Lake Charles celebrates 4th of July at 26th annual Red, White an - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lake Charles celebrates 4th of July at 26th annual Red, White and Blue You Celebration

Lake Charles celebrates 4th of July at 26th annual Red, White and Blue You Celebration

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It started out with a parade then it moved on the lawns of the Civic Center in downtown Lake Charles where hundreds of people picked up a flag and kicked off their 4th of July with the 26th annual Red, White, Blue and You celebration.

“I’m glad to enjoy it,” said attendee Melaney Williams. “Enjoy the Bluegrass music and all the people coming together and watch the fireworks.”

Attendees from all over, including two veterans from California, say the 4th of July celebration is a sight to see.

“I used to live in New York in a small town and we had a main street parade and we watched fireworks,” said veteran Jorge Valcarcel of San Diego, California. “It’s nice to be here and see almost the exact same thing happening.”

Before the fireworks went off, some spent their time on the lawns dancing, others heated up the barbecue pit and the kids had some fun of their own with face painting.

Mayor Randy Roach presented several recognition certificates including a special award to 7-year-old Emma Leger, whose been diagnosed with leukemia and fulfilled her duties as this year’s grand marshal.

So what does Independence Day mean to some locals? For some, it was mainly the fireworks and time with the family, but for most, they say it’s a day to honor the country’s freedom.

“Fourth of July means to me that we’re just all out here celebrating our independence, celebrating the sacrifices and all the wonderful men and women of the service,” said 4th of July queen Shannen Godeaux.

“It’s just a celebration of our great country,” said Williams, who was at the celebration with family. “We don’t always agree on everything, but we’re a great country.”

Benjamin Miner, also a veteran from California, says the day is a reminder of what it means to be an American.

“It’s a declaration of who you are and what it means to just be a part of this great nation,” said Miner.

“That’s just one of the things I value most is our freedom,” said Valcarcel. “I love the 4th of July. That’s what I think about when I think about the 4th of July and I see the flag.”

The celebration included a special tribute to the armed forces and a concert by the Lake Charles Community Band.

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