Frequently Asked Questions

    • How much does it cost to enter the Heritage & Freedom Fest?
      Nothing! It is free to attend.
    • Are the concerts really free?
      Yes! The Heritage & Freedom Fest hosts national entertainment free of charge.
    • What are the hours of the festival?
      On July 1 and July 2, the hours are 4–10 p.m. On July 3, the festival grounds are open from 4–11 p.m. On July 4, the hours are Noon – 10 p.m.
    • Can I bring my pet to the festival?
      No. Per City ordinance: Persons are hereby prohibited from bringing animals of any type, with the exception of Police dogs and seeing eye dogs, into any City park during any City sponsored festival or celebration, such as the Fourth of July or Celebration of Lights unless written permission is received from the Parks Director or Parks Board. This includes any pets on leashes.
    • What do I do if I feel overheated or light-headed?
      Visit our Heat Relief Air-Conditioned Tent located near the festival's upper lot to cool down and get a drink of water. Or visit EMS, also located near the entrance to the upper lot.
    • Do you offer recycling at the festival?
      Yes, recycle containers are located near all trashcans on the festival grounds. Most "trash"- cans, bottles, paper plates, napkins, foil, boxes and cartons - can be placed in these containers. However, please throw food and plastic bags in the trashcan next to the recycle bin, as they're not recyclable.
    • Is there a list of things that cannot be brought on festival grounds?
      Yes. Items not permitted on the festival grounds include: personal fireworks, pets and animals unless they are service animals, glass containers of any kind, bikes, skateboards, skates, hoverboards, scooters and firearms.
    • Can I bring a cooler to the festival?
      Yes. However, no glass containers are allowed and contents are subject to search by the O'Fallon Police Department. Motorized coolers are NOT allowed.
    • Where do I park for the festival?

      Premium parking ($10) is available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the CarShield Field west parking lot. Cash is the only form of payment accepted.

      Free, general parking is available at Fort Zumwalt North High School and Christian High School (both on Tom Ginnever Avenue).

      Accessible (ADA) parking is available only at Westhoff Park. Free shuttle service will transport patrons to the festival entrance.

    • What is Premium Parking?
      Get to (and leave) the festival faster! Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, premium parking at the CarShield Field west parking lot is $10 per vehicle. If you leave the lot, then wish to re-enter, you must pay again. Cash is the only acceptable form of payment.
    • Will there be transportation from the General Parking lots?
      Yes. Free air-conditioned buses will operate from Fort Zumwalt North and Christian high schools, dropping patrons off on T.R. Hughes Boulevard near the festival entrance.
    • Will there be fireworks at Heritage & Freedom Fest?
      Yes, there will be a fireworks display each night after Main Stage music ends. On July 3, the display will begin at 10:15 p.m., and on July 4, the fireworks kick off at 9:30 p.m. Please note, there are no fireworks on July 1, or Family Night, July 2.
    • How close can I be to the fireworks?
      Viewers must remain at least 600 feet from the point of launch. Please follow the direction of the O'Fallon Police, staff and volunteers. Do not trespass onto closed areas or roads.
    • Can I watch the display from Westhoff Park?
      The best place to view the display is from the festival grounds; however, Westhoff Park will be accessible approximately 30 minutes before the fireworks display. For safety reasons, viewers at Westhoff Park must stay away from the clearly marked fireworks perimeter.
    • Who do I contact regarding a news story?
      Please contact Tony Michalka, City of O'Fallon Communications Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-379-2815.
    • General parade rules and regulations

