Tri-City residents celebrate Fourth of July weekend
MORGAN CITY, La. — St. Mary Parish residents found a myriad of ways to observe, celebrate and enjoy Independence Day.
In an area blessed with rivers and bayous teeming with fish and a city park with sandy beaches, many of the residents found themselves by or on the water. Others got together with family or friends for a round or two of golf while others decide0d to relax at home with family and neighbors.
Berwick Mayor Louis Ratcliff hit the links for an early round of golf but was mindful of the reason that so many people were able to enjoy their activities.
“The Fourth of July is a great family day, but we must also remember it is a day to celebrate the birth of our country,” Ratcliff said.
Shortly after teeing off with a shot down the middle of the fairway, St. Mary Parish School Board District 8 member Mike Taylor echoed his golf partner’s comments.
“This is a great day to enjoy the freedoms we have as a country, and the freedom to enjoy the things we do as a family and with friends,” Taylor said.
Wilton Dinger sat on the east bank of the Atchafalaya River where he has fished for decades. He had a stringer with three small catfish and an ice chest with a few filets by noon. Inside another small ice chest, painted with a patriotic décor of stars and stripes, were chilled drinks and food. He looked over at a nearby piling and observed the river tide had begun to fall and predicted he would soon have more fish.
As Dinger patiently waited for the next bite, he reflected on the significance of living in this area and of Independence Day.
“I was literally born on the river, on a houseboat and delivered by my aunt,” Dinger said. “I love living here and I love the freedoms I have. Patriotism runs in my family; we have had several family members that have served in the military.”
Amanda Kinkle was out in front of her Bayou Vista mobile home by midmorning grilling chicken and burgers, which she insisted had to be ready to be served by noon.
“We always observe the Fourth of July together as a family, but we get started early. My momma always said if you were not ready to eat by noon then you were late,” Kinkle said.
A packed Lake End Park was a beehive of sun- and water-related activities by midmorning with scores of people sunbathing and swimming as well as simply enjoying the beautiful weather before the afternoon heat arrived.