For the last year and a half, I’ve sat on the New Orleans Tricentennial Media and Branding Committee. We have been discussing the many events planned to celebrate the city’s 300th birthday. Over the next few months there will be an array of exciting things on the calendar to help celebrate such an important milestone. Fireworks, parades (its New Orleans of course), exhibits, tall ships, symposiums and festivals. Take your pick as there will be something for everyone.
While being on the committee is special as it provides a first-hand look and an opportunity for input, the 300th has deeper meaning. If you’ve read my bio you’ll know that I’m a born and bred local. Alongside my family, I attend almost every festival year after year. We do as many parades as possible, even riding in several of the Mardi Gras Krewes. We spend many weekends in the marshes and on the waters just outside the city. New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana is in my blood and that of my kids.
I, along with a strong team built a company in the heart of the city. I take pride in everything about the city (well, almost everything) and couldn’t imagine growing a business, raising a family, or running the streets in any other city. The history and culture speak for itself. I often tell people New Orleans is the most unique city in the U.S., where you can experience things like nowhere else. And I’m not talking about the go-cup. It’s the people that choose to be part of the city. The vibe the people, the buildings, the stores and restaurants put out. It’s the growing technology and bioscience community. The universities graduating smart kids who want to do good and make a positive impact. And it’s the people who are facing our city’s problems head-on, working on solutions that will make us an even better place to live, work and play.
So as 2018 is still young and we kick the 300th celebration into high gear, think about New Orleans. Not just in terms of Mardi Gras or the Saints, but all she’s been through. There’s plenty of good and bad in those 3 centuries and a lot to learn from both sides. After some reflection, take time to look forward to all the possibilities that lay ahead for the citizens, neighborhoods, communities, businesses and the future residents. When I talk to my kids about living a full, balanced life, I stress how lucky they are to live in New Orleans. There is an abundance of opportunity alive and well in this city. When paired with what we’ve accomplished so far, the future should be amazing for all.