Lake Charles Fourth of July celebrations

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV)- The City of Lake Charles has several Independence Day events planned today as part of the 18th annual Red, White, Blue and You celebration.

Starting at 4:30 p.m.,  a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, which was flown during the war, will be dedicated at Veteran's Memorial Park.

The Fourth of July street parade starts at 6 p.m. The parade will run south on Ryan Street, ending at Sallier. This year's grand marshals will be the National Guard Family Readiness Group.

The festivities continue at the Lake Charles Civic Center Arcade Pavilion with concessions and a patriotic program, which begins at 7 p.m.  The Westlake High School Jazz Band will perform. Conductor Leo Murray and the Lake Charles Community Band will also take the stage. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Festival t-shirts will be on sale for $7. In the event of inclement weather, the program will be moved to the Civic Center Coliseum.

The fireworks extravaganza will start at 9:15 p.m. Tune into Gator 99.5 FM for the soundtrack simulcast. The fireworks will be shot from a barge over the lake. affording a great vantage point for the entire audience. Due to the lakefront development , areas along the seawall are currently fenced off. However, much of the surrounding area will be designated for audience members watching the fireworks.