River Views: River Parishes to celebrate Independence Day on July 3 _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New River Parish columnist Lori Lyons in New Orleans, La. Monday, April 20, 2015.

St. Charles Parish will hold its 25th annual Independence Day Celebration from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 3, at the West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road, featuring a performance by popular local band, the Bucktown All-Stars. The event will begin with an opening ceremony at 6:15 p.m., featuring a flag-raising by a local Boy Scout Troop, the singing of the national anthem and the recitation of the parish’s Independence Day proclamation.

The band is scheduled to begin at about 6:25 p.m., with a 20-minute fireworks extravaganza beginning at 9 p.m. There also will be two patriotic balloon-twisting clowns, mini golf for the kids with Logan’s Little Greens, food booths, giveaways and more.

Local nonprofit groups will sell food and drinks at the event, including nachos, candy, pulled pork, watermelon, jambalaya, drinks, French fries, corn dogs, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and pickles. Glow necklaces and American flags also will be available for sale.

Vendors will be located in the West Bank Bridge Park’s concession stand and permanent shelters. Pets, glass bottles and poppers are not allowed within the West Bank Bridge Park. Guest may bring their own adult beverages, ice chests and folding chairs to the event.

In addition, the state fire marshal has ordered that no one be allowed to enter or leave the park for up to 30 minutes before and after the fireworks show. The I-310 southbound and northbound off ramps to River Road (LA 18) will be closed 15 minutes prior to the fireworks and throughout the show, and River Road (LA 18) will be closed from Ashton Plantation Boulevard to the School Board Office.

The West Bank Bridge Park will be closed the afternoon of July 2 in anticipation of this event, and the public is not allowed to drive or walk past barricades near the levee during fireworks setup.

St. John celebrates Friday

St. John the Baptist Parish will hold its annual Independence Day celebration from 6 p.m.to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 3, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 1550 Hwy. 44, in Reserve, and at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 2349 La. 18, in Edgard.

Both celebrations also will be broadcast live on the St. John Government Channel.

St. Charles United Way approves expenditure

The United Way of St. Charles Board of Directors recently approved a total program expenditure amount of $2,644,287 for the 2015-16 fiscal year to provide support to local agencies in St. Charles Parish. The United Way of St. Charles is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support local agencies and programs in the areas of education, income and health.

Programs include the St. Charles Community Health Center, the Boys Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans, the American Red Cross, Alpha Daughters of Zion and Second Harvest. United Way of St. Charles also develops and implements programs that target specific needs in St. Charles Parish.

All donations made through the United Way of St. Charles’ annual campaign stay in St. Charles Parish, unless a donor requests a contribution be sent elsewhere.

Preschool applications being accepted

St. John the Baptist Parish School Board is accepting applications for its 4-year-old preschool program. Children must turn 4 before Sept. 30 to be eligible and will be accepted regardless of income, if under $250,000. Applications can be picked up at either of the following locations or printed from the website at www.stjohn.k12.la.us.

Applications should be submitted in person at one of the following addresses: St. John Child Development Center, 117 Stebbins Road, Garyville, or West Saint John Elementary, 2555 La. 18, Edgard.

Veterans Luncheon in St. John

The 10th annual St. John the Baptist Parish Veterans Luncheon will be held on Friday, July 3, at 11 a.m. at the Louisiana Army National Guard Readiness Center, 4120 West Airline Highway in Reserve. Local residents were asked to submit photos of fallen service members for a video to be presented at the luncheon. It also will be shared on the St. John Parish website, on its Facebook page and on the government channel on TV.

Lori Lyons reports on the River Parishes. Send information on news, events, accomplishments and story ideas to her at sportslyons@gmail.com.