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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MANDEVILLE, La. -- The music is alive on the beachfront in Fontainebleau State Park this Fourth of July and there were plenty of people on hand to show their appreciation for it.

The Mandeville City Seafood Festival opened its gates at noon Thursday, after the old Mandeville Seafood Festival announced earlier this year it couldn't continue hosting the event due to dwindling finances.

Organizers say working hard on such short notice to keep something in-tact for the holiday is paying off.

'You can see the crowd is really getting big. Mother Nature has been a blessing to us. I mean this is fabulous weather, nice wind it's cool and, of course, you hear the music in the background its kicking,' Nick Chetta said.

Even first-timers, with no knowledge of the past, say they just came to have a good time and found it.

'We're getting married on the 27th of July and we decided to come out here and enjoy some us-time and have a great time,' Walton Jones said of he and his fiancee Tina Austin.

One of the changes for this year's festival compared to others is that all of the food is from local restaurants.

So far it's a hit.

'I think it's good for local people. Lots of people have come by today that eat at our restaurant all the time, and they're supporters of our restaurant and they came here to support us today,' said Lanae Davis with Times Grill.

'I love it,' said Patricia Domingue. 'I love that. I love the fact that the food is from the local restaurants.'

And the community seems to be loving that they have somewhere to celebrate the Fourth of July, regardless of the name.

The festival is open Thursday until midnight, with fireworks going off at 9 p.m. The food and music continues into Saturday. Click here for more information.

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