Will Smith pays for July 4 fireworks in New Orleans

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FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, file photo, U.S actor Will Smith poses for photographers during the photo call of “Bad Boys for Life,” in Paris. Smith is ready to open up about his life story. Penguin Press announced Sunday, June 20, 2021, that Smith will release his memoir called “Will” on Nov. 9. The actor-rapper shared a photo of the book’s cover art to more than 54 million followers on Instagram. Smith said he is “finally ready” to release his memoir after working on his book for the past two years. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Fireworks are returning to New Orleans on Independence Day thanks to actor Will Smith.

City officials say Smith is picking up the roughly $100,000 tab for the pyrotechnics over the Mississippi River after learning New Orleans didn’t plan a 2021 show.

New Orleans cancelled last year’s fireworks because of COVID-19.

Smith is in New Orleans working on his latest film “Emancipation,” which will tell the story of a slave who escaped a Louisiana plantation and whose photo of scars on his back from being whipped exposed the brutality of slavery. He would also fight for the Union in the Civil War.

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