St. Charles Moves Riverfest Carnival Out of Frontier Park
High water table, possibility of flooding prompt decision.
The annual Fourth of July celebration in St. Charles has been moved to Riverside Drive instead of Frontier Park this year.
After a weekend during which two to four inches of rain fell in the St. Louis area, the Missouri River level projections from the National Weather Service show the river reaching about 29 feet by Saturday. Frontier Park starts to flood when the river reaches 31.5 feet.
Although flooding isn't expected to be an issue, the higher water table makes it potentially unsafe for Archway Amusement to set up their carnival rides in the park.
"We feel like it's a safety issue," said Carol Felzien, spokeswoman for the city. "We don't think the park can withstand the weight of the rides."
The carnival rides will now be set up on Riverside Drive between First Capitol and Pike. The carnival runs Friday through Sunday. On Sunday, the Riverside Drive will close north of First Capitol to Jefferson so that emergency services can set up in preparation for July 4.
Vendor booths will be set up in the parking lots behind the buildings in the 300-500 blocks of South Main Street. Business owners will continue to have access to the alley directly behind their buildings. All other parking lots will be available to visitors.
Moving the booths out was important to trying to limit any damage to the park after the festival.
Frontier Park will be open to pedestrians who might want to bring a blanket or chairs to watch the fireworks, officials decided Tuesday. In 2008, the Missouri River was at flood stage, but not in Frontier Park. City officials used the park for Riverfest, but put up fencing to keep people away from the river.
"We want people to be able to go into the park, stroll down the path, look at the river," said Felzien.