ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – One of Fair St. Louis’s most popular events will be noticeably absent this summer. The cancellation of the air show was uncovered by our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The annual Independence Day festival has been temporarily relocated to Forest Park due to the ongoing City Arch River construction project. According to Post-Dispatch City Hall Reporter Nick Pistor, some concerns were raised over the air show’s safety in the new location.
He explains, “Forest Park is in a dense, residential area, near Central West End, Skinker-DeBalievere, and some of the aldermen there were worried about having airplanes doing tricks in that area if one crashed. And there were also concerns from Barnes Jewish Hospital. They were expressing concerns to Fair St. Louis organizers about getting emergency vehicles in and out, getting helicopters in and out.”
Then, Pistor learned, the air show was cancelled. But Fair St. Louis Executive Director Lori Thaman says the FAA approved the air show’s new location regardless of those concerns. Instead, the cancellation had more to do with the time consuming logistics of the move to Forest Park. She says, “Certainly, we had to figure out how the air show would fit within the space. And while we’ve been able to figure that out, it took some time to do that. We’re getting down to the point where we did lose a number of entertainers, so it was going to compromise the length of the show, the quality of the show, and it’s just, if we’re going to do it, we want to do it all the way.”
On Wednesday morning, Fair St. Louis organizers plan to officially announce the cancellation of this year’s air show. They’ll also name three more musical entertainers, in addition to those already announced, which include the Band Perry, the Fray, and Bonnie Raitt.
The air show will likely return when Fair St. Louis returns to downtown St. Louis.