Forget New Year's, July Fourth's big party in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE -- Whereas people in most states are preoccupied with plans for New Year's Eve this millennium year, Louisiana is more concerned with plans for the Fourth of July.

During this 300th anniversary celebration, many cities are preparing for Independence Day festivities the likes of which have not been seen. In fact, some cities like Baton Rouge are planning such big celebrations that smaller towns will be holding their events July 3 so as not to get lost in the shuffle of the bigger festivities.

The following are some of the events planned by a variety of cities throughout the state; some will have a FrancoFete theme.

  • June 30 to July 4 in Erath, there will be Le Quatre de Juillet and Centennial Fete. The town's Cajun culture celebrates its 1899 founding with an exposition of French heritage. A carnival and street fair take place nightly, with French music and a fais-do-do on July 3.
  • A parade recognizing the Acadian people's contributions to the American Revolution starts at 5 p.m. on July 4.

  • July 2 to 4, a Freedom Festival will be held in Houma, featuring a fairway of carnival rides, games, food booths, music and a fireworks display.
  • July 2 to 4, Ponchatoula will hold an old-fashioned Fourth of July in the downtown area, with the theme "America's Antique City."
  • July 3, Bernice's Independence Day celebration is to be a community-wide event with patriotic music, a picnic and veteran's activities and will feature performances by area church choirs.
  • July 3 and 4, the Cajun Creole Festival in Lafayette will have food, arts and crafts and live zydeco and Cajun music.
  • July 3, Donaldsonville's celebration will be the third-annual event with fireworks, a fais-do-do, live music, a "Cajun-style" barbecue cook-off contest, antique car and historic museum displays. It takes place in Crescent Park.
  • July 3 and 4 in Marksville, the Fourth of July celebration will feature music and dancing in the streets around the courthouse Friday night and a parade concluding with fireworks on Saturday night.
  • July 3, Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza in Hammond will take place at
  • Zemurray Park and will include entertainment for the family.

  • July 3, the Zydeco Festival in Lebeau will allow visitors to hear music, eat food and play family games on the grounds of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
  • July 4, Celebration on the Cane is an old-fashioned Fourth of July in Natchitoches featuring traditional fare such as hot dogs, apple pie and lemonade and music performed by string bands, brass bands, Sousa marches and patriotic presentations by choirs. A fireworks display will happen at dark.
  • July 4, a boat parade in Jarreau marks Independence Day on False River, with a changing theme of historical events.
  • July 4, the Jaycees Fourth of July Fireworks in Monroe-West Monroe features an extensive fireworks display along the Ouachita River.
  • July 4 in Eunice will be a traditional celebration of the nation's birthday with a Cajun twist at 6 p.m. Cajun bands play while visitors dance, and at 9 p.m. a fireworks display is scheduled.
  • July 4 in Thibodaux, a
  • Let Freedom Ring celebration will feature arts and crafts, cultural displays, live music, fireworks and other events at Peltier Park.

  • July 4, a Star Spangled Celebration in Baton Rouge, a family celebration of Independence Day, features fireworks on the Mississippi.
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