The Washington Town & Country Fair gates won’t open until Wednesday, but there will be plenty to do this weekend.
Three pre-Fair events will take place this weekend — the annual parade and run/walk, and new this year, a kickoff party.
The five-day Fair will open Wednesday, Aug. 7, and run through Sunday, Aug. 11, at the city fairgrounds.
Fair Chairman Jason Unnerstall invites all residents to turn out for the activities. The weather forecast for the weekend also looks good, he said, with temps in the mid-80s.
The festivities will kick off Saturday morning with a 5K and 10K run/walk, relay and kids fun run. The 5K/10K and relay will start at 7 a.m.
Registration will be accepted beginning at 6:15 a.m. at the North Lakeshore Drive pavilion.
Unnerstall noted that several Washington firemen will participate in the run, raising money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the sponsor of the 9/11 mobile exhibit that will be at the Fair this year.
Refreshments will be provided at the event, including healthy items, as well as pizza, beer and ice cream.
An after-parade party will not be held this year. Instead, a Fair kickoff party is planned for Saturday from 6-10 p.m. under the Farmers’ Market.
Fair officials said they hope more people will attend the party since it’s been moved to a Saturday night.
The free event will feature Piano Dan. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
Corn hole and koosh ball games also will be set up in the street.
The annual Fair parade, featuring over 85 entries, will take place Sunday at 4 p.m.
“Everyone loves a parade,” said Unnerstall. “And this year we will have the first Fair queen and the oldest living chairman leading it.”
Theresa Boland, 1950 Fair queen, and Paul Philipp, who was chairman in 1969, will serve as grand marshals. The honorary group will be all past Fair queens and Fair chairmen and board members, who are invited to ride on a special float.
Unnerstall said the queen and board members were selected in celebration of the Fair’s 90th anniversary. This year’s theme is “Cheers to 90 Years.”
Honor group participants should meet at the Main and Cedar parking lot by 3:30 p.m. the day of the parade for staging. The float will leave promptly at 3:45 p.m. to make its way to the parade route.
All honor group participants are encouraged to wear items from their year(s) on the Fair Board or as queen.
The parade will feature bands, floats and other entries, including Louie, the St. Louis Blues mascot. Louie will be toward the front of the parade.
The Fair queen contestants also will ride in the parade, along with the current Fair Board. The 2018 queen and her court also will participate.
The parade route is unchanged from previous years.