St. Louis' Best Annual Events in July, August and September

••• Balloons Launching at the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. Photo by David O'Brien

You're sure to find something fun to do when visiting the Gateway City in the heart of the summer. That's because many of St. Louis' biggest annual events happen in July, August and September. From holiday celebrations to outdoor festivals, here are the top picks for summer events.

July

Fair Saint Louis - St. Louis' biggest July 4th celebration is Fair Saint Louis. The three-day festival takes place over the Independence Day holiday.

There's a parade, food, free live music and fireworks each night. Past performers include Melissa Etheridge, Heart, and Kool and the Gang.

Whitaker Music Festival - The Missouri Botanical Garden hosts a free summer concert series on Wednesday nights. You can bring blankets and picnic baskets, or buy food from the cafe. The music gets underway at 7:30 p.m., but there's free Garden admission starting at 5 p.m.

SLAM Outdoor Film Series - Take in a free movie on Art Hill in Forest Park. The St. Louis Art Museum hosts it annual film series on Friday nights in July. The evenings also include live music and goodies from the city's most popular food trucks.

August

St. Louis YMCA Book Fair - Book lovers won't want to miss this once-a-year event. Hundreds of thousands of used books, audio books and DVDs are on sale at bargain prices during the five-day fair.

Festival of the Little Hills - This outdoor festival at Frontier Park, and along historic Main Street, in St.

Charles attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. Vendors set up booths selling all kinds of arts and crafts. There is also live music, food and kids activities,

Festival of Nations - The Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park in St. Louis is a celebration of the world's diversity. It features food, music, dancing and art from dozens of countries from across the globe.

September

LouFest Music Festival - St. Louis' popular indie music festival brings top acts like OutKast and The Killers to Forest Park. During the two-day festival, dozens of up-and-coming artists take the stage to perform for the crowd.

Great Forest Park Balloon Race - One of the biggest events of the year, the Great Forest Park Balloon Race is an impressive sight. Some 70 hot air balloons launch one after the other filling the skies of St. Louis. The night before the big race is the Balloon Glow. That's where the balloons inflate but stay on the ground, lighting up the night.

Taste of St. Louis - The Gateway City's best restaurants serve up their most popular dishes at the annual Taste of St. Louis. There are also food demonstrations, a chef battle and live music.

Want more things to do in St. Louis? Check out the monthly event calendars for each month of the year.