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St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

The state of Louisiana is located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans. As of the 2010 Census the New Orleans population was 343,800, an increase of 88,800 people since the Census Bureau's count in July 2006. The population within the city limits of Baton Rouge was 224,000 pre-Katrina and according to the Census Bureau the population increased to about 232,000 in the year following Katrina. Other data suggest that even with its many post-Katrina problems, New Orleans is repopulating faster than Baton Rouge.

Louisiana is the only state that is divided into parishes; most other states are divided into counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish and largest by area is Terrebonne Parish. The New Orleans metropolitan area is Louisiana's largest metropolitan area.

Louisiana has a unique multicultural and multilingual heritage. Originally part of New France, Louisiana is home to many speakers of Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole French. African American and Franco-African, and Acadian, French / French Canadian form the two largest groups of ancestry in Louisiana's population. (read more . . . )

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Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day". It is the final day of Carnival. It is a celebration that is held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent.

New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations draw hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city in addition to the celebrating locals for the parties and parades. Most tourists can be found within the French Quarter, especially Bourbon Street. Mardi Gras came to New Orleans with the French settlers at the start of the 18th century.

New Orleans developed new traditions, including Carnival organizations called Krewes, which decorate gaily colored floats, "Truck parades" of huge, decorated trucks often have more than 100 entries. Other parades are held by "walking clubs," consisting of maskers promenading to the blare of the city's famous jazz bands. There are also elaborate masked, tableau balls held by most of the parading krewes and other organizations which limit their activities only to balls. Usually invitation-only affairs, many of the balls feature the presentation of the city's debutantes. New Roads, Louisiana hosts the state's oldest Mardi Gras celebration outside New Orleans. The family-friendly celebration consists of floats, marching bands and drill units. Lafayette, Louisiana is home to a large Mardi Gras celebration which includes eight parades of floats and bands during the Carnival season.

Other places in the New Orleans metropolitan area also have celebrations; notably the suburbs of Metairie, La Place and Chalmette have large parades. Without the restrictions on commercial sponsorship of parades seen in Orleans Parish, there is much advertising and trademark placements on the parades in Metairie. Metairie parades also tend to be more family-oriented, and even include a children's parade. Houma, Louisiana hosts a significant Mardi Gras celebration of nine parades, three of which roll on Shrove Tuesday, and the others on the two weekends preceding the big day. In parts of the Cajun country of southwestern Louisiana, the traditional Courir du Mardi Gras (French - Running of the Mardi Gras) is still run, sometimes by maskers on horseback led by "Le Capitaine" who gather ingredients for making the communal meal (usually a gumbo). (read more . . . )

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Justin E. Wilson (April 24, 1914 - September 5, 2001) was a southern American chef and humorist known for his brand of Cajun cuisine-inspired cooking and humor. He was a self-styled "raconteur".

Wilson was born in Roseland in Tangipahoa Parish, one of the "Florida Parishes" east of Baton Rouge. He began his career as a safety engineer while he traveled throughout Acadiana. His safety lectures that he made to refinery workers prompted him on the road to becoming a Cajun storyteller.

Wilson (who was actually only one-half Cajun, or "half-bleed Ca-jon" as he put it) later recorded several humor albums, beginning with "The Humorous World of Justin Wilson." He later appeared as a guest on the popular CBS series The Ed Sullivan Show. He was known for the catchphrase, "I gar-own-tee!". He later wrote seven Cajun cookbooks and two books of Cajun stories, and hosted several cooking shows on PBS that combined Cajun cooking and Cajun humor.

Wilson was also politically active in his early years. His father, Democrat Harry D. Wilson, was the Louisiana agriculture commissioner in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1951-1952, Justin Wilson was the manager of the unsuccessful Democratic gubernatorial campaign of Lieutenant Governor William J. "Bill" Dodd. He and Dodd were close though they often disagreed on political philosophy. Wilson's brother-in-law, Bolivar Kemp, was the Democratic attorney general of Louisiana from 1948-1952. (read more . . . )

Did you know...

  • ...that the mayor of tiny Logansport, Louisiana, worked for 16 years to keep a new bridge over the Sabine River a high priority?
  • ...More than one-half of the species of birds in North America are resident in Louisiana or spend a portion of their migration there?
  • ...Louisiana has the greatest concentration of crude oil refineries, