St. Charles Parish will hold its 23rd annual Independence Day Celebration from 6 until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 at the West Bank Bridge Park.
The event will feature a performance by popular New Orleans band the Topcats, a patriotic balloon-twisting clown and food. There will not be a flyover this year as the parish tries to cut back on costs.
The Topcats are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., with a nearly 30-minute-long fireworks extravaganza to begin at 9 p.m. The Topcats were voted best cover band in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 by Offbeat Magazine’s "Best of The Beat" awards. The self-proclaimed "hardest working band in the New Orleans area" will play popular music spanning six decades. The band celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
An opening ceremony is set to begin at approximately 6:15 p.m.
While some have questioned the cost of the yearly fireworks event, the parish estimates that they spend less than $25,000 on the outside services needed to hold the celebration. The biggest costs are the fireworks, which run $15,000, and the Topcats contract, which is $4,000.
Local nonprofit organizations will sell food such as nachos, sweets, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, pickles, French fries, corn dogs, jambalaya and pulled pork sandwiches. Drinks and snoballs will also be served.
Vendors, who will also sell glow necklaces, will be located in the West Bank Bridge Park’s concession stand and permanent shelters.
I-310 southbound and northbound off ramps to LA 18 will be closed 15 minutes prior to the fireworks and throughout the show, and LA 18 will be closed from Ashton Plantation Boulevard to the School Board Office.
Pets and glass bottles are NOT allowed within the West Bank Bridge Park; however, guests are allowed to bring their own adult beverages to the event. Ice chests and folding chairs are welcomed.