Every Fourth of July weekend, the residents of Lake St. John (near Ferridy, La. and Natchez, Miss.) celebrate the holiday with the annual flotilla. Boats adorned with every imaginable decoration parade down the river for the blessing of the fleet by the local priest. Onlookers then vote on the best decorations by cheering.
For food, the community comes together for a potluck of epic proportions. Folks will bringing everything from dips to desserts. Ribs are the hands-down favorite, and most people cook them at home, then pack them up with potato salad and cole slaw, leaving the grill free for hamburgers, chicken and corn.
By Doug Hosford, a chef and cooking instructor in St. Francisville, La.