After a truly rough 2020 amid COVID-19, the city of New Orleans was to forgo yet another year of Independence Day celebrations for NOLA residents. But thanks to iconic actor Will Smith, that will all change.
Local news stations cite that Will Smith is picking up the enormous $100,000 bill for the city’s pyrotechnics display. Courtesy of his donation, July 4th fireworks will return to New Orleans in 2021 for Fourth of July.
The actor did so after learning New Orleans didn’t plan a 2021 show. Talk about a stand-up guy! Smith is currently in New Orleans filming for his latest film, ‘Emancipation,’ which we’ll get into below. Before its release, NOLA fans can now enjoy their local fireworks display over the Mississippi Riverfront.
The display comes courtesy of “Go 4th on the River” and will take place on Sunday, July 4th proper. The event will take place over the course of the day, with the fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m.
Will Smith‘s production company, Westbrook, helped in making this a reality. The city itself wishes to thank Riverfront Marketing Group for helping put the event together on such short notice, states local WDSU.
“Jackson Square will close early at 5 p.m. Crescent Park will extend its hours to 10 p.m. to accommodate fireworks viewers,” the city adds in a statement via WDSU.
Will Smith Does Right by New Orleans while Filming ‘Emancipation’
“A safe Fourth of July celebration starts by getting vaccinations. As COVID variants increase in our community, they can be easily spread in big crowds enjoying the festivities,” the city continues. “Fortunately, current vaccines are excellent protection against all strains of the virus. Please encourage family and friends to get vaccinated before they join in holiday plans, so COVID-19 doesn’t get invited to the party.”
As for what brings Will Smith to New Orleans, the Hollywood icon is currently filming Emancipation. His production company, Westbrook, is handling the film.
Yet Emancipation was originally shooting in Georgia. In early April, however, Smith moved the production out of Georgia after the state passed its controversial voting law. The law prompted a federal lawsuit citing the overhaul as intending to deny Black voters equal access to ballots.
As a consequence, Will Smith took his production out of Georgia and into Louisiana.
Emancipation will tell the story of a slave, Peter, who’s escaping a Louisiana plantation and photos of whipping scars on his back expose the brutality of slavery, describes the Hollywood Reporter.
The trade adds that Peter, which Will Smith will portray, “would also fight for the Union in the Civil War.”