Go 4th on the River!

June 07, 2022
The Crescent City is the place to spend your Star Spangled holiday this year. New Orleans has become one of the top destinations for visitors to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday. And much of the kudos to this feat is because of our premier event: Go 4th on the River. This community project, produced by the Riverfront Marketing Group, is a family-treasured traditional fireworks display over the Mighty Mississippi, attracting locals and tourists from around the world.

The first Go 4th on the River event was produced by Riverfront merchants and residents in 1991 to mark the end of the Gulf War as President George H. W. Bush called upon Americans to celebrate Independence Day like never before. In 2002, after the horror of the 9/11 events, the group incorporated, forming the Riverfront Marketing Group with the goal of producing the dueling barges fireworks display along the historic downtown New Orleans Riverfront. In 2003, the Riverfront Marketing Group became a 501(c)(4) organization with the same mission. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was a devastating blow to our area, affecting many, including the industries along the river. Barge costs soared, threatening to end the unique dueling barges fireworks display.

The Riverfront Marketing Group was “adopted” by a “real life Uncle Sam” when Sam Zito, owner of Zito Companies, generously stepped forward to donate the use of two tugs and two barges. For 16 years, “Uncle Sam” Zito donated the tugs and barges for what has become New Orleans’ nationally acclaimed Dueling Barges Fireworks Show. The fireworks display is FREE and can be seen from both the East & West banks of the river, from the Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk to Crescent Park’s 4th Fest celebration.

The COVID-19 pandemic dealt another blow, forcing the event’s 2020 cancellation. And in 2021, with only 72 hours left on the clock before July 4, the Riverfront Marketing Group received generous support from actor Will Smith and the Westbrook Foundation to have the fireworks that year.

Every year, the Riverfront Marketing Group must start over and raise the funding for the event. This year Hurricane Ida has affected costs to secure the critical maritime infrastructure for the event, so the Riverfront Marketing Group is reaching out to the community for support to produce a spectacular single-barge show this year. For more information on how to support the event, go to http://www.go4thontheriver.com/.

French Quarterly Magazine is a proud sponsor of the 2022 Go 4th on the River