Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Fourth of July Safety Tips

Celebrate America's birthday with air shows, parades, free concerts, professional fireworks displays and more!

July 3, 2013 | 5 min reading time


 Fourth of July Safety Tips

For many people, the Fourth of July means cookouts and fireworks.  Following are a few safety tips courtesy of the USDA's Food and Safety Inspection Service that can help you and your family have a safe and fun holiday:

·  When grilling food, keep in mind that meat and poultry should be cooked to a safe temperature to destroy harmful bacteria that may be present.

·  Color of meat and poultry is not a good indicator of safety.  Use a food thermometer to make sure meats have reached a safe internal temperature.

·  Never partially grill meat or poultry and finish cooking later.

·  Keep hot food hot – at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

·  To prevent food borne illness, do not use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry.

Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day, but what most people do not realize is that according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission on average about 200 people across the country go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.  I encourage you to skip the expense and risk involved when setting off illegal fireworks in your neighborhood.  Instead, invite your family and friends to join you to enjoy the spectacular fireworks displays that will take place along the Downtown riverfront as part of Fair Saint Louis.  Should you find yourself in a situation where consumer fireworks are being used, keep the following in mind:

·  Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.

·  Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt some metals.

·  Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

·  Douse the spent devices with plenty of water before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

Let's celebrate America's birthday safely by leaving the fireworks to the professionals.


Upcoming Events


July 4 – Historic Fourth of July, Old Courthouse, 8 a.m.

The Old Courthouse will be hosting a number of patriotic activities on Thursday, July 4.  The building's rotunda area will be decorated in historic July 4th detail and there also will be a large Garrison flag on display.  Stop by at 1:30 p.m. to hear the Air Force Concert Band, or 2:30 p.m. for a recitation of the Declaration of Independence, or at 2:45 p.m. for a performance by the Clayton Silver Strings.  The events are free.  For more information, call (314) 655-1614.

July 3 & 4, VP Balloon Glow & Parade, Downtown

The annual VP Parade is a grand St. Louis tradition.  New this year is a balloon glow in Kiener Plaza showcasing some of the parade's enormous character balloons.  The glow will feature food, games and entertainment and will run from 5 to 10 p.m.  on Wednesday, July 3.

The 136th annual Veiled Prophet Parade will step off at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 from the Central Library at Olive and 14th Streets, proceed east to Tucker Boulevard, north to Washington Avenue, east to Fourth Street and south to Market Street before turning west on Market where it will conclude at Citygarden.  To learn more, visit the web site.

July 4 – Folk Festival Showcase, Gateway Arch, 1:15 p.m.

Visitors coming to Downtown St. Louis to celebrate the 4th of July are invited to stop by the Gateway Arch from 1:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the 74th National Folk Festival Showcase that will be held on the grounds of the Gateway Arch at Fair Saint Louis.  Featured artists will include musical and cultural styles such as Cajun, Mexican mariachi, Native American, western swing/hot jazz, South Indian classical dance, blues, Missouri fiddling and more.  The festival is free.  Need more information?  Call (301) 565-0654.

July 4, 5 & 6 – Fair Saint Louis, on the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Noon

Make plans now to catch some of the excitement of this year's Fair Saint Louis.  This three-day free family event will give you the opportunity to celebrate America's birthday under the majestic Gateway Arch.  Activities will include Air Shows, headline entertainers, Kids Zone & Cultural Stage, fireworks and more.  Gates will open at Noon each day.  The headliners will take the Budweiser Main Stage at 8 p.m. each night and their performances will be followed by a spectacular fireworks finale.  For all the particulars, visit the web site.

July 4, 5 & 6 – Rockin' on the Landing, Laclede's Landing, Noon

Looking for a great way to spend the July 4th weekend?  Visit Laclede's Landing July 4, 5 and 6 and enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience.Live music will be on every corner, along with various food, craft, and art vendors.  The Landing will also provide a great view of the Fair Saint Louis fireworks and air shows. The event will run from Noon to 11 p.m. each day.  For more information, visit the web site.

July 5 – Summer of Love Outdoor Film Series, Art Hill in Forest Park, 7 p.m.

Everyone is invited to spend Fridays in July on Art Hill enjoying film, music and food at the Saint Louis Art Museum's Summer of Love Outdoor Film Series.  The first event in the series will be this Friday, July 5.  The party will start at 7 p.m. and the movie, "Casablanca," will begin at 9 p.m.  Visit the web site for details.

July 6 – Fireworks, Sublette Park, after sunset

Get out your lawn chairs and coolers and head for Sublette Park, Arsenal and Sublette,this Saturday, July 6 for an outstanding display of pyrotechnics that will begin after sunset.

July 6 – 1863 St. Louis Historic Fourth of July, Old Courthouse, 10 a.m.

Ever wonder what life was like in St. Louis in 1863?  Stop by the historic Old Courthouse in Downtown St. Louis on Saturday, July 6 and get a glimpse into that special time in St. Louis history.  Living History volunteers and park rangers will present music, speeches and tours.  Visitors will have the opportunity to vote in the 1863 city election, pay their 1863 taxes, and become a naturalized citizen.  The event is free and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more details, call (314) 655-1614.

July 7 – Free Concert, Carondelet Park, 6 p.m.

The Carondelet Community Betterment Foundation will sponsor a free concert in Carondelet Park this Sunday, starting at 6 p.m. at the Bandstand off Loughborough. Bring your lawn chair, pack a picnic basket and enjoy the "Air Force Band."   For a complete list of the concert schedule, visit the web site.


Save the Date

July 11 – Free Outdoor Concert, St. Louis Place Park, 7 p.m.

July 12 – Food Truck Friday, Tower Grove Park, 5 p.m.

July 12 & 13 – Celebrate St. Louis Concerts, Soldiers' Memorial, 8 p.m.

July 12, 13 & 14 – Saint Joan of Arc Annual Flea Market, Hampton & Pernod, 6 p.m.

July 13 – Free Concert, Lafayette Park, 6 p.m.


Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight? If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration. You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


How to be a Successful Landlord


The St. Louis Community College at Forest Park is offering a class on "How to be a Successful Landlord."  Attendees will learn everything from conducting initial interviews with potential tenants to understanding city ordinances.  Highlights of the one-day workshop will include the importance of documentation, avoiding liability and handling confrontation. The class will be held on Saturday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The cost is $55.  To learn more and to register, call (314) 984-7777.


Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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