I'm a big fan of the Fourth of July. When I was little, I loved it for the fireworks and the parade that went by my aunt's house. Now I like it because it's a day when we stop worrying about the country's problems and instead celebrate the USA with some old fashioned flag-flying and barbecuing.


As I write this, I don't have any definite plans for my first Fourth of July in New Orleans, but I've been reading and asking around about what to do for the holiday. Since New Orleans is good at celebrating every holiday on the calendar, it's no surprise there's a lot to do. I thought I would share my research with you in case you're celebrating your first Fourth of July in New Orleans. Us newbies have to stick together.


Watch Fireworks at “Go 4th on the River"

Of course one barge with fireworks is not enough for New Orleans. The "Go 4th on the River" event consists of two “dueling barges” that launch fireworks on the Mississsippi River. They go off at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Find more details here.


Cheer on the New Orleans Zephyrs

Nothing says “Happy Birthday, America!” like baseball. The New Orleans Zephyrs play the Oklahoma City RedHawks at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Zephyr Field in Metairie. There will be fireworks and a concert after the game. One of my friends told me this is a fun but mellow way to celebrate the Fourth. It also sounds like a good option for bargain-hunters: According to the Zephyrs' website, there will be "$1 sodas and drafts beers and $2 cans of beer." I love America! Buy tickets here.


Feel Patriotic at the National WWII Museum

There are multiple events going on at the National WWII Museum on the Fourth of July, including a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony. I have never attended one of these ceremonies, but I've heard they are incredibly moving. Read more about the events here.


Take the Family to the Bucktown Bash

The Bucktown Bash happens from noon until 8 p.m. Thursday, July 4, at Bucktown Harbor in Metairie. The event will include the usual Louisiana festival activities (live music, food and crafts), but there will also be a kite flying contest. Find details here.


Lagniappe: Beyoncé!

One extra event: Beyoncé doesn't really have anything to do with the Fourth of July, but she's coming for the ESSENCE Music Festival that starts Thursday, July 4, and lasts through Sunday, July 7. Queen Bey performs on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Get tickets here.


Have a great Fourth of July, New Orleans!