Baton Rouge will celebrate New Year's Eve and mark the end of the 200th year since the city's incorporation with live music and fireworks over the Mississippi River on Dec. 31.
The Red Stick Revelry 2017 celebration will begin at 11:30 a.m. in downtown Baton Rouge, according to a news release from event organizers. A 9-foot tall red stick made of LED lights will be hoisted 60 feet above North Boulevard Town Square and then will drop at midnight accompanied by fireworks, marking the start of the new year.
Fireworks set off from the levee will be visible all around downtown.
Hours of live music will precede the red stick drop in Galvez Plaza adjacent to City Hall, starting at 7 p.m. with the local band Bread Pudd'n followed by Phat Hat at 9 p.m.
Actor, director and musician John Schneider will perform with Phat Hat. He is known for his role in the television show "The Dukes of Hazard" and helped found the Children's Miracle Network, a charity for sick and injured children.
Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Town Square will be filled with activities for children, including allowing participants to design their own red stick and learn about printmaking from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and local artists. A birthday cake commemorating the 200th anniversary since the city was incorporated will also be served, and James Linden Hogg, the 2015 state fiddle champion, will perform.
Church congregations are welcome to attend a community sing along of "Auld Lang Syne" at noon, when the red stick will begin its ascent in preparation for the coming drop.
According to event organizers, the New Year's Eve celebration has previously drawn an estimated 20,000 people into downtown Baton Rouge.