Over 2 Dozen Nations Part Of New Orleans Tricentennial


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dignitaries from more than two dozen nations joined state and local officials Saturday in New Orleans to help the city celebrate its 300th anniversary.

Ambassadors, consuls general and military leaders from a diverse group of countries took part in an outdoor welcome ceremony in the city's historic Jackson Square on Saturday morning.

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Among those attending were officials representing the two nations that at different times had governed colonial Louisiana before it became part of the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Saturday's ceremony took place in front of the Cabildo — the building where the Louisiana Purchase was finalized in 1803.

Three American Indian tribes were also among the nations represented at the ceremony.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Mayor-elect Latoya Cantrell, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards also were on hand.

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Edwards spoke of the city's resilience, noting the historic fires, floods and hurricanes that have battered the city over three centuries. "And, yet, here she stands," Edwards told the gathering.

Events and exhibits marking the city's founding on the Mississippi River in the spring of 1718 have been going on for months. They have stepped up in recent days with, with the arrival of tall ships on the city's riverfront, Saturday's welcome ceremony and a planned music event dubbed the "citywide family reunion," set for Sunday. It was unclear if that would go on as inclement weather was expected Sunday.

Also ahead for the city known as a destination for international tourism: a media "sneak peek" is set for Wednesday at the new terminal for the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

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