St. John July 4 fireworks will continue

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – An eight-year tradition of fireworks on the river in St. John Parish will continue this July 3, as the council finance committee renewed the contract for the pyrotechnic display.

Terms of the new contract increase the amount the parish pays for the display from $20,000 to $30,000, but it also increases the number of fireworks contained in the show.

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said that Pyrotechnico, the company that puts on the display, called for the increase to cover higher insurance costs and compensate for an explosion at a fireworks factory in China this past year.

“It will be a bigger show,” said Boe. So it should be worth the increase. It is some of the best money the parish has spent.”

The July 3 fireworks display became an annual event in 2000, when former Parish President Nickie Monica instituted the first contract for the show. The fireworks are shot from a barge in the Mississippi River, which causes the closure of the river to ship traffic for about an hour.

Since the first year of the program, Boe said that attendance for the event has consistently climbed to the neighborhood of 8,000-9,000 spectators. The display can be seen from both the east and west banks of the Mississippi River.

“It brings out everybody,” said Boe. “The levees on both sides of the river are packed for at least two miles.”

Boe said that the display is also filmed and broadcasted on the parish’s government access channel so that residents who are unable to make it out can still view the show.

The hub of the festivities takes place in the parking lot of St. Peter’s Church in Reserve, as well as the parish courthouse in Edgard. The fireworks begin at 9 p.m., and last for about 20 minutes.

“I hope to see many people at the event this year,” said Parish President Bill Hubbard. “This is the sort of thing we need to do more often, because it gets the community out of their houses, and raises our quality of life in St. John.”