St. Louis riverfront officially opens today with ‘Picnic On The Riverfront’

 

Numerous dignitaries will participate today in what’s called St. Louis’ largest-ever community picnic to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated riverfront, at the foot of the Arch grand staircase.

The event is from 5 to 8:45 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, Mayor Francis Slay, U.S. Congressman Lacy Clay and many others are scheduling appearances

The 1.5-mile stretch of St. Louis riverfront that runs beneath the Gateway Arch grounds and serves as a key component of the overall CityArchRiver project has been renovated in an effort to help improve the safety and accessibility of the Mississippi Riverfront and Gateway Arch grounds for visitors and residents.

Today, June 2, residents from across the St. Louis region are invited to gather along Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. to celebrate the transformation and the reopening of the riverfront.

The “Picnic on the Riverfront” event will feature St. Louis’ largest-ever community picnic – complete with a 2,016-foot-long table with chairs. An official ribbon cutting will kick off the celebration at 5 p.m. on the overlook stage along Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd., with remarks from dignitaries and partners.

Attendees will then be invited to explore the nearby Mississippi Greenway, enjoy local music and educational activities for kids and purchase dinner from food trucks and other vendors. People are also welcome to bring their own picnic meal. The picnic dinner will officially begin at 6:15 p.m. with an interfaith blessing, followed by an aerial photo of all the picnickers. The event will end with a brief fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.

The renovation of the 1.5-mile stretch of riverfront includes the recently rebuilt Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. and extension of the Mississippi Greenway from the Biddle Street Trailhead south to Chouteau Avenue, with protected walking and biking paths.

The entire riverfront was elevated an average of almost two feet to limit flooding, returning more days of the year back to the community for walking, riding bikes, sightseeing and special events. While the historic elements were preserved, such as the cobblestones lining the levee; new amenities such as benches, bike racks, lights, power outlets and a street-level stage will make the space more inviting for events and programs. The lineup for this summer and fall includes bike rides, walk/run events, the St. Louis Brewers Guild Heritage Festival, a free concert series with The Sheldon, swap meets and more.

Leonor K. Sullivan will officially open to two-lane traffic beginning Saturday, June 4. For more information about the event, visit www.CityArchRiver.org/riverfront. For more information about the greenways throughout the region, visit www.GreatRiversGreenway.org.

Among others expected to be there today are: Susan Trautman, executive director, Great Rivers Greenway; Mike Ward, superintendent of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, also representing the National Park Service; Michael Van Valkenburgh, founder and principal of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. (winner of International Design Competition for CityArchRiver Project); Patrick McKenna, director, Missouri Department of Transportation; John Nations, president and chief executive officer, Bi-State Development, and others.

— From the Illinois Business Journal

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