ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – With a big party come big-time concerns about security, especially when thousands of neighbors are celebrating the Fourth of July in Forest Park. But as of late Saturday afternoon, thousands had not yet made it to Forest Park. The lines for corn dogs and funnel cakes were virtually empty. And, it was sitting-room only near the main stage on a rainy Day One.
Still, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson said there were plenty of officers in reflective visibility-green jackets keeping people and property safe. Officers also worked to make sure residents in the area had their usual places to park. Dotson added that was not a difficult task early in the rainy first day of the fair.
"As you're coming in, plenty of parking,” he said. “I drove around the area myself; lots of easy access in and out. We will have plenty of officers here tonight to make sure you get home as fast as you can.”
The chief invited visitors to get to the fair as fast as they could, as long as they left the coolers, glass bottles, alcohol, fireworks and firearms at home.
The fireworks show was scheduled to start at 10 p.m., weather permitting. Until then, visitors wanted to pay close attention to any no-parking signs or signs indicating residential streets are reserved for on for residents. Police were towing cars just a few hours after the fair started.