Happy Birthday

Fourth of July celebrations set throughout area

Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU - Spectators on the USS Kidd in downtown Baton Rouge watch fireworks light up the sky last year.
Advocate staff photo by ADAM LAU - Spectators on the USS Kidd in downtown Baton Rouge watch fireworks light up the sky last year.

Not all of the earth-shaking booms in downtown Baton Rouge on the Fourth of July will be from fireworks.

At 6:10 p.m. Thursday, the Southern Heritage Air Foundation of Vicksburg, Miss., will launch its annual mock raid on the USS Kidd.

“We’ll be making plenty of noise and smoke,” USS Kidd director Maury Drummond said.

Dan Fortice, one of the pilots and an organizer of the event, said he’s not tired of staging the attack yet, even though the script says the ship always wins.

“It’s a totally unfair attack. I’ve been getting shot down for 10 years,” he joked.

The aircraft flown by the members of the foundation are AT-6 Texans, World War II training planes.

“AT stands for Advanced Training. These are the first airplanes that pilots back in the day got into for training to fly fighter aircraft,” he said.

This year, four AT-6s will attack the boat and the USS Kidd will defend herself yet again.

“They tell me it’s pretty fun to see from the ground. I’ve never seen it from that vantage point,” Fortice said.

After the air raid, country singer Jenny Brooks will perform, followed by the Chris LeBlanc Band at 7:45 p.m. Fireworks on the Mississippi, sponsored by WBRZ and The Advocate, will begin at 9 p.m.

Attendees can view the fireworks from the levee or pay $10 to see the show from the decks of the USS Kidd. Tickets can be purchased from the USS Kidd museum gift shop beginning Monday, July 1.

Also, the Baton Rouge Concert Band will present its free Independence Day concert of patriotic tunes at 7:30 p.m. on the steps of the State Capitol. The band plays until just before the fireworks start.

The sixth floor terrace of the Shaw Center for the Arts will also be open for fireworks viewing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. A selection of Tsunami’s grill and sushi, wine and beer will be available as well as live music by Blues4Sale. Tickets are $125 for Shaw Center members, $150 for nonmembers, $50 for those ages 5-21 and free for children 4 and younger. A portion of the proceeds benefit the LSU Museum of Art. Call (225) 389-7210 for tickets.

Drummond advises visitors to arrive early in the day to get a good parking spot and enjoy some entertainment before the fireworks.

The BASF Freedom Mile with the Club South Runners will begin at the Old State Capitol at 8:30 a.m.

The USS Kidd and the museum open at 9 a.m. Anyone who buys a ticket to the museum only or to the museum and the USS Kidd can see the Riverside Opry featuring Anita LeBlanc at 1 p.m. in the Museum Theatre. “It’ll be good family entertainment. We hope people will come down for that,” Drummond said.

Air conditioning and indoor restrooms are another reason to buy a ticket, he said.

Tours of the museum only are $5 for adults and $4 for children. Tours of the USS Kidd and the museum together cost $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for active military and $5 for children. The museum is open until 3 p.m. and the ship closes at 4 p.m.

Plenty of entertainment will also be available outside, including a performance by 90 Degrees West at 3:30 p.m. Anita LeBlanc with Westbound Train and the Old South Jamboree house band will play again at 4:30 p.m. and Mayor Kip Holden will join the band for a special song at 6 p.m.

Refreshments will be available for sale beginning at noon. “We’ll have plenty of beer, Coke, food of all kinds,” Drummond said.

No ice chests, BBQ pits, tents or pets are allowed at the festival.

“When the USS Kidd took over doing the 4th of July celebration over 25 years ago, Mayor (Tom Ed) McHugh emphasized that we should make it safe and family-oriented and that’s what we’ve always done,” Drummond said.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

usskidd.com

lsumoa.org

In Kenilworth

The annual Kenilworth Independence Day Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, at Kenilworth Science & Technology School, 7600 Boone Drive.

The theme of the neighborhood parade, sponsored by the Kenilworth Civic Association, is “Hometown Heroes.” The parade will include military and civic groups, bagpipers, antique cars, buggies, elected officials, horse groups and more. Resident of the year Max Scott will be honored and the Grand Marshal will be Collis Temple Jr.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

kenilworthneighborhood.com/july4kca.htm

In Port Allen

The July 4th Fest in downtown Port Allen at the riverfront begins at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 4.

Wayne Toups will take the stage at 5 p.m. and Foret Tradition will play at 7:30 p.m. Other attractions include face painting, a magician, clowns and a spacewalk.

No ice chests are allowed. Food and beverages will be offered for sale. The riverfront is also a good place to view Fireworks on the Mississippi at 9 p.m.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

westbatonrouge.net

In Plaquemine

The 13th Annual July 4th Hometown Celebration will take place 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at the Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park, 57845 Foundry St., Plaquemine.

Events include the Veterans’ Boat Parade at 5 p.m., crafts, free putt-putt boat rides, dancing on the boardwalk, game booths, and a jitterbug dancing contest. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. Food will be available for sale. This event is sponsored by the City of Plaquemine Main Street Program. No ice chests, personal tents, pets or fireworks are allowed.

The Iberville Museum’s July 4th celebration will feature a tour of the exhibit gallery. Gene Seneca, of Gross Tete, will showcase his Atchafalaya Lagniappe exhibition, with cypress carving demonstrations, photographs and storytelling from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The museum will be open noon-6 p.m. Admission is free.

The Iberville Museum is located at 57735 Main St. in Plaquemine. Call (225) 687-7197 for more information.

On False River

False River’s Fourth of July decoration contest and boat parade will take place at the south end of False River at Marc Barker’s two-story octagon-shaped pier (near Pointe Placid Condos) in Jarreau on Thursday, July 4.

The decorating theme this year is “Tribute to Louisiana Music Legends.” The pier judging contest begins at 11 a.m., followed by watercraft judging at noon and the boat parade at 1 p.m.

For more information, call (225) 202-1041 or check the False River Fourth of July Boat Parade Facebook page.

In Batchelor
(near New Roads)

The Old River Landing bar and grill in Batchelor will hold a fireworks display over the Old River at 9 p.m. Friday, July 5. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

From Baton Rouge, take La. 1 North, turn left on La. 1/Hospital Road and then left on La. 419 and continue for half a mile. Look for a sign on the right. Continue over the levee. For more information, call (225) 492-3474.

In Walker

The Livingston Parish Veterans Association’s Red White and Blue celebration will take place on Thursday, July 4, at Sidney Hutchinson Park, 13750 Ball Park Road in Walker.

Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Field activities include sack races, baseball games and a tug of war start at 10 a.m. Food will be sold beginning at 11 a.m., with hamburgers, hot dogs, crawfish, shrimp, barbeque, sno-balls and more available. The dedication ceremony honoring veterans will take place at the pavilion at 1 p.m. with live music to follow. The event will end with a fireworks display at dark. An F-16 flyover will precede the fireworks.

From Baton Rouge, take I-12 to Exit 15, turn left onto La. 447 (Walker South Road), continue north, turning right at U.S. 190 (Florida Boulevard) Take a left onto La. 1029 (Corbin Avenue) Cross over the railroad tracks and the park is on the left.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

walker.la.us

In Donaldsonville

Fireworks on the River will take place 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Crescent Park on Mississippi Street in Donaldsonville.

The Avenue Cruisers Band will play from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., while the Michael Foster Project will perform before and after the fireworks display at 9 p.m. There will be food vendors and children’s activities. No coolers are allowed.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

facebook.com/events/498177970250387/

In New Iberia

The town will holds its Fourth of July parade from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 4, downtown, with other activities taking place at Bouligny Plaza, 102 W. Main St. The parade will be followed by an Honor Guard ceremony, patriotic music and fireworks at dusk.

For more information, call (337) 344-9397.

In New Orleans

The “Happy 3rd of July” celebration with fireworks and patriotic performances is planned for City Park, 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, but visitors may come to the Goldring Woldenberg Great Lawn early to find a spot for their chairs or blankets. No tent staking is allowed. Concessions will be available, but outside food and drink are allowed. The evening will begin with a performance by the Marine Corps Band New Orleans and the Navy Band New Orleans at 7 p.m. The fireworks show will start shortly before 9 p.m.

Dueling Barges Fireworks Extravaganza on the riverfront by Jax Brewery begins at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 4. The display is set to music on Magic 101.9 FM radio. Cruises on the Natchez Steamboat and the Creole Queen are also available during the event.

The Bayou St. John Boat Parade by the Krewe of Kolossos takes place 5 p.m.-8 p.m. beginning and ending at Orleans Avenue. Prizes will be awarded. Free for spectators.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

go4thontheriver.com

facebook.com/events/403640003076148/
?fref=ts

In Covington

Covington’s Bicentennial Celebration will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Bogue Falaya Park, 213 Park Drive.

The celebration will continue until dusk and includes music, fireworks, food, games and family fun. Free.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

covla.com