The 34th annual St. Bernard Salutes America Celebration will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. The event will take place on the grounds of the Frederick Sigur Civic Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette. Offerings for all ages include live entertainment, children’s activities, trackless train rides and an elaborate fireworks show.

“We’re always excited to celebrate Independence Day,” St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said. “We have a hard-working community, and this is always a good time for everyone.”

Amanda Shaw will perform from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Live 5 will be onstage from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., when the fireworks begin.

For more information, contact Donald Bourgeois at (504) 236-3877 or Andrew Becker at (504) 473-7238.

Battle comes alive

What was it like to be a soldier or a civilian back in the Battle of New Orleans era? Find out from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 7, as Chalmette Battlefield living history volunteers set up camp, fire cannons and show off campfire cooking skills. The event is free at the Chalmette Battlefield of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 8606 West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette.

Park rangers give daily talks about the battle at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., except on July 4. The visitor center will be closed for the federal holiday, but entrance gates will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For information, call (504) 281-0510 or visit nps.gov/jela.

Summer Reading wraps up

The Libraries Rock summer reading program will play its last notes this week at the St. Bernard Parish Library, 2600 Palmisano Blvd. in Chalmette, with a few final events before the awards ceremonies. The fifth week of activities includes a craft program at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 5, and an interactive theatrical program at 3 p.m. Friday, July 6.

Curtis Pierre, the founder of Casa Samba, Brazilian musician and Pandeiro master, will bring the summer arts series to a close when he performs at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 7. Audience members will join a jam session as he introduces them to musical instruments from Brazil and Africa. The program will include another aspect of a Brazilian Carnival when stilt walkers take center stage.

The deadline for readers to turn in completed activity sheets to be entered into the prize drawings is Thursday, July 12, for pre-readers through 12th-graders. The grand finale prize drawing will be at 3 p.m. Friday, July 13, for pre-readers through fifth-graders, and the Teens and Tweens prize drawing will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 14. Adult readers have until Saturday, Aug. 4, to complete their activity sheets to be eligible for their prize drawing Tuesday, Aug. 7. Readers who are unable to attend the prize drawings or who finish late have until Aug. 4 to receive their rewards.

For information, call (504) 279-0448 or visit mysbpl.org.

Nemesis social

The Knights of Nemesis Social Club and Parade will host its social meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 9, at Cy’s Bar, 817 E. St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette. Members and prospective members are invited. Food will be provided. The 14th annual Knights of Nemesis Parade is scheduled for Feb. 23. For information about the social or parade, contact Billy Showalter, (504) 583-3998 or visit knightsofnemesis.org.

Addiction program anniversary

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office Addiction Resource Program, formed in June 2017 by Sheriff James Pohlmann to help people fighting addiction, has aided more than 300 in its first year.

“The program is designed to help residents struggling with an addiction, whether it be substance abuse, or even gambling related, find the resources they need to better cope with their situation,” Pohlmann said.

Spearheaded by Stanley Simeon, the program provides people and their families with information on resources available to them, such as rehabilitation programs, detox centers, therapeutic plans of action and faith-based assistance.

“If you want to get rid of the crime problem, you have to start with the drug problem,” Pohlmann said. “We spend a lot of money on incarceration on people who have drug problems that commit crimes to support their drug problems and they're sitting in jail. They don't need to be in jail; they need to be in treatment."

If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, call Simeon at (504) 517-2944 or (504) 278-7659. Participation in the program is kept confidential.

Karen Turni Bazile writes about people and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at parishlines@gmail.com