St. John Parish hosting July 3 Veterans luncheon, fireworks show

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, June 27, 2018

RESERVE — Family fun, a 30-minute flashing fireworks show and a salute to veterans highlight St. John the Baptist Parish Independence Day celebrations planned for Tuesday.

The day begins with a veterans luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Regala Gym, located at 200 Regala Park in Reserve.

The Parish-coordinated event grows year after year, having attracted a crowd of more than 400 in 2017, according to American Legion LaPlace Post 383 Commander Allan Reynaud.

Reynaud said the pinnacle of the luncheon is a video tribute featuring photos of local veterans and fallen service members.

“Veterans and their spouses get a kick out of seeing themselves and identifying their friends,” Reynaud said. “You recognize some guys who haven’t changed a lick in 30 years and others who have changed a lot.”

The program also includes music by military band Roxy’s Hot Fox Trot Orchestra, MC Damon Singleton from WDSU News, guest speaker Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development, a tasty lunch, recognition of military branches and a wreath drawing.

Representatives from the Rotary Club of LaPlace, St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. John Parish Office of Fire Services and St. John Young Marines are among those who volunteer at the event.

Reynaud said veterans greatly appreciate the Parish’s efforts.

“It means a lot to vets, particularly Vietnam vets because we did not get that appreciation when we came home from overseas,” Reynaud said. “Most appreciation we often see is from each other, but that is changing.”

Photos are no longer being accepted for this year’s video tribute but can be sent to for use in the 2019 event. The video tribute will also play on the Parish’s website, Facebook page and during an evening broadcast of East Bank and West Bank festivities.

St. John Parish is hosting Independence Day celebrations along the river from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the St. Peter Catholic Church grounds, 1550 River Road in Reserve, and at St. John the Baptist Parish Catholic Church, 2361 River Road in Edgard.

The intersections of West Eighth Street and Godchaux Lane, Cop Drive and Railroad Avenue, Lapaloryie Drive and LeBlanc Drive and River Road at Central Avenue, West 10th Street and Lapaloryie Lane in Reserve will close at approximately 8:30 p.m. in preparation for the fireworks.

On the West Bank, a stretch of River Road from East Third Street to East Fourth Street will be restricted during the event.

According to Baileigh Rebowe Helm, director of communications for St. John Parish, the celebration is marked by dance and musical performances, a balloon release, children’s activities and a chance to win door prizes.

A DJ will serenade the crowd on the West Bank, and both sites feature food and concessions. The 30-minute fireworks show begins at 9 p.m.

Helm said the celebration is a chance to thank local veterans for the freedoms they fought for.

“We hope everyone can join us and remember to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets to enjoy the celebration and fireworks display,” Helm said.

A live broadcast will air at 7 p.m. on RTC, Channel 15 on Comcast and Channel 99 on ATT U-Verse. For more information, call 985-652-9569 or visit