Just two days before the Fourth of July and if there's ever been honesty in an answering machine greeting of an organization, it's on the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory's phone system:

"Thank you for calling your Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Conservatory of Music. We are very busy preparing for our upcoming event Red, White & BOOM! on July Fourth in downtown Lafayette which means we may be more difficult to reach by phone these days. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and appreciate your patience and support during these next very busy days. For more information on Red, White & Boom! please visit our website acadianasymphonyorchestra.org."

The greeting goes on to offer extensions of the ASO's administration, including Executive Director Jenny Krueger whose greeting politely asks in so many words that because of the July 4 situation your inquiry has a better chance of getting a response if sent via her Email address.

You really have to respect the fact that the ASO took the time to explain itself instead of just leaving the regular greeting in the system and leaving callers flustered.

That said, RW&B! has music, food, family fun and fireworks in celebration of our 236th birthday and it begins at 5 p.m. The spectacular Grand Finale Fireworks show will take place at approximately 9:30 pm.

The $5 admission to RW&B! gives patrons access to all three parcs involved in the fete. All proceeds benefit ASO’s children’s education programs and a food drive helps FoodNet of Lafayette. Parc Passes will be available at the gate.

Marcia Ball will perform with the Acadiana Symphony for the July Fourth celebration at Parc International on Wednesday.

In the press release the Grammy nominee Ball "with her smoky blues voice" is hailed as the “bayou queen of the piano, steeped in blues and honky-tonk” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Guess that's a good description of her for those who do not know who she is.

But for all of us who've seen her countless times, especially at the back-in-the-day un-air conditioned Grant Street Dancehall, all you simply have to say is Marcia Ball and we'll just smile at the foggy memories of her gigs and wonder what kind of show we'll be in for Wednesday.

Also on tap is the second annual Hot Dot Eating Contest. It doesn't get too much more American than that. Heck, the only thing missing in the RW&B! celebration is a baseball game, but that's what flat screen TVs in the AC are for.

There will be a raffle for a 2012 red Mercedes in the mix just before the noise begins. Raffle tickets are available at the ASO box office or here.

Parc International is not the only place full of patriotic fun. Festivities will continue in Parc Sans Souci where the Acadiana Symphony is hosting the Conservatory KidZone with water slides, face painting, arts and crafts, balloon animals, costume contests, and much more water filled fun for kids.

Parents can enjoy a broadcast of Ball and the ASO while their children play and keep cool in the Conservatory KidZone.

The celebration has also expanded to Parc Putnam across from the Federal Courthouse at Lafayette and W. Vermilion streets where Freedom Fest featuring four local bands: Rockin' Rotarians, Lafayette Bayou Boys, Nik L Beer, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band.

In the traditional Acadiana way, the celebration also includes a way to help others and in collaboration with FoodNet of Lafayette, ASO is offering free concession tickets for canned food donations brought to the celebration.

For every five non-perishable food items brought, patrons will receive one Red, White and BOOM concession ticket redeemable at all three parks. FoodNet's most needed food items are boxed cornbread, canned tuna and peas.

Along with the ASO, Lafayette Convention Visitors Commission, Townsquare Media, Party Central and Moss Motors are event presenters.

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