Road in Vlasis Park.

Not-to-be-missed activities

Annual car show

The 42nd annual Ballwin Days Classic Car Show returns for another year.

Time to rev up and start your engines, auto enthusiasts. The Ballwin Days car show returns!

From noon-3p.m. on Sunday, June 9, Ballwin Days features the 42nd Annual Ballwin Days Car Show. The show commemorates cars of all ages with trophies, live music and concessions.

Registration is open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon with a $10 entry fee. The event is open to any car, and all will receive a dash plaque. Enter the event on the parking lot on Seven Trails Drive. 

Proceeds from the show will benefit the Ballwin VFW. There will be 17 trophies awarded for different categories and decades, including best muscle car, best custom car, the VFW Commander’s pick and many more.

Ballwin Days’ 5K and 1-mile runs

Runners will take off from Vlasis Park for the annual Ballwin Days 5K and 1-mile runs.

The annual Ballwin Days 5K and 1-mile runs returns for its 38th anniversary. This year, runners will take off from Vlasis Park on Sunday, June 9. The 5K run begins at 8 a.m., with the 1-mile adult and 1-mile youth runs immediately following. Kids and adults are welcome to sign up for both races.

Entry fees are $15 for 1-mile, $40 for 5K, or $45 for both. Shirt size not guaranteed.

Scout-sponsored activities

In addition to festival activities, there are a plethora of other events for festival-goers to enjoy for the 2019 season thanks to the efforts of local scout troops.

  • Fill the Tent Shoe Drive [All weekend]

Did you know that over 600 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year in the United States? Help save the environment and support a new Ballwin Scouts BSA Troop for Girls by donating any new or gently used shoes to the tent by the bus drop-off point at Ballwin Days. Any shoes with life still in them will be accepted, except for ice skates. The shoes will be sent to developing countries to start micro-businesses selling the shoes to locals. The troop is paid by the pound for the shoes collected. The 2019 goal is to collect 2,500 pounds of shoes, so every pair helps. Funds are being used to purchase camping gear and program expenses for this new troop.

  • Scouting Expo [June 8, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.]

Join Ballwin Scouting Units for a series of free activities on Saturday. Participate in events from the classic Pinewood Derby [cars provided or bring your own] and Rain Gutter Regatta, to new events such as the Titanic Challenge where you experience what it was like for survivors of the Titanic to accomplish simple tasks in frigid waters. Other activities include slack-lining, caving demos and knot tying. 

Have questions about how programs in the Boy Scouts of America work? Stop by the onsite information center to learn about local units and what programs are available.

Visit www.BallwinDays.com for more information.

2019 Ballwin Days Committee

A special thank you to all of the dedicated members of the Ballwin Days Committee, whose hard work has made the festival possible.

West Newsmagazine thanks Dan Aiken, Darryl Holman and Jim Lieber for providing information on Ballwin Days 2019

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