Although New Orleans is one of the most European cities in United States, the Big Easy still knows how to pay homage to America on her birthday. The riverfront comes alive as residents and visitors gather for one of the largest birthday parties in the nation, the Go Fourth on the River celebration. The French Quarter is a popular venue for tourists in search of food, fun and music. The city hosts an eclectic mix of free concerts in Dutch Alley, Woldenberg Park and Washington Artillery Park. Business and eateries all along the riverfront offer complimentary food and beverages so that tourists and residents can sample New Orleans delicious cuisine and experience gracious hospitality. The city’s parks are a wonderful location to enjoy a traditional summertime picnic.
The daytime events are just a prelude to the Crescent City’s “Dueling Barges” fireworks extravaganza. The 1,800-shell display is ranked among the top five must-see spectaculars in the country by the American Pyrotechnic Association. The water of the Mighty Mississippi is aglow with the bright, colorful lights of the spectacle created from two barges anchored in the river. People line the banks of the river, pack the French Quarter rooftops and cruise on paddlewheel riverboats to watch the pyrotechnic show. The fireworks duel is synchronized to patriotic classics played by a U.S. Navy band. The stirring production uses colors and music to convey the American story of sacrifice, courage and freedom.