ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Parking could be a nightmare at Fair Saint Louis this summer.
The Fourth of July weekend festival is moving to Forest Park during the renovations to the Arch grounds. Now, the city says on-street parking could be banned in the park for all three days of the fair.
As many as 50,000 people could attend each day. And a spokesperson for the mayor's office says a crowd that size has the city concerned about access for first responders.
Instead of allowing people to park for free on the streets, fairgoers may have to park at Forest Park Community College, Washington University or other locations. Shuttles would then take them to the main stage at Art Hill, possibly for a fee.
And the "no parking" would apply to the entire park.
"I guess for the city of St. Louis, since it's such a festive event, I might be complying that weekend," said Jon Whitehead, who drives to the park several times a week and parks on the street. "But it would be difficult. I love my park," he says of going three days without his normal routine.
"That wouldn't be a problem for me because we can take the train from where we live," said frequent Forest Park parker Sarah Hartz. "It will probably make the fair nicer if there aren't people driving around all over the place trying to park."
The city is encouraging people to take Metrolink or bike to Forest Park during Fair Saint Louis. Fair organizers say they have hired a traffic consultant and hope to finalize a parking plan by the end of the month.