Go Fourth on the River
July 4, 2016
This year Independence Day falls on a Monday, meaning you’ll get a full three-day weekend to celebrate. And what better way to do so than with fireworks over the Mississippi River! Not to mention the infinite amount of food, music and special events that you can’t find anywhere else.
Here are some highlights of July 4th weekend in New Orleans, to help you start planning:
Weather conditions permitting, the fireworks spectacular typically begins aboard “dueling barges” anchored at mid-river at 9:00 p.m. The colorful, sonic-booming aerial display usually lasts 15-20 minutes, after which it’s time to go out and party in the French Quarter and celebrate.
Rated a “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society and one of the “Top Five Must-See Fireworks Displays in the U.S.” by the American Pyrotechnics Association, the fireworks show captivates the crowd with new surprises every year.
Where to Watch
The fireworks can be viewed from either side of the river. On the French Quarter side the best views are from Woldenberg Park between the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf and Spanish Plaza, adjacent to the Canal Street Ferry landing. Crescent Park, which runs along the Marigny/Bywater neighborhoods, also offers sweeping views of the river, especially at the overlook just off of the Piety Street footbridge. Those who wish to enjoy the colorful extravaganza against a backdrop of the city skyline can hop aboard the Canal Street Ferry and grab a great view from the levee in Algiers Point. Bring your blankets, chairs, ice chests and more, then relax and enjoy.
Those who wish to get the closest views of the display can make reservations to board one of the two still-operating riverboat paddle wheelers, the Natchezand the Creole Queen. Both vessels are offering cruises that evening, along with dinner and live entertainment. For a real New Orleans experience you’ll remember forever!
Visit the Creole Queen's website to make your reservations or for more information about the event. For the Natchez, you can go online to www.SteamboatNatchez.com.
For a simulcast of the fireworks, accompanied by patriotic music, bring your radios or other reception devices to the Riverfront and tune in to either WWL 870 AM, WWL-FM, WWL.com or Magic 101.9 FM.
Ample parking is available in the twin garages at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel (Poydras Street and Convention Center Boulevard), the New Orleans Hilton Riverside (Poydras Street and the river), the French Market, the garage in The Shops at Canal Place, the Jax Brewery parking lot and many other lots and garages in the nearby French Quarter and downtown business district.
Events, Food and Things to Do
The fireworks may be the main event, but there are tons of happenings all over the city that make perfect compliments to this patriotic holiday. Here are a few ideas:
June 30-July 3
Bring in the weekend with live performances from Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Ciara and more of the biggest names in the business as Essence Festival celebrates African American music and culture at the Superdome.
Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
Because July 4th is not complete without them. Try Dat Dog, Company Burger, Cowbell and other delicious burger joints all over the city to satisfy your hunger and fuel up for the weekend.
Places to Enjoy the Sunshine
Throw a Frisbee at The Fly, take a stroll through Audubon Park or pack a picnic to bring to City Park. It’s the best time to be with friends and family by the water.
Places to Enjoy the Air Conditioning
When you’re ready for a break from the heat, take the family to the World War II Museum, Audubon Aquarium or even Mardi Gras World! The options are endless.
Check back for the most up-to-date information on the fireworks by visiting www.go4thontheriver.com.