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New Orleans

New Orleans
The Big Easy in the Soul of America!

Founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste LeMoyne, New Orleans is an example of the rich and diverse cultural heritage that makes Louisiana the Soul of America. New Orleans was once a colony containing French, German, Italian and Swiss citizens as well as African and West Indian slaves. Jackson Square chronicles the city's history through five state museums: the Cabildo, the Presbytere, the Old US Mint, Madame John's Legacy and the 1850 House.

French Quarter, New Orleans' most famous district, was established by convicts and prostitutes from France who were freed on the condition of relocating to Louisiana. The area of the city where they settled, called the Vieux Carre' is now known as French Quarter. Today, on a journey through French Quarter, one can find historical houses, simple cottages, rustic iron gates and the 24 hour French Market containing cajun spices, creole tomatoes and other fresh produce and local crafts. Another historical New Orleans district is the Faubourg Treme'. Built by free people of color, it is the first African-American neighborhood in the United States. Faubourg Treme' is also the home of legendary jazz clubs.

The Big Easy: Cuisine, Music and Festivals

New Orleans, called the Big Easy, is known for cajun and creole cuisine, rich and colorful music and popular festivals. Gumbo, shrimp etouffee, red beans and rice, the poboy sandwich, the muffulette sandwich and bread puddings are just a few of the culinary dishes for which the Big Easy is famous.

The poboy sandwich, a New Orleans original, is the city's version of the hoagie or the submarine sandwich. Believed to have been created in 1929 by French Quarter restaurant to feed transit strikers, the dressed poboy is combination of roast beef, shrimp, fried oysters or crawfish, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and cheeses on a loaf of French bread.

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street is the place to be to experience the rich and colorful music of New Orleans. The home of America's Jazz Ambassador, the late Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, the Satchmo SummerFest celebrates this New Orleans native who popularized the scat singing style and pioneered the use of solo performances in jazz. Satchmo SummerFest, held in August, features brass band, big band and Dixieland jazz sounds.

In addition to the music of Satchmo, the music of other New Orleans native musicians from Wynton Marslis to Allen Touissant can be found in historic French Quarter venues such as the House of Blues. The French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival both feature performances by world class musicians in an area surrounded by booths offering authentic New Orleans cuisine.

Mardi Gras

The Crescent City Jubilee is a festival holiday celebration that culminates on Mardi Gras. During the jubilee, locals and tourists enjoy two weeks of parade celebrations. Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World, the warehouse in Algiers Point where Mardi Gras floats are kept is a popular tourist attraction on the wet bank of the Mississippi River.

Another popular festival is the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival honoring New Orleans' famous former writers-in-residence: Tennessee Williams, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Kate Chopin and Robert Penn Warren. Whether sampling New Orleans cuisine, enjoying the city's rich and colorful music or attending one of the annual festivals, have a great time in the Big Easy. Joie de Vivre!