By Matthew Hose
New Orleanians can celebrate the Fourth of July at several local festivals and events.
The 22nd annual Go 4th On The River celebrates Independence Day at the Riverfront, stretching from the French Quarter to the Riverwalk Marketplace. Participating attractions also offer special deals and present live music. Performers include several Navy bands, the Victory Belles and Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys.
Festivities culminate with the dueling barges fireworks show over the Mississippi River at 9 p.m. Complementing music will be broadcast on Magic 101.9, WWL 870 AM and WWL.com. The Steamboat Natchez and the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen both offer excursions onto the river to view the fireworks.
On the Northshore, the Mandeville Seafood Festival stretches from July 4 through the weekend in Fontainebleau State Park. The festival presents two music stages, a car show, carnival rides, a craft fair, food vendors and Fourth of July fireworks (8:45 p.m. Wednesday) over Lake Pontchartrain.
Each day, the festival showcases local music in an array of genres, from gospel to hard rock to swampy blues. Thursday is dedicated to celebrating the Louisiana bicentennial with special guests include Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Jay Chevalier, Jo-El Sonnier and others.
Proceeds from the festival benefit local charities. Day passes are $10 purchased in advance online, weekend passes are $35, tickets are $5 before 5 p.m. at the gate and $15 after 5 p.m. Children 10 and under, seniors over 65, and active duty military personnel all get free admittance. www.seafoodfest.com.
There’s an Independence Day celebration in Pontchartrain Park (Press Drive and Prentiss Avenue) featuring fireworks, barbecue, outdoor games, and the “Pontchartrain Park Idol” talent contest. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with games including kickball, horseshoes, three legged races, volleyball, pie eating contests and a DJ. Visit http://www.pontchartrainpark.org/ for more details.
The Krewe of Kolossos leads a boat parade on Bayou St. John on July 4. The krewe includes more than 100 local artists. Attendees are encouraged to decorate their own kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards and join the Krewe in the parade. It begins at Orleans Avenue at 5 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Proceeds benefit coastal restoration. Visit www.kolossos.org for more information.
Madisonville hosts its “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration” on July 4, and it features a beauty pageant, games for all ages and a parade. Beginning at 2 p.m., the parade will travel from the Maritime Museum to Town Hall along the riverfront, where there will be horseshoe tournaments, beer chugging contests, three legged races, and the pageant (for girls aged 5-12). There will be jambalaya and hotdogs for purchase at the riverfront, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own food. Visit the website for a parade map and details.