Some 1,200 fireworks will burst above the Mississippi River Saturday night — but not before a crew of eight meticulously loads each explosive into tubes and hooks them up to a special network of wires, a task they’ve been working on for days. The label on each pyrotechnic bundle, or “shell,” promises different versions of nature-inspired bombs — “red wave with double blue pistil,” “spiderweb,” “willow,” “palm,” “peony.”

“It’s like being in a war zone,” said head shooter Jeff Danevich, of manning a barge while the Independence Day fireworks display is underway.

The WBRZ Fireworks on the Mississippi sponsored by USS Kidd will begin at 9 p.m.


The Baton Rouge Police Department offers these tips for the July 4 holiday:

Fireworks are illegal everywhere in the city of Baton Rouge, as well as all of East Baton Rouge Parish, and will be confiscated if found. Violators could also face criminal charges.

Police will strictly enforce the law against anyone found firing a gun into the air.

Patrols will be actively looking for drunk or impaired drivers on roadways across the city and police plan to set up several sobriety checkpoints.

Those coming downtown for the fireworks show should arrive early as downtown exit ramps may be temporarily closed off if traffic backs up onto the Interstate. Motorists are urged to use all available routes leading downtown.

No ice chests, BBQ pits, tents, or pets will be allowed to be brought into the festival grounds downtown.

Over 100 uniformed law enforcement personnel will be assigned to the downtown area in addition to regular patrols, supplemented by personnel from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and Louisiana Department of Public Safety.

Police will use officers on foot, bicycles and horse mounted patrols, as well as aerial surveillance and other technology such as fixed and mobile cameras, microphones and night-vision equipment.

There will be “zero tolerance” for criminal activity, and anyone jeopardizing public safety, even for misdemeanor offenses, may be arrested and booked.

Groups will not be allowed to loiter or gather after the fireworks show ends. Officers will actively assist in helping clear the area as quickly as possible once the fireworks display concludes.