New Orleans Celebrates: Bicentennial of the War of 1812

200 Years of Naval History Comes Life in New Orleans

Nola Navy Week has come to a close and we are sad to the ships leave New Orleans. However, the US Navy will return to New Orleans for the official closing of the War of 1812 Bicentennial in 2015. Follow along on the blog, Facebook and Twitter for the latest information about the future event.

New Orleans will serve as the inaugural city in a three-year national celebration commemorating the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner. The 2012 celebration will take place April 17 – 23, 2012, featuring a colorful spectacle of ships spreading on the East Bank of the Mississippi River from Erato Street to Upper Poland Avenue. Additionally, the Navy’s famed Blue Angels will perform a memorable air show as part of the week’s festivities.

The U.S. Navy’s amphibious warship USS Wasp, along with other large navy vessels, will welcome Class A tall ships from countries around the world to New Orleans, joining the U.S. Navy and OpSail 2012 for the celebration. The theme, “Our Flag Was Still There,” will mark the festivities in seven ports and across the country.

In each of the port cities, beginning with New Orleans, ships will be open for public visiting, and citizens will have the opportunity to interact with sailors from around the world. In addition to the Navy fleet and tall ships lining the Port, and the Blue Angels air show, activities will include official visits among regional dignitaries and Navy leadership, visiting sailors engaged in friendly sporting competitions, a seafood cook-off, and regional outreach and community service projects by visiting sailors.

“From 2012 to 2015, the United States Navy and its partners, including Operation Sail, Inc., will commemorate the War of 1812 and the writing of our national anthem, the Star- Spangled banner,” U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said. “It is remarkable that 200 years ago, one of the first wars in our country’s history was fought against nations who have become our closest allies.”

“Bringing the tall ships of the world back to U.S. waters for the commemoration of this glorious American milestone excites the imagination,” said chairman of Operation Sail, Inc., Jose Fuentes. “Throughout 2012-2015, millions of people will witness these graceful and majestic sailing ships as they parade in together, and celebrate brotherhood of the sea, and of our freedoms.”