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NEW ORLEANS — Just in time for the yearlong New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Orléans, France Mayor Olivier Carré signed a sister city agreement.

The mayor’s office says it’s to promote partnership and cooperation between the people of the two cities, to recognize the importance of identifying areas of mutual interest, and to begin specific projects for collaboration and willing partners in both cities.

New Orleans and Orléans are linked by their names and the imprint of major rivers including the Mississippi and Loire Rivers. Additionally, the cities share the same historical reference point of St. Joan of Arc, who is celebrated in each city every year. St. Joan of Arc is nicknamed the “Maid of Orleans” and is considered a hero of France for her role during the Hundred Years’ War. The cities also share a love for music hosting Jazz Festival celebrating Louisiana talent and jazz music.

“Our cities have always been historically linked and this formal agreement, 300 years in the making, finally recognizes that,” Landrieu says. “We look forward to collaborating on issues and working together to enhance tourism, water management, cultural economy, education and economic development across our cities. Through collaboration and partnership, we are creating a city for the ages and creating unique opportunities for the people of New Orleans.”

With the signing of this document each City agrees to 1) develop projects around 5 focus areas including tourism, water management, cultural economy, education and economic development, 2) maintain regular contact to facilitate exchanges and other opportunities for collaboration and 3) promote the agreement to its residents to solidify friendship across cities.

In 1718, New Orleans was founded as Nouvelle-Orléans under the direction of the governor of French Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, in honor of the  Regent of France, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans. Since the founding of the New Orleans, the French have influenced the city’s culture and heritage including neighborhoods, traffic circles, architecture, Mardi Gras, and the Joie de Vivre.


Landrieu and Carré will toast champagne together at the Joan of Arc Parade Saturday evening in the French Quarter.