The nation marks Independence Day all weekend, and communities across South Louisiana are, of course, joining the celebrations. Two of the largest local events will be the USS KIDD’s 4th of July Spectacular in Baton Rouge and the Cajun Country Jam in Livingston.
Both of these gatherings will be star-studded events, with the reigning Miss USA and this year’s contestants dropping in downtown, and a handful of celebrities from TV’s past appearing in Livingston.
Events downtown in and around the KIDD’s Veterans Museum will include a passing of the flag ceremony, musical entertainment, a pie baking contest judging and a hot dog eating contest. Festivities close with WBRZ’s Fireworks on the Mississippi, presented in conjunction with the museum.
The full schedule is as follows:
9 a.m.: Passing of the flag ceremony - Nation of Patriots, River Levee Stage
10 a.m.: Flag demonstration, LeJeune Plaza
2 p.m.: Vendor booths open (A variety of local cuisine and ice cold drinks)
2 p.m.: Big River Express, River Levee Stage
3 p.m.: USS KIDD’s Zone opens (patriotic crafts, inflatables, yard games, face painting and more), River Levee Amphitheater
3 p.m.: Judging of pie baking contest. Local bakeries compete for Baton Rouge’s best All-American pie, inside the USS KIDD Veterans Museum
3:45 p.m.: Rosie and the Swingin’ Riveters (1940s patriotic music), River Levee Stage
4:45 p.m.: Hot dog eating contest sponsored by City Pork, River Levee Stage
5:30 p.m.: Hot dog eating/pie award ceremony, River Levee Stage
5:45 p.m.: Mayor Kip Holden will greet attendees and thank sponsors
5:45 p.m.: Quiana Lynell and the Lush Life (jazz, classical, soul and funk), River Levee Stage
7:30 p.m.: Werewolf (’80s cover band), River Levee Stage
9 p.m.: WBRZ’s “Fireworks on the Mississippi” (presented by the USS KIDD Veterans Museum
All events are free. For more information, visit usskidd.com or call (225) 342-1942.
This is the second year for the Cajun Country Jam at the Livingston Fairgrounds. Last year’s reunion of some of the cast of TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard” has expanded this year, adding Barbara Eden and Bill Daily of “I Dream of Jeannie,” Dawn Wells of “Gilligan’s Island,” and Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox of “CHiPs.”
The music lineup offers Tracy Lawrence, Mark Chesnutt, Louisana’s LeRoux, The Chee Weez, Gillis Silo, Van Brousard and Floyd Brown.
Amusement rides will operate all day, along with vendors booths, car displays, a fireworks show at 8:30 p.m. and more.
Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the gate.
For details, visit www.cajuncountryjam.com
Other Fourth of July events around the area include:
- HAPPY 3RD OF JULY: 7 p.m.-9 p.m., The Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn, City Park, New Orleans. There will be Marine introductions, and a performance by the Marine Corps Band of New Orleans. At 9 p.m., fireworks from the top of the Peristyle. Free.
- KENILWORTH INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE: 6:30 p.m., along Kenilworth Parkway, Baton Rouge. Former LSU head football coach Jerry Stoval will preside as Grand Marshal and Linda Fredericks will represent the neighborhood as resident of the year. With the theme of “Let Freedom Ring,” the parade will also feature military and civic groups, antique cars, elected officials and family floats. Free. kenilworthneighborhood.com
- ERATH 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION: downtown Erath. Carnival, live music, parade, vendors, dance contest, 5K run and 1 mile walk, rides, and more. Giant fireworks display over the skies of Erath at 9 p.m. on Saturday.
- AVOYELLES ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Main and Washington Streets, downtown Marksville. Live music performances in the genres of country, zydeco, second line brass, alternative Cajun and American Roots. There will also be food eating contests, comedy and a invocation featuring the color guard and speeches. On Saturday, a parade will begin at 6 p.m., ending with the annual fireworks display.
- NEW ROADS 4TH OF JULY BOAT PARADE & MUSIC FESTIVAL: 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday and noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Morrison Parkway, New Roads. (225) 638-5360
- JULY 4TH FEST: 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m., downtown riverfront, Port Allen. Face painting, magicians, clowns, space walk, beverages, vendors, food. Live music by Ryan Foret & the Foret Tradition with special guests Ross Grisham, Damon Troy and Travis Thibodeaux, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
- NEW IBERIA FOURTH OF JULY PARADE: 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Bouligny Plaza and along Main Street, downtown New Iberia. The parade will be followed by Honor Guard ceremony, along with harmony of patriotic music. (337) 344-9397 or iberiatravel.com
- GO 4TH ON THE RIVER: Historic New Orleans Riverfront, New Orleans. There will be a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Go4thontheriver.com
- SECOND ANNUAL CELEBRATE AMERICA: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., downtown Hammond. 5K run, Veterans’ and children’s parade, a jambalaya cook-off, live music, food eating contests, a silent auction, cake walk, display of military vehicles and a veteran meet-and-greet. Proceeds to benefit local veteran associations.
- PLAQUEMINE JULY 4TH HOMETOWN CELEBRATION: Plaquemine. A production of the Plaquemine Main Street Program. 2 p.m.-9 p.m., Plquemine Lock Historic Site open with free admission and Lock tours; 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Iberville Museum will open with free admission; 5 p.m., live music featuring Unfinished Business; 5:30 p.m., Boat Parade departing from the boat landing across from the Iberville Parish Jail on Bayou Road, Grand Marshals are local veterans; 7 p.m., Jitterbug dance contest on the Boardwalk; 9 p.m., fireworks display. (225) 687-3116 or plaquemine.org/events
- L’AUBERGE FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZZA: 7 p.m.-10 p.m., L’Auberge Casino Hotel - Baton Rouge, 777 L’Auberge Ave. Family-friendly viewing on the lawn; patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Concessions will be sold. Free. 5 p.m.-midnight: rooftop pool viewing with music by DJ Triz-A. $20. 8 p.m.-midnight: live music in the Promenade. 10 p.m.: live music at the Edge. 5 p.m.-11 p.m.: Steak dinner and fireworks viewing. Reservations required. mylauberge.com. All events are for those 21 and older, except the family-friendly viewing on the lawn.
- 11TH ANNUAL JULY 4TH CELEBRATION: 7 p.m.-10 p.m., LSU Museum of Art, Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. An all-inclusive evening of entertainment. There will be barbecue, specialty drinks, live music and fireworks viewing. $125 for members; $150 for non-members; $50 for ages 5-12; free for ages 4 and younger. (225) 389-7200 or lsumoa.org
- INDEPENDENCE DAY CONCERT: 7:30 p.m., steps of the State Capitol, Featuring the Baton Rouge Concert Band performing patriotic tunes. Free.
- LET FREEDOM RING FESTIVAL: 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Peltier Park, Thibodaux. Food, music, fireworks and more.
- SLIDELL HERITAGE FESTIVAL: 4 p.m.-11 p.m., Heritage Park, 1701 Bayou Lane, Slidell. Food, music, entertainment, kids’ games, fireworks and more.
- ROCK THE 5TH: 1 p.m., downtown Morgan City. There will be live music featuring Driftwood from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m., The Beau Young Band from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and Krossfyre from 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. There will also be children’s activities from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
Rock the 5th: 5 p.m., Riverfront, Berwick. cajuncoast.com