Huge fireworks and party hosted by St. John Parish, set Thursday night

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Fireworks, food and two locations for live music will highlight St. John Parish’s eighth annual Independence Day celebration, held a day early, this Thursday, July 3.

The celebration kicks of at 6 p.m. on both sides of the Mississippi River. Residents of the East Bank can take in the festivities at St. Peter Catholic Church, located at 188 W. 7th St., in Reserve. Those living on the West Bank can join in the fun on the grounds of the Edgard Courthouse, located at 2393 La. Hwy. 18, in Edgard.

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said the band Off the Hook would provide music on the East Bank. He said residents coming out on the West Bank will be treated to the DJ styling’s of Alvin Cook.

Boe said the music element is a new addition to the celebration this year. He said parish officials believed it would be a good way to bring more people out and entice them to stay longer.

“This has always been a family event,” said Boe. “We just wanted to offer the people a little more fun while they are here.”

Boe said the music would run from 6 to 10 p.m., but would take a break at 8 p.m. for a short presentation by the parish.

“We are scheduled to have a flag raising, a singing of the National Anthem, and a balloon release on both sides of the river,” said Boe. “We also plan to have some interviews with local kids on patriotism and America.”

The fireworks display follows the presentation at 9 p.m. Boe said organizers boast more fireworks and a longer display this year. The fireworks are shot from a barge in the middle of the river, donated by St. John Fleeting. The display shuts down river traffic for 30 minutes.

Food and drinks would be sold on both sides of the river, with proceeds going to St. Peter Church and other local civic organizations, but residents are encouraged to bring whatever they want.

“It tends to become a big picnic atmosphere,” said Boe. “People bring out their coolers and barbecue food along the levee. Both sides become packed for about two miles.”

Boe said residents who are unable to come out for the event could catch all of the festivities on the parish access channel, which is channel 15 on Comcast and RTC.

In addition to the fireworks and music in the evening, St. John veterans are also invited to a midday luncheon at the Knights of Columbus hall, next to St. Peter Church, in Reserve. The lunch begins at 11 a.m. and will be hosted by Harold Keller.