New Orleans will celebrate it’s Tricentennial in 2018 – that’s 300 years of history, y’all! The city has many events planned throughout the year, in fact, some have already started!
The big kick-off is the King’s Day Celebration, on January 6th at 9pm on the Riverfront. There will be Mardi Gras themed fireworks. The next morning, go to St. Louis Cathedral for a special Tricentennial Mass at 11am.
New Orleans was founded on May 7, 1718 by explorer and colonizer Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, who dubbed it Nouvelle Orleans, in honor of the Duc D’Orleans, who was regent of France at the time. The city had humble beginnings. The priest-chonicler, Charlevoix, described it famously as, “a place of a hundred wretched hovels in a malarious wet thicket of willows and dwarf palmettos, infested by serpents and alligators.” Despite this, New Orleans was named the capital of French Louisiana in 1722. Unfortunately, not long after, a hurricane struck and knocked down the buildings. After this, the city was set up in the grid pattern still seen today, and adopted by many cities into the future.
Through the next several years, through a series of wars, battles and treaties, the city switched hands to Spain, then back to France, until it was sold by Napolean to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The years were kind to the town, as by 1771, English cartographer Thomas Kitchin wrote, “It is a handsome town, the streets which are quite straight…the houses are all surrounded with canals, communicating with each other, and which were thought absolutely necessary for the times, along the quay, on the banks of the river.”.
New Orleans has had a long and storied history in the ensuing centuries, emerging from storms, wars and fires to be stronger and even more unique! We are excited about the wonderful events and celebrations coming up in 2018, and we will be letting everyone know about them in the coming months!