USS KIDD’s Freedom Festival will take place from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, July 4th, outside of USS KIDD Veterans Memorial & Museum in downtown Baton Rouge.
The Freedom Festival is free and open to the public and will honor the men and women who serve in our nation's armed services. The USS KIDD is the place to be as friends and families gather to commemorate our nation’s independence while enjoying patriotic music and activities.
“We are committed to providing a free, family-friendly patriotic celebration for the community to enjoy and we are grateful to all of the local organizations that have helped us ensure that this rich holiday tradition continues to develop in downtown Baton Rouge," said USS KIDD Executive Director Alex Juan.
For years, the Star Spangled Celebration has been the largest fundraiser for the USS KIDD, however, due to financial and safety concerns, this year’s event has been revamped to a smaller, yet more community oriented Freedom Festival. Unfortunately, there will be no Air Raid Baton Rouge or selling of ship tickets to view the fireworks this year. “The safety and security of our staff and guests is of outmost importance to us when hosting a festival that involves several thousand people,” said USS KIDD Ship Superintendent Tim NesSmith. “Just as we did in 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we are temporarily suspending our reenactment and additionally the viewing of the fireworks from the ship while we review and adapt our safety protocols.”
Planned activities at the KIDD include patriotic music throughout the day, a flag ceremony conducted by the Nation of Patriots in the Louisiana Memorial Plaza at noon, a musical performance by Rosie and the Swingin’ Riveters at 1:30 p.m., an inflatable obstacle course, a toddler bounce house, face painters, a balloonist, patriotic arts and crafts, making of ‘Thank You’ cards for Louisiana veterans and a lunch plate sale benefiting the USS KIDD. City Gelato and Snow Day Baton Rouge will also be selling cold treats for families to enjoy.
The USS Kidd Veterans Memorial & Museum will be open for touring from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission will be charged.