      General rules

      • Creativity is highly encouraged for all parade entries.
      • Bonus points are awarded for a)following theme b)music c)mechanical movement.
      • Entries with live animals must take care of all animal waste before, during and after parade.
      • Improper use of the American Flag will not be permitted.
      • No water guns or confetti cannons will be allowed.
      • Decorate entries using only fire resistant or flame retardant material.
      • Towed floats must replenish candy behind the float or on the side of truck bed.
      • Candy should be in pre-wrapped and self-contained packages.
      • One support vehicle may be included per entry and decorated – must be listed on the application.
      • The use of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited.
      • No entry may sell merchandise along parade route.
      • If your float breaks down during the parade, move aside as soon as possible.
      • Line-up requests will be considered, but cannot be guaranteed.
      • Disputes may be presented to the Festival Manager for clarification during the parade.
      • The Heritage and Freedom Fest parade is part of a community-wide celebration in a family-oriented environment. It is not a public forum for debate of civic issues or public policy. The Festival office reserves the right to reject any entry that is inappropriate or at odds with the characteristics of the event.


      • Children under the age of eight (8) are not recommended to ride bikes in the parade and should only ride on floats or vehicles under adult supervision.
      • Do not throw candy from the float.
      • Bike riders must adhere to state law regarding helmets.
      • Bring enough water for walkers to last through the parade.
      • It is mandatory to have 4 wheel walkers per float.
      • Keep 30 ft. distance between parade entries!


    • Where can I get a parade application?
      Once available, a link to the online application can be found at the top of the Parade webpage.
    • What is the deadline for submitting an application?
      The deadline for submitting a Parade Participant application is noon on Friday, June 2, 2023.
    • Are there published rules for parade entries?
      Yes, rules for the parade are part of the application.
    • Can I still get in the parade this year if I miss the deadline?
      If you miss the application deadline, please contact Jenna Chwascinski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-233-7113.
    • When and where are parade meetings held?
      The mandatory parade lineup meeting will be held in the Multi-purpose Room of City Hall on Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. Only one person from each entry is require to attend, though it is helpful for the float driver to attend as well.
    • What are the rules for floats?
      • Float Dimensions: Max 60 feet in OVERALL length, 14 feet in width or height, including tow vehicles.
      • Any entry with a flatbed float or being towed must be fully skirted on 3 sides (two sides and back) for visual appeal.
      • Entries must carry a fire extinguisher-at least 2-A, 10-B:C rating accessible to the operator.
      • Floats must have hand holds for float riders.
      • Floats must have at least four (4) wheel walkers, one wheel walker on each side of float and one wheel walker on each side of vehicle.
    • Where will my entry be in the parade?
      The parade lineup will be decided by the Parade Leads, you will receive your lineup assignment at the mandatory meeting in June.
    • I am a participant in the parade. Can I park my car in the parade lineup area?
      No. Depending on which section you are assigned to, you will receive a parking option. These will be discussed at the mandatory meeting on June 16 and disclosed in your information packet.
    • What are the rules regarding signage?
      • One banner or sign must be carried or displayed in front of all judged entries.
      • Banner size requirements: minimum 2 ft. x 2 ft. Maximum of 3 ft. x 25 ft.
      • Banner carriers must be capable of keeping the parade pace.
      • Signs cannot exceed 2 ft. x 4 ft.
      • No “For Sale” signs may be displayed by entries.
    • Where can I drop off people who will be participating in the parade?
      This depends on your lineup location. There are two sections. Section 1 drop off is at Sonderan and E. Wabash Street Parking lot. Section 2 drop off is at Woodlawn and Civic Park Drive.
    • Can my dog walk in the parade with my entry?
      No, unless the dog is a service animal. The pavement gets very hot during the 2.1-mile parade route and may burn the pads of a dog's paws.
    • I have questions regarding my application, who do I contact?
      Please contact Jenna Chwascinski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-233-7113.
    • What do I need to know on parade day?
      • Line up begins at 7:00 a.m.
      • Check-in locations will be at each section.
      • A parade coordinator will assign you a number and direct you to your line up area.
      • All participants must be in place by 8:30 a.m.
      • Designate a meeting place for your group for those being dropped off.
      • No parking provided at the line up area or along the parade route.
      • The entry described on your application is the only entry allowed into the parade.
      • All entries must maintain their speed and position throughout the parade.
    • If I have a motorized entry, are there special rules?
      Yes! All motorized entries must follow these rules:
      • All vehicles must be completely restored. Vehicles with missing parts or unfinished paint jobs are not permitted.
      • Motorized vehicles must be operated by a licensed driver with liability insurance.
    • What are the rules for commercial and political entries

