Fourth of July festivities in St. Charles County

The Fourth must go on

River flooding pushes back Riverfest in St. Charles to Labor Day Weekend, but other Fourth of July festivities in St. Charles County will continue as scheduled

By Brett Auten

A soaked and saturated Frontier Park has forced officials to wave the white flag.

After much discussion and deliberation, organizers of the annual Fourth of July Riverfest celebration have decided to move the festival to Aug. 30 and 31 in order to allow Frontier Park to dry out and recover from the recent flood.

“We talked about Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and the best one was to move the festival to Labor Day weekend,” Joe Ward, Director of the Greater St. Charles Convention and Business Bureau, said. “With the weight of the carnival rides, we could really damage the park and there is no guarantee we won’t get a little more water between now and then.”
 
The Jaycee’s Fourth of July Parade will still take place on July 4 beginning at 10 a.m. and will follow its same route. The parade will start near Bales Park, proceed around North Second Street in Frenchtown, make a left on Clark Street and will then head down Historic Main Street to Boone’s Lick Road.

The Labor Day Riverfest Celebration will feature live music, Fountain City Amusements Carnival, food and craft vendors, and one night of fireworks, on Aug. 31.

In years past, the festival has moved the carnival rides to different locations.

“We have garnered a reputation for putting on first-class events and we wanted to make sure we delivered,” Ward said. “We also wanted to make sure that the festival went on and was not canceled out-right.”

Locally, there are other options to get your Fourth of July oohs and ahhs.

In O’Fallon, the Heritage & Freedom Fest will be held on July 2–4 at the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex. Concerts, fireworks, carnival rides, sideshows, and a patriotic parade are all part of the puzzle.

Admission and parking are free, and the fun includes free family-friendly sideshows, a free Kids’ Zone, and fireworks. Discounted all-you-can-ride carnival wristbands are available for purchase for all three days. For updates, complete schedules and more, visit www.heritageandfreedomfest.com.

Family Night starts things off on July 2 from 4–10 p.m. This year will boast a brand new carnival with more than 16 rides making for plenty of options for kids, teens, and adults. To ride, purchase an all-you-can-ride wristband in advance for $20 through July 1 at www.heritageandfreedomfest.com. Wristbands also can be purchased onsite on each event day for $25 per day. Individual tickets can be purchased for $1.25 per ticket. Each ride will require three to six individual tickets.
 
July 3 will be Country Night with Walker Hayes, Filmore and Noah Guthrie performing on the Main Stage. Rising country star Walker Hayes headlines the evening. Missouri-native Filmore and singer/songwriter Noah Guthrie will open.
 
The All-American Rock Party will take center stage on July 4 with a bonafide legend headlining the bill.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo have been making music together for four decades. Benatar’s powerful vocals and rock-n-roll attitude, along with Neil Giraldo’s guitarwork and behind-the-scenes wizardry made for an undeniable chemistry and unique sound that created memorable hits, including “We Belong,” “Invincible,” “Love Is A Battlefield,” “Promises In The Dark,” and “We Live For Love.” Their stop in O’Fallon is part of their 40th Anniversary summer tour. Former American Idol contestant Gabby Barrett will open.

The Heritage & Freedom Fest Parade will be held on July 4, beginning at 9:30 a.m., in downtown O’Fallon. The parade starts. from the corner of Main Street and Civic Park Drive, heads north on Main Street, turns east on Tom Ginnever Avenue and ends at T.R. Hughes Boulevard near the festival entrance. This year’s theme is “Stars & Stripes Forever,” and the prize-winning entries will be announced on the Main Stage at 4 p.m.

Wentzville will host its July 4 Parade and Liberty Fest. The city has encouraged citizens to participate in the parade by making and designing a float. This year’s theme is “America, the Beautiful.” Float registration is required.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Holt High School and travels east on Pearce Boulevard, ending at Luektenhaus Boulevard. Floats can pull over at the American Legion or First Baptist Church to collect their walkers and then disembark. Floats will be judged for first, second and third place, along with Mayor’s Choice and Best Musical Entry for first and second place.

After enjoying the parade, you can head over to Progress Park for free family activities. Beginning at noon, you can swim for free and stick around for the entertainment. Live music will be provided by Wentzville native and American Idol Finalist, Matt Wynn, from 6-9 p.m. with fireworks following. For more information, call 636-332-9236.

CUTLINE: Photos courtesy city of O’Fallon In O’Fallon, the Heritage & Freedom Fest will be held on July 2–4 at the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex. Concerts, fireworks, carnival rides, sideshows, and a patriotic parade are all part of the festivities.