Louisiana fireworks show draws audience from all over
By Stan Schwartz
LOUISIANA—The Louisiana Chamber of Commerce had wanted the city’s fireworks show to go on, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, they didn’t know what form it would take.
In the past there have been food vendors and music as well as other activities for the younger viewers there with their parents. Even though the state had reopened most businesses, there were still social distancing guidelines people were supposed to follow at any public gathering, either indoors our out. I wasn’t until the end of June that the word came down how things were going to play out on Independence Day when it came to the city’s fireworks show.
Letisha Washington with the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce said that this year there would be no activities or food vendors, and they wanted people to social distance on their own. For people who were feeling sick, the Chamber recommended they stay in their vehicles to watch the fireworks.
By the looks of how the people were gathering at the riverfront on Saturday, they were doing their best to keep their distance from others. Families grouped together along the river wall, while others set up in the park area behind the parking lot. Some even arrived by boat and tied up along the shoreline in anticipation of the show.
One group down by the water had come all the way from Vandalia to watch the show.
“We come every year,” said Nancy Collette. She was there with her friends Patsy Petty and her husband, Ken, and their daughter and her husband, Lore, and Bill Parks.
Nancy said Vandalia is a sort of a shoot off your own fireworks.
“They started this morning about 6 a.m.,” she added.
“There are no other fireworks going on, that I know of,” said Patsy. And with fireworks banned just across the Mississippi in Illinois, the Louisiana show was sure to draw a fair number of people.
They really missed not having some of the other elements of the show, such as the music.
Back away from the shoreline in the park was the Fallert family. Libby had taken the initiative to make this 4th of July like others for her and Tommy’s four children, Tommy Jr., Jake, Nick and the youngest, Evie. The little ones came sporting face paint in various designs.
Libby said they attend the fireworks show almost every year.
She looked around and said normally, the field they were in was pretty packed. Granted it was still about an hour away from show time, so the number of people could increase. There had been a steady stream of people making their way toward the riverfront to get a view of the coming show.
Large groups had gathered along N. Main Street for a slightly higher viewpoint on the fireworks. There were even some higher up in Riverview Park and in the homes that line the hillside.