St. Charles Parish celebrates Independence Day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2012

By Aly Davis

Contributing Writer

LULING – For the past 22 years, the city of Luling has hosted the St. Charles Parish Independence Day celebration on the third of July. Tuesday’s event began with a flag ceremony provided by Boy Scout Troop 371. Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. then read a proclamation by the Parish Council urging the parish’s citizens  “to reflect on the blessings of liberty and on the rights, privileges and attendant responsibilities of citizenship in our great nation” and declared the official opening of the 22nd annual Independence Day celebration.

Entertainment throughout the evening was provided by local cover band The Topcats, who sang everything from “Sweet Caroline,” originally by Neil Diamond, to “I Gotta Feeling,” originally by The Black Eyed Peas. Attendees enjoyed many all-American food and drink options, including jambalaya, nachos and corn dogs.

At the third booth, visitors found pulled pork sandwiches and large watermelon slices distributed by Donna Young and Theresa Love. As area director of the St. Charles Special Olympics, Love has organized and attended many fundraisers, “but this one is one of our biggest. We love to come out.” The money from Tuesday’s event and others like it “helps us buy uniforms, transportation, anything that our athletes need,” Love noted, “because we never turn an athlete away for any reason. We make it happen for them, wheelchair or whatever, and that’s why it costs a lot of money.”

Also in attendance was officer Rickie Marlowe, a member of the St. Charles Sheriff’s Department, who has been attending these festivities for four years. These Fourth of July festivities bring people together, Marlowe commented.

“People that live in the same neighborhood don’t even know their neighbors, but then they come out here and meet them,” Marlowe added.

It is also an opportunity for the Sheriff’s Department to have positive interaction with the community. “When they see us, people think something’s wrong, but that’s not always the case. So we get to interact and let the public see us,” Marlowe said.

Sitting nearby was Jeanne Johnson, who has been attending the Independence Day celebration “since it started, 22 years ago.” She enjoyed the festivities on Tuesday night with her daughter, Daysha, and her cousin, Alfred “Pops” Darensbourg.

“(At first) I came for myself,” Johnson admitted, “but now I bring her, my daughter. She’s the reason I’m here.”

A spectacular 20-minute-long firework show concluded the evening in

the shadow of the Hale Boggs Bridge, which ignited many “oohs” and “aahs” throughout the audience and left many excited to return to Luling next year.