With crowd limitations and other coronavirus safety restrictions still in place, Louisiana faces downsized celebrations this Fourth of July. Most notably, for the first time in its 51-year history, Fireworks on the Mississippi will not be lighting up the skies in downtown Baton Rouge.
Here's some info on planned events in the area:
Fourth of July Celebration: Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, 100 S. River Road, Baton Rouge. Price is $20 for non-members, free for members. Shows include "National Parks Adventure," a giant-screen movie narrated by Robert Redford at 5 p.m.; "America's Musical Journey," narrated by Morgan Freeman, at 6 p.m.; and a laser music show featuring the rock band Queen's greatest hits at 7 p.m. Face masks are required and will be provided to those who arrive without one.
July 4th Celebration: noon to 3 p.m. across from the Governor's Mansion. Music, food, speeches and fun. Sponsored by New Orleans radio host Jeff Croeure. Contributors include Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish, Chamber of Commerce of East Baton Rouge Parish, Central City News and St. George Leader.
False River Fourth of July Boat Parade: 2 p.m., New Roads. This year's theme is "A Tribute to Frontline Workers." Participants are encouraged to decorate their boats reflecting that theme. Boaters will cruise by the floating dock next to Morel's to be judged by a panel of voters. The parade will start behind the Daiquiri Diner. Trophies for the most patriotic and best decorated boats and party barges and other categories will be handed out. Spectators must keep at least 6 feet apart, and face masks are strongly recommended. The annual water balloon throw will take place.
Independence Day Celebration: 3 p.m., Sidney Hutchinson Park, 30500 Corbin Ave., Walker. Free, family event with food for sale, a scavenger hunt at 4 p.m., live music by Bulletproof from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and fireworks at dark. Social distancing rules apply. Visitors are urged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, sunscreen and bug spray. No pets or alcohol allowed.
Patriotic Paw-Rade: 5:30 p.m., Rouzan development. Sponsored by Varsity Sports, the half-mile pet parade will start and end in the Rouzan Circle at the Varsity Sports arch. Free T-shirts for those who pre-register, opportunities to adopt dogs from Companion Animal Alliance and watermelon served afterwards.
Virtual Fireworks on the Mississippi: 9 p.m., WBRZ, Channel 2. If you thought about heading downtown for the annual fireworks extravaganza, change your plans. The city of Baton Rouge canceled permits that would allow large gatherings, so WBRZ — which annually sponsors the live fireworks display — will air a special, “WBRZ’s Fireworks on the Mississippi Extravaganza,” in its place.
The show will feature local musical guests performing patriotic selections and uniquely Louisiana songs, with a finale of fireworks footage from a previous year, backed by the Marine Corps Band playing in the background. WBRZ News anchors Michael Shingleton and Sylvia Weatherspoon will introduce musical guests performing videos. The acts include The Michael Foster Project, Parish County Line, Esco McCollum Jr. featuring EM3, and Chaislyn.
The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge lined up the performers.
In addition, the USS Kidd Veterans Museum will be open for tours on Saturday, but the usual Independence Day live music, hot dog eating contests, parades and events around the destroyer have been canceled.