Until this week, St. Charles Parish decision makers had to keep their plans for its annual Independence Day celebration under wraps, primarily because they were hard at work to ensure the event could happen — as everyone traditionally knows it — at all.
This year’s event will take place July 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the West Bank Bridge Park, with a fireworks display capping off the festivities at night’s end. The latter was in question for awhile, however.
Because of the elevated Mississippi River, it was unknown as to whether the annual fireworks show at the event would be allowed to take place at all. Restrictions have been placed by the Army Corps of Engineers that prohibit the firing of fireworks off the levee for safety reasons.
The 20-minute show has long been the signature of the Independence Day celebration, so holding the event without it at all wasn’t an option parish representatives were eager to take. Securing a new location for the fireworks show that was near the park was not easy, however, as permits had to be secured, agreements with new location representatives hashed out and safety measures put into place. But in the end, the site became reality, a property in front of Ashton Plantation parallel to the Bridge Park serving as the site for the fireworks to be shot off of land.
“We have been working diligently for two weeks to ensure we were able to save the fireworks show for our residents,” said St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran. “We know how much it means to our residents to celebrate Independence Day as a community.”
Cochran noted the efforts of several parish staff members that worked “countless hours to find creative solutions to ensure this event would happen,” including Executive Director of Procurement and Government buildings Darrin Duhe, interim Public Information Officer Adrienne Bourgeois and the parish’s public information staff, and Parish Attorney Bobby Raymond.
“The Independence Day Celebration is the largest outdoor event attended by St. Charles residents. It represents the very fabric of our community,” Cochran said.
It will be the 29th annual Independence Day celebration, this year’s event featuring musical performance by Groovy 7.
An opening ceremony featuring a flag-raising by a local Boy Scout troop, the national anthem and opening remarks by Cochran will begin at approximately 6:15 p.m. The band will perform at approximately 6:25 p.m. with the fireworks extravaganza set for 9 p.m.
The food and drink items will be sold by local nonprofit organizations at the celebration: nachos, sweets, pulled pork, watermelon, jambalaya, pastalaya, French fries, corn dogs, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, pickles, soft drinks, water, frozen treats and snowballs.