Thursday, July 5, 2018
St. John the Baptist Parish - President Natalie Robottom and the Parish Council celebrated our nation's freedom on Wednesday, July 3rd with the 13th Annual Veterans Luncheon and the 18th Annual Independence Day Celebration along the River.
President Robottom, Sheriff Mike Tregre, Parish Council Members, Local and State Elected Officials, and special guests joined over 500 veterans and their spouses at a luncheon at REGALA Gymnasium in Reserve. The annual event paid homage to deceased veterans and service members with a video tribute, delicious lunch and veterans salute. The video was also shown during the broadcast of the Independence Day Celebration along the River. St. John Parish staff, the Sheriff’s Office, the Rotary Club and volunteers served and welcomed guests.
Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development was the keynote speaker and thanked attendees for their service and contribution to our state and economy. Congressman Garett Graves also stopped by the luncheon to pay reverence to our Veterans.
Later in the evening, thousands gathered on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church and the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church to commemorate the holiday with food, fun and music. The event was filmed and broadcast live on the government access channel.
The St. John Parish Young Marines led the opening ceremony on the East Bank coupled with sweet renditions of the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful” by local talent Faith Becnel. The night in Reserve also included the St. Peter School Cheerleaders, a history-themed trivia game for children and local thespian Chrissy Carter Cifuentes performing a heart-felt rendition of “God Bless America.” In Edgard, St. John the Baptist Parish Catholic Church held its annual fundraiser featuring delicious food and a variety of sweets. In addition to a veteran’s tribute and salute, attendees on the West Bank were entertained by local DJ Karen Borne.
Around 9 pm., both sides of the river were treated to a spectacular fireworks show timed to patriotic music.