We like having a good time here in Baton Rouge, and we like to be sure that our guests do, too. That’s why we throw some of the best Mardi Gras parades and Balls every single year! So much of what we do is family-friendly, too. We’ve got all kinds of events: crawfish cookoffs, Cajun dance parties, tailgating, performances and concerts in our great parks, and holiday parades to name a few.
As a matter of fact, we’ve been doing this a long time. 200 years in 2017, not that I am being boastful. Since we’re not really ones to put things off, we started celebrating at the very end of 2016 – and we certainly needed something to celebrate after the flood in August. The annual Red Stick Revelry (our New Year’s fete in North Blvd Town Square) was a great way to get the festivities started!
I really give the bicentennial committee credit, they did a lot of work to get people involved. They had a “Wear Red Day” to mark the official incorporation of Baton Rouge. Seeing everyone join in to commemorate this special year on social media was incredible. It was such a great way to bring people together and something anybody who wanted to participate could do to show their Red Stick Pride.
The Old State Capitol had a fantastic history exhibit that ran the whole year, which was a nice reminder that no matter the troubles we have had as a city, we have been able to overcome them.
Louisiana Life Magazine had a Bicentennial Bash at the Old Governor’s Mansion. That in itself probably would have been enough, but it also honored residents of the year and benefitted the Foundation for Historical Louisiana. I wish I could have gone but alas, I was unable to attend. I had a celebration at home with friends instead!
However, I did participate in The Biggest Selfie. That was just too good to miss. There was a Wine Walk beforehand and then we went to the levee. I can’t say that I remember a lot of it, but what I can recall was a fun time.
Different companies were able to use the logo to commemorate the event. There were Red Stick shirts, socks, posters, cups, mugs, and all kinds of other items. Even my favorite brand of soda made special bottles just for the bicentennial!
In December, they did a Champagne Stroll and Trolley Ride. What a great idea! You got to go through downtown to see all the holiday lights and hear carolers singing, with stops to have a glass of champagne. The Holiday Shop Hop was held at the same time, so you could get all your Christmas shopping done at once!
This great year of celebrations ended the same way it began – at the Red Stick Revelry in North Boulevard Town Square, complete with birthday cake, the traditional dropping of the red stick, and fireworks over the Mississippi. I wish we could do this every year!