BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– The Fourth of July weekend in the Baton Rouge area highlighted how far we’ve come in the fight against COVID-19.
Sunday night’s crowds on the Baton Rouge Riverfront Plaza showed what a difference a year makes.
USS KIDD Veterans Museum Executive Director Rosehn Gipe explained, “Last year there were no fireworks, there was no River Road marketplace, there were no bands playing. It was very simple. A lot of restrictions were still in place at the time last year.”
That was July 4, 2020.
Local Errin Gaines said, “We weren’t doing a lot of moving around or didn’t do anything last year — to keep everybody safe.”
With COVID-19 numbers looking better and restrictions now relaxed, this became the first holiday that felt a little like normal.
Local Bernard Gaines said, “This year we had a chance to get out and we had a great time.”
“We enjoyed some good BBQ, spent some time with family and friends and last night we were able to enjoy the fireworks,” said Errin Gaines.
Many people came from all across the area to celebrate the Fourth of July on the Mississippi River levee, which is one thing they couldn’t do last year.
Gipe said, “The weather was great, the rain held off. Lots of people are coming down. Food vendors and kid zones and bands playing and USS KIDD opening for everyone. It was a wonderful day.”
The crowds lifted spirits and provided a major jolt for local businesses.
“There are other businesses in downtown Baton Rouge that had special Fourth of July events. Even across the street at the River Center, they had a concert. There were various things downtown and it brings everyone to one place and I think it helps everyone out.”
Texans Sebastian Jaimes and his dad joined in on the Louisiana fun. His favorite part was the fireworks.
Jaimes said, “We were just there watching the fireworks and the fireworks were coming out of this tiny boat that was shooting fireworks up.”
Many hope next year is even better.