Updated to include additional events.
Ah, the Fourth of July: hot dogs, American flags and the thrill of a potential fireworks-related ER visit. Though the big show over the weekend is always Essence Fest — we love you, Mariah — there are plenty of other events on the calendar.
Here are four straight nights of fireworks and fests to enjoy during your long weekend (July 1-July 4):
Sparks in the Park: Covington’s pre-Fourth get-together in Bogue Falaya Park kicks off the holiday with patriotic music and face painting for kids, followed by a fireworks display. BYO chairs, blankets and picnic paraphernalia. Free admission. 7 p.m. Friday.Fourth of July Barbecue: Celebrate freedom, including the freedom to bare all, at a cookout with games at the clothing-optional Indian Hills Nudist Park. (Nudity’s actually not required, except by the pool area — but you may want to stick around for nighttime poolside karaoke.) Free admission with park entry ($28-$38.) Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Slidell Heritage Festival: Super-fun ’80s cover band the Molly Ringwalds is the music headliner at this fest, which has food, bounce houses, kids’ activities and an evening fireworks display. Admission $10, kids under 12 free. 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
Happy 3rd of July: At City Park, the Marine Corps band plays before a fireworks display in a family-friendly environment that’s free of the various hassles of driving downtown. Bring lawn chairs and blankets; beer, wine and sno-balls are available for purchase. Free admission. 7:15 p.m. Sunday.
Uncle Sam Jam: Jefferson Parish residents can stay close to home with the Uncle Sam Jam at Lafreniere Park. The outdoor festival has live music from 90 Degrees West, Sara Evans and Joe Nichols and closes with the obligatory fireworks show. Free admission. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Independence Day at the Museum: New citizens take the Oath of Allegiance and the New Orleans Concert Band drums up some patriotic tunes during a day of events at the National World War II Museum. Free admission. 2 p.m. Monday.
Krewe of Kolossos Fourth of July Flotilla: The parading krewe hosts a group float on Bayou St. John with all manner of canoes, kayaks and DIY boats. As always, costumes are encouraged. Free admission. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.Rock ’n’ Roll BBQ: Unmotivated to cook? Us too. Stop by Bar Redux’s Fourth of July party to score some barbecue from the C&C Meat Factory pop-up and listen to rock DJs. Free admission. 5 p.m. Monday.
Go 4th on the River: At the city’s long-running fireworks show, fireworks are set off from two barges on the riverfront in a dueling display. Protip: Crowds are thick around the Moon Walk and Woldenberg Park, but you can see the fireworks from other vantage points around downtown, including Crescent Park in the Bywater and the Westin New Orleans Canal Place. Free admission. 9 p.m. Monday.
Independence Day: Resurgence: Eschewing outdoor activities til Labor Day? Attain peak ’90s nostalgia by going to see the sequel to the alien-invasion film, starring eternal fake movie scientist Jeff Goldblum. Check our film listings for locations and showtimes.