Red, White & BOOM fills downtown with music, games and activities to celebrate Independence Day.
By Anna Purdy

20110629-livingind-0101Downtown Lafayette and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra are teaming up to provide three great spots all centrally located to celebrate July 4 for the whole family.

The fun starts at 5 p.m. Monday when three downtown parks open for fun. Parc International has Grammy winner Chubby Carrier performing with his Bayou Swamp Band, as well as the children who will be attending Carrier’s zydeco camp at the conservatory the last week of June. The budding musicians will learn how to play “Rockin’ Robin” and perform with Carrier on stage sometime during his set, which starts at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a watermelon seed-spitting contest, a hot dog eating contest and a 4th of July costume contest.

Winners will receive prizes from local restaurants, retailers and movie theaters. Typical Independence Day cookout fare will be served and so will mixed drinks and beer. There will be face painting, too, because we don’t want the grown-ups to feel left out.

A block away at Parc Sans Souci is the Conservatory KidZone. Children have a chance to play on water slides and tunnels, jump on Fun Jumps, do arts and crafts, get face painting and glitter tattoos. ASO is also holding a water balloon toss along with something called a “patriotic parade of wagons” in which kids and their grown-ups are encouraged to use supplies provided at Parc Sans Souci to decorate the wagons they bring to pull the little ones around.

A few blocks away, across from the federal courthouse on Lafayette Street, Parc Putnam will be hosting Freedom Fest music concert. The lineup includes Mageez, Nick Myers, Lafayette’s Bayou Boys, Jamie Bergeron and Cupid. Concessions will be sold.

Fireworks will of course be a part of this celebration, commencing around 9 p.m. at Parc International, although they will be visible from all three parks downtown.
Money raised from Red, White & BOOM mainly benefits the children’s educational programs at ASO.

“We have various education programs throughout the conservatory, like the children’s concert series where schools can come hear a symphony free of charge,” says the ASO’s Lana Carver. “We have the conservatory itself and the education functions within that, like Hello ASO. Through Hello ASO kids and parents can come in the morning, meet musicians and learn more about the symphony being performed at our conservatory that evening.”

To find out more about Red, White & BOOM go to www.acadianasymphony.org, call the office at 232-4277 or head over to ASO’s box office in the Oil Center at 412 Travis St. A wristband ensures entrance to all three parks and any games or performances within the parks.

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WHAT: Red, White & BOOM
WHERE: Parcs International, San Souci and Putnam
WHEN: 5 p.m. Monday, July 4
COST: $5 for a wristband to get into all three parks and all events and games
PERFORMERS: Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Chubby Carrier, kids from ASO’s Zydeco Camp, Cupid, Mageez, Jamie Bergeron, Nick Myers, Lafayette’s Bayou Boys
PARKING: Parc du Centreville parking tower on Vermilion Street or on the street
(Downtown parking meters as well as the parking garage will be free for Red, White & BOOM. However, the elevators will not be working in the garage as there will be no attendants.)

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