Got ideas for Battle of New Orleans bicentennial?

Associated Press Modified: October 18, 2012 at 9:02 am •  Published: October 18, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The National Park Service is holding the first of four meetings to hear what people interested in the War of 1812 would like to see for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans on and around Jan. 8, 2015.

People from museums, state and local governments, and "folks off the street" are invited, said Ranger Kristy Wallisch.

Thursday's meeting was scheduled at noon in the French Quarter; two were Thursday evenings in other parts of the city and a Saturday meeting at the Chalmette Battlefield Visitor Center.

"We tried to scatter them around" to make them convenient for as many people as possible, she said.

The Park Service has held memorial ceremonies in Chalmette since 1934, when the Chalmette Battlefield was transferred from the War Department. It is one of six units making up the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

Camps of living history re-enactors were added in the early 1980s. Like the American troops at the battle itself, they include Indians, African-Americans and people playing the parts of Barataria pirates as well as more conventional troop re-enactors.

Others who helped the U.S. Army, Navy and Marines included militia from Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. Locals in the Louisiana militia included Cajuns from the countryside, city-born Creoles and Islenos — St. Bernard Parish residents from the Canary Islands.

"All those people working together managed to win the Battle of New Orleans, so we need lots of people to commemorate it," Wallisch said.

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