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French Officials Celebrate New Orleans Tricentennial

Eileen Fleming

Officials from Orleans, France, wrapped up several days of events marking a sister city agreement with the city of New Orleans.  They attended the Joan of Arc parade over the weekend, as well as the official start of Carnival marked at Mardi Gras World.  The city designation coincides with the Louisiana city’s Tricentennial celebrations.

Mayor Landrieu called the new sister city “classical Orleans” before exchanging gifts with Mayor Olivier Carre.

“It made sense to form a sister-city agreement to formalize our relationship and to work specifically on tourism, water management practices, cultural economy, educational opportunities and economic development for both of our cities," he said

Landrieu said the relationship between the cities goes back several years. After Hurricane Katrina, Orleans invited students from the University of New Orleans at no cost to continue their education in France. Both cities have rivers running through them — in France it's the Loire. And Both honor authenticity, history and — of course — Joan of Arc, who saved Orleans from an English siege in 1429.

Landrieu says links remain to this day.

“They especially have a commitment to the future through the growth of entrepreneurship and, of course, education," he said.

Mayor Carre presented Landrieu with a formal program of events this year in France to mark New Orleans’ 300th anniversary. Several gifts were exchanged.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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