East Riverfront Venue Offers Amazing Views of Fireworks and Free, Family-Friendly Festivities July 4, 6 and 7

East St. Louis, Ill., June 26, 2012… Area families are encouraged to take in the Fair Saint Louis fireworks from the best seat in the region – Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park on the banks of the east riverfront. The park offers unmatched views of the downtown skyline and will feature an array of free, family-friendly activities leading up to the fireworks on July 4, 6 and 7. The venue is also expected to be a hotspot for watching the Fair Saint Louis Air Shows on July 4. 

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During the daytime hours, Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park visitors can access the 43-foot tall Mississippi River Overlook viewing platform; check out the Gateway Geyser when scheduled eruptions blast 8,000 gallons of water a minute 600 feet into the sky, matching the height of the Gateway Arch; and watch the Fair Saint Louis Air Shows set for noon and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4 (schedule subject to change).

Family-friendly activities get underway at 5:00 p.m. each evening, concluding with the Fair Saint Louis fireworks presentation. Activities will include free face painting, caricature drawings, balloon art, magic shows, an inflatable obstacle course and a Life At Play photo booth. Radio Disney AM 1260, part of the #1 radio network for kids, tweens and families, will be onsite with music, interactive games and prize giveaways. New for this year, on Friday and Saturday evenings the public can take tethered hot air balloon rides courtesy RE/MAX, LLC, watch a powered parachute aerial display and landing and see the aircraft on static display by Angel Wings Aviation of Franklin, Ill., and check out the experimental Sonerai II Aircraft, in which local pilot Brian Kissinger is expected to set a World Aviation Record for “speed over a recognized course” just days before the event for the purpose of raising money and awareness for homeless veterans. The Scott Air Force Brass Band will also be performing Saturday evening. To obtain a complete schedule of events visit www.medprd.org.

Refreshments will be made available for purchase throughout the duration of the event, beginning just prior to the air show on July 4 and starting at 5:00 p.m. on July 6 and 7.  

This independence celebration is being made possible thanks to the Gateway Center of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Metro East Park and Recreation District. Supporting sponsors include Juneau Associates, TheBANK of Edwardsville, Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc., The Bank of Belleville, Luby Equipment Services and The Casino Queen.

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“There’s no better time than over the July 4th weekend to experience this wonderful park,” stated Mike Buehlhorn, executive director of MEPRD. “Our 30acre park offers a spacious lawn area for spreading out with your family and friends to take in the spectacular view of the fireworks in a family friendly, entertaining and patriotic environment.  I encourage people from across the area to come out and celebrate the Independence Day holiday with us.”

Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park is located directly across from the Gateway Arch on the banks of the East St. Louis Riverfront, just south of the Casino Queen on Front Street. Parking is limited. Attendees are encouraged to carpool or take the MetroLink to the East Riverfront station and follow the marked pedestrian walkway to the park.

The park opens at dawn and closes following the conclusion of the fireworks. The Mississippi River Overlook will be closed to the public each evening during the fireworks display. The rules of the park, which will be strictly enforced, include no alcohol, no weapons, no fireworks or sparklers of any kind, no glass containers, no grills and no pets (service animals are permitted). All bags, backpacks, coolers, containers and purses will be searched upon entry. All persons are also subject to search.

For more information, and a complete listing of scheduled entertainment, visit www.meprd.org.

The Metro East Park and Recreation District (MEPRD) was formed by voters in November 2000, and is responsible for the development of parks, greenways, and trails in Madison County and St. Clair County, Illinois. The District often supplements the efforts of local governments, special districts, and other jurisdictions already engaged in the management of parks and recreation facilities. The park district is the first of its kind in Illinois, serving over half a million residents.


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