Fourth of July bash set for big comeback

Staff Report

Plaquemine will hold its 20th annual celebration of America’s birthday, although circumstances tabled that milestone for one year.

Fireworks illuminate the skies over the Gary J. Hebert Memorial Lockhouse at the Plaquemine Lock State Historic Site. The fireworks display will cap off festivities for the Fourth of July event, sponsored by the Plaquemine Main Street Program, at Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Waterfront Park.

The city’s Fourth of July bash will roll into gear in full throttle at Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Waterfront Park, 57845 Foundry St. The event is sponsored by the Plaquemine Main Street Program.

Festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m., when a fireworks display will illuminate the sky.

The star-spangled tradition was set to celebrate its 20th annual event last year, but pandemic restrictions forced cancelation.

“I had started the planning process last year, and as the coronavirus continued, Mayor Ed Reeves and I talked about it and said it would be tough because it’s not a private event, and instead a local government event. … I hated having to make the phone calls to notify people that we were canceling it,” said Lorraine Hidalgo, who has served as the event coordinator since the inaugural event in 2001. “This year is obviously about the Fourth of July, first and foremost, but it’s also a celebration of being back in full swing after the pandemic.”

Plaquemine had made a few attempts at Fourth of July events, most notably for the bicentennial celebration in 1976.

A boat parade honoring veterans will depart from the landing at Bayou Plaquemine across from Iberville Parish Jail on Bayou Road.

Otherwise, no Independence Day celebrations had run consistently until Hidalgo worked with organizers from the City of Plaquemine for the 2001 event, which has since become a mainstay.

“This event has stood the test of time, and I’ve enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve made some awesome friends and I’ve met a lot of people who are willing to help out.”

A huge firework display with patriotic music will cap the celebration at 9 p.m. The display is sponsored by Plaquemine Council 970 Corp.

The Iberville Museum will open to the public with free admission from 3 to 6 p.m. The Atchafalaya exhibit will be among the featured attractions.

Festivities from 5 to 9 p.m. will include music and dancing, free rides and games for kids, as well as food and crafts. Booths are available for food and crafts vendors. Call City Hall at (225) 687-3116 for information.

A boat parade honoring veterans will depart from the landing at Bayou Plaquemine across from Iberville Parish Jail on Bayou Road. Participants in the boat parade should have their watercraft on the bayou by 5 p.m. Entry is free, and patriotic boat decorations are encouraged.

The veterans ceremony will follow at 6 p.m.

A jitterbug dance contest will be held on the boardwalk at 7 p.m. 

Additional sponsors for the event include Petroleum Service Corporation, Shintech, SNF-Flopam, A. Wilbert’s Sons, Axial-Westlake, Citizens Bank & Trust, Iberville Parish Clerk of Court, Essential Federal Credit Union, Iberville Bank and Wilbert’s Home.

No ice chests, pets, fireworks or tents are allowed at the event.

Eventgoers are welcome to bring lawn chairs. Boats can dock at Waterfront Park.