WBRZ broadcasted 4th of July fireworks TV special after virus cancels levee gatherings
BATON ROUGE - WBRZ and the Manship family, the local owners of Channel 2, are committed to providing a 4th of July celebration this year despite the health emergency.
The Manship family and WBRZ have financially supported the fireworks show for 50 years. The company was looking forward to its 51st fireworks show in 2020. WBRZ's Fireworks on the Mississippi is the state's largest fireworks show.
Instead, WBRZ is planning a primetime event that will allow for everyone to participate in the show without having to gather on the Mississippi River levee.
Watch WBRZ's Fireworks on the Mississippi Extravaganza, from nine - 10 p.m. Saturday followed by WBRZ News 2 at 10:00. The show will be seen on WBRZ Channel 2 and streaming on WBRZ Plus. Click here for channel information.
The fireworks are not live.
The broadcast, a partnership with the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, will feature local musicians performing patriotic songs along with the fireworks.
"As the city's only locally-owned TV station, we have an emotional connection to the spirit everyone feels when they see those fireworks. While it may not be like the 50 others, the show will go on and WBRZ will make sure we are connected and filled with pride like never before," Jake Manship, the family company's chief operating officer, said Monday.
Typically, people would gather along the levee and visit the USS Kidd's festival the night of the fireworks show. But, that is not possible this year.
Earlier this summer, the USS Kidd announced it would not be able to participate because of the public health emergency and due to crowded gatherings not being allowed. The USS Kidd said in a news release, coronavirus financial impacts forced the museum to shutter its involvement in organizing events along the levee on the 4th of July. The museum and ship remain open.
The USS Kidd was planning an eventful year in 2020 before the virus abruptly slowed business. In February, ship stewards announced a plan to raise money to dry dock the WWII-era destroyer for repairs.
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