Tomorrow night, Erath kicks off its 82nd annual 4th of July celebration. This five-day event is the longest Independence Day festival in the state, and the town’s mayor says Erath is more than ready to celebrate.
"We celebrate our independence here in Erath, which a lot of people forget what the Fourth of July is, but it’s a celebration of our independence and being a veteran. Red, white and blue means a lot to me," says Mayor John Leblanc.
The town is proud to carry the tradition on, not just on Independence Day but for days leading up to it.
"We are a five-day old-fashioned street fair. We have carnival rides, we have delicious food made by local vendors, and we have live music every night," says Robert Vincent, the President of Erath’s 4th of July Association.
"We have the fais-do-do, which means dancing in the streets, and we’re known for that," says Leblanc.
Erath’s 4th of July is also known for a giant water fight between local fire departments and, most importantly, for bringing people together.
"It brings back people who have roots here, which is a good thing," says Leblanc.
This is why the festival association’s president says there is no better place for the largest and longest independence day celebration in all of Louisiana.
"People of Erath are very proud to be Americans, very proud to be from Erath, and that’s just been instilled generation after generation. I think that having that reminder every year of what the Fourth of July is about, that it was the birth of our country, and we need to cherish those freedoms. Having that reminder every year, I think, helps the people of this community be that much more patriotic," says Vincent.
There is no gate fee to come and enjoy the music, dancing and fireworks, and they have a bracelet night discount if you want to ride lots of carnival rides. As always, if you’re coming out, please leave your pets and ice chests home.
For a schedule of events, click here.