New Orleans and the bicentennial that wasn't

The 100-year celebration didn't go so well
"New Orleans will conduct a celebration that will send its echoes around the world," runs the lead of a 1917 Times-Picayune story announcing plans for the city's bicentennial celebration. Drawing on materials that recently had surfaced in French archives," the story said, city planners had pegged the date of the city's founding as Feb. 9, 1718 — coincidentally, the bicentennial would be the Saturday before Mardi Gras.

6 from 300: overlooked people and events from New Orleans history

New Orleans is gearing up this week for its official tricentennial events, which include a commemorative interfaith prayer service at St. Louis Cathedral (April 17), NOLA Navy Week (April 19-25), Tall Ships New Orleans (April 19-22), International Weekend (April 20-22), Voices of the Congo Square (April 20), a citywide "family reunion" (April 22), a Tricentennial dog parade in New Orleans City Park (April 22) and quite a bit more.   In this section, we look at some often-overlooked people and events in the city's history, examine how the city celebrated its bicentennial in 1918, and give you all the details on celebrations around town.

Your guide to tricentennial events

A citywide celebration meets marketing opportunity
As much a marketing opportunity as a citywide celebration, New Orleans' Tricentennial has gotten press from around the world. Tourism leaders have thrown many annual events (Jazz Fest, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, Luna Fete) under the umbrella of tricentennial celebrations this year, but there are a few events going on this week — the "official" 300th birthday — solely dedicated to the Crescent City entering its fourth century.

The Gambit interview: LaToya Cantrell

The mayor-elect on the Sewerage & Water Board, short-term rentals, Confederate monuments and more
As New Orleans celebrates its tricentennial, it also will inaugurate its first female mayor: LaToya Cantrell. A Los Angeles-born community organizer, Cantrell led the recovery of her flood-ravaged Broadmoor neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina.

Cantrell's transition team: 'passionate, diverse'

A look inside the people behind the mayor-elect's transition to City Hall
Mayoral transitions are times of great anticipation and intense political speculation. Who will be the new mayor's top advisors?

Nominees announced for 2018 Big Easy Music Awards

The awards gala is April 23 at the Orpheum
PJ Morton, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Tarriona "Tank" Ball, Hurray for the Riff Raff and Lost Bayou Ramblers are among the artists nominated for 2018 Big Easy Music Awards. Winners will be announced at the Big Easy Awards gala April 23 at Orpheum Theater.

Paying the price: student loan debt is weighing down a generation of New Orleanians

College graduates enter the workforce with five or six figures in debt
Before he lost his job, Alexander Cross wasn't as worried about his $180,000 in student loan debt.

Nominees announced for 2018 Big Easy Theater Awards

The annual ceremony returns April 23 to the Orpheum
The Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education (FEDE), or Big Easy Awards, announced nominees for top theater performances in 2017. Special award recipients will be honored and winners announced at the Big Easy Awards Monday, April 23, at the Orpheum Theater.

Gambit's 2018 guide to Louisiana fairs and festivals

'Tis the season
There's always a reason to celebrate in Louisiana. Our culture, history, natural resources and talents are fertile grounds for festivals that showcase live music and the arts alongside educational exhibits and cultural programs.

Winners announced for 2018's Tribute to the Classical Arts

Big Easy Foundation recognizes performances of classical music, opera and dance
With three trophies, Marigny Opera Ballet topped the list of winners at the Tribute to the Classical Arts awards March 8.

After an increase in ICE arrests, New Orleans immigrants organize against mass surveillance

How immigrants and advocates are taking the immigration fight to local government
A few steps from the doors to New Orleans City Hall Feb. 23, children took turns thrashing a colorful pinata shaped like an oversized surveillance camera. Surrounding the entrance were cartoonlike effigies of cameras, mocking a proposed plan requiring cameras outside nearly every bar and restaurant that could stream to law enforcement, joining a growing network of newly installed surveillance cameras throughout New Orleans.

City Park considering new funding from gambling, attractions and a millage

With little funding from the state and city, the park scrambles to fill budget gaps and keep green space open to the public
New Orleans City Park is the largest swath of continuous green space in the city, complete with an amusement park, botanical garden, tennis center, putt-putt course, birding corridor, dog park and art museum.

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