      Commercial entries

      • Please see application for fees and deadlines.
      • Commercial entries are eligible for judging.
      • May be sponsored by an individual business or business in a mutual association.
      • Commercial entries must decorate toward the parade theme. Commercial vehicles must be decorated more than 75% or will not be permitted event day.
      • Entries must adhere to general float requirements.
      • A logo or business name may be displayed but float must be further decorated.
      • Floats should not be used primarily for advertising purposes.

      Political entries

      • Political candidates must decorate their entry.
      • Magnets and signs are not accepted as decoration.
    • What are the rules for walking units
      • For multiple entries within a single organization: list the order they will appear on the application. (Schools with cheerleaders, drum majors, band, drill team.)
      • Walkers with children must have a minimum of four (4) adults.
      • Performances must be in a forward motion and/or marching routine.
      • Any action delaying the progress of the parade or creating large gaps are prohibited.
    • What exactly is a Tuskegee Airman?

      Tuskegee Airmen is the name given to members of the U.S. Army Air Force units in World War II that were comprised primarily of African American flyers and maintenance crews, though a few white officers and trainers were also involved. The group compiled an impressive record, primarily in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, despite facing frequent resistance to their presence in the formerly all-white Army Air Corps.

      The pilots and support personnel – both military and civilian, male and female – that served with the segregated 332nd Fighter Group and 477th Bombardment Group during World War II and before the integration of the Armed Forces are considered Tuskegee Airmen. The name originates from the segregated flying training program at Tuskegee Institute Army Air Corps Program, a unit at Tuskegee Army Air Field, located in Tuskegee, Alabama.

    • What are the "Red Tails?"
      “Red Tails” was a nickname given to the Tuskegee Airmen during their time in service during World War II. It evolved from the bomber pilots referring to their Tuskegee Airmen fighter escorts as Red Tail Angels because of their reputation and record for keeping the bombers safe on their dangerous missions over enemy territory.
    • Who were the WASP?

      The WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) were female pilots who volunteered to fly American military airplanes during World War II. At the time, it was thought that women would be incapable of flying such advanced airplanes – and that they should not be involved in the military in any aviation capacity. But there was a serious shortage of available pilots on the homefront. Many female pilots wanted to help; in order to do this, they needed to convince the top brass that they could do it. To serve their country, these courageous women overcame the challenges raised by those who believed women couldn’t fly.

      The WASP program was formed by combining the WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron) and the WFTD (Women’s Flying Training Detachment), two units that were set up separately to allow female pilots to support the activities of the military. They were combined as the WASP Program in July 1943.

    • What types of airplanes did WASP fly?
      The WASP flew nearly every type of airplane in the U.S. military’s inventory at the time; a few, highly-qualified women, even did test flights in rocket and jet powered airplanes. It was assessed by the military that the women flew more than 78 different types of airplanes, for a total of more than sixty million miles.
    • What time is RISE ABOVE open at Heritage & Freedom Fest?
      The exhibit is open on July 2 from 4–9:30 p.m., July 3 from 4–10:30 p.m. and July 4 from Noon – 9:30 p.m.
    • How much does it cost to watch the movies?
      There is no cost. Take a break from the heat and watch the short films, "RISE ABOVE: Red Tail" and "RISE ABOVE: WASP," in the 53' onsite air-conditioned theater.
    • What does my contribution go towards?
      Your contribution will assist with providing free quality services, activities and entertainment for Heritage & Freedom Fest.
    • Who do I contact to contribute?
      To become a Heritage & Freedom Fest sponsor, please contact Jennifer Hoisington at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 636-379-5605.

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