By Tara Bennett
Independence Day is just days away, and many are purchasing fireworks and stocking up on groceries for a backyard BBQ. But if you’re looking to go out for a full day of fun and fireworks, we’ve got the complete list for Downtown Baton Rouge’s events for America’s 238th birthday.
7:30 a.m. BASF Freedom Mile
Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you don’t have to skip out on your daily workout. Join BASF and Club South Runners for a one-mile race through downtown Baton Rouge starting near the USS Kidd. This series of one-mile races has been a 4th of July tradition since 1984. Transportation is provided to start area with watermelon, fruit, Coca Cola products and Mockler Beerages served afterwards. 1st race to start at 7:30 a.m. with races to follow every 20 minutes. For more information visit www.rrca.org or 927-9200, www.clubsouthrunners.net.
9:00 a.m. Tour the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial
Get in your daily dose of history by walking the decks of the historic vessels, the USS KIDD (DD-661). Explore the Veteran’s Memorial Museum and learn of the sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans to insure the freedoms we celebrate on the 4th. The USS Kidd will be open for touring from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with patriotic music broadcast. For more information call 342-1942 or visit www.usskidd.com.
11 a.m. USS Kidd’s Freedom Festival
For those who have children or are a child at heart themselves. A fun for all ages event that’s free to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Nation of Patriots will be conducting a Passing of the Flag Ceremony in the Memorial Plaza at noon. There will be inflatables, face painters, obstacle courses, games and much more. Lunch plates benefiting the USS Kidd will be available in the museum snack bar.
12:00 p.m. Star Spangled Celebration
Food, shopping, music and more! This is an annual event that kicks off at noon at the Riverfront Stage between the USS KIDD Memorial and Red Stick Plaza. Starting at noon, there will be live music and vendor booths plus plenty of food that may be purchased from vendors throughout the day. Face painting and inflatables for the kids will also be available.
6 p.m. Air Raid Baton Rouge
Truly an experience you don’t want to miss. The Louisiana Air National Guard will conduct a fly-by over the USS Kidd with F-15 Eagle jet aircraft in tribute to men and women in uniform. Immediately following after, take cover, as Dan Fortice and members of the Southern Heritage Foundation stage a mock attack on the Star Spangled Celebration and watch this historic naval vessel defend herself.
9:00 p.m. Fireworks On The Mississippi
No 4th of July is complete without fireworks brightening up the sky. Join WBRZ-TV for a spectacular fireworks display over the Mississippi River commemorating our nation’s independence.
Looking for more 4th of July events? Here are more ways to celebrate in Baton Rouge
2nd Annual 3rd of July BBQ
Join The Pelican House Tap Room & Whiskey Bar on the eve of the 4th of July starting at 6 p.m. for $2 hamburgers and hot dogs on the patio. Don’t forget to dress up for their annual patriotic costume contest.
Independence Day Parade
Sponsored by the Kenilworth Civic Association (KCA), the parade rolls at 6:30 pm on Thursday, July 3 and celebrates those who serve in our nation’s armed forces. This year’s theme is “Learning to Love Liberty” and Chairman of the Board of the Louisiana Capital Area Red Cross Ruark Chick is the grand marshall.
Baton Rouge Concert Band’s Independence Day Concert
Listen to patriotic classic hits on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol at 7:30 p.m. while gearing up for the fireworks display.
L’Auberge Casion & Hotel
L’Auberge Casino & Hotel will celebrate with fireworks viewing parties starting at 7 p.m. Chris LeBlanc will play a free show in the L’Auberge Promenade at 8 p.m. and Press 1 For English will give a free performance inside the Edge at 10 p.m.
Red, White & Zoo
The Baton Rouge Zoo will host Red, White and Zoo on Saturday, July 5th which celebrates red, white and blue animals and includes amphitheatre programs, games and crafts. The event takes place during normal business hours, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.