An event that has become synonymous in the Slidell area with good times during the Independence Day holiday returns for its 17th year.

The Slidell Heritage Festival, held July 4 each year at Heritage Park in Olde Towne Slidell, is staged by the Rotary Club of Slidell and the Rotary Club of Slidell Northshore, in conjunction with the city and numerous sponsors.

Organizers of the Slidell Heritage Festival recently revealed the names of the five different charitable groups that will benefit from the annual event: Slidell Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Camellia City Bark Park, Slidell Boys & Girls Club, Community Christian Concern and the Slidell Police Association.

Brenda Case, volunteer chairwoman for the Slidell Heritage Festival, said funds collected at the gate will benefit those five groups. Cost is $8 to enter for anyone 12 and older, and younger children are allowed to enter at no cost.

Case said the nonprofit organizations are chosen each year based on the worthiness of their cause and the possibility that they sometimes “fly beneath the public’s radar.”

“The intent of the festival has always been to have a major fundraiser to benefit the entire community,” Case said. “So, they fill out an application to be considered. We had the idea to select six or so groups to help them, and they in turn volunteer to help at the festival and get the profits. We change the groups up from time to time.”

The festival, which will take place from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., will feature live musical entertainment that is sure to excite visitors. Acts include Voodoo Gumbo from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; the Boogie Men from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and the Molly Ringwalds from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Of course, the main attraction each year is the spectacular fireworks show that will blast in the sky over Bayou Bonfouca beginning at 9 p.m.

There will be a plethora of good food, cold drink, crafts and children’s areas. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Art in the Park gathering on Bayou Bonfouca will feature eight booths of work from juried artists and craftsmen. The Northshore High School robotics team will display its latest invention during the Art in the Park session.

It’s all part of the action that allows six worthy nonprofit groups to benefit, while event organizers provide a good time for all who attend. Case said the festival usually raises approximately $60,000 after costs — a fine total for six fine organizations, she said.

“We hope that this year, we can raise even more money for these groups,” she said.

For more information on the Slidell Heritage Festival, visit www.slidellheritagefestival.org.