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No watching 4th of July fireworks from the levee this year

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BATON ROUGE - We’re less than a week away from WBRZ’s 50th annual Fireworks on the Mississippi. But there’s one change this year that will impact where you can watch the spectacular fireworks display.

If you’re coming out to celebrate the Fourth of July next week here in downtown Baton Rouge you won’t be able to sit or stand on the levee to watch the fireworks at night. The city says they made this decision strictly for everyone’s safety with raised Mississippi River.

“I’ve been coming out here for about 38 years,” Darlene Ricard said.

Coming to watch the fireworks over the Mississippi River has become an annual tradition for Ricard and thousands of others in the Baton Rouge area

"I’ll never forget the first time that my baby saw them. Her eyes were just wow!” Ricard said.

But this year many folks will have to break from tradition and find a new place to watch the biggest fireworks show in Louisiana.

“Well every year I think one of the things a lot of folks look forward to is being on the levee and seeing the fireworks that come up from right on the Mississippi,” said Rowdy Gaudet, with Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s office. “Unfortunately this year, because of the height of the water, the amount of people that typically find a location on top of the levee, it just produced a situation where we had to choose safety over what's still going to be a great fireworks show.”

Gaudet says there will be plenty of space around the levees, and in downtown Baton Rouge, to watch the show.

“We’ve got all our public, open spaces that line the levee. We’ve got Galvez Plaza, North Boulevard Town Square... We worked with the old state capitol; they’re going to have the gates open," Gaudet said.

Regardless of where she gets to watch, Ricard says she’ll be out celebrating with her family.

“I can understand because of the fact they want everyone to be safe, with the kids and everything. Somebody could slip and fall and be in an accident. So I can truly understand they’re looking out for our safety. But they still want us to enjoy ourselves and have a great time,” Ricard said.

You will be able to walk the levee and enjoy the view during the day on July 4. But starting at 5 p.m., Baton Rouge Police will be controlling access to the levee in anticipation for the fireworks that start at 9 p.m.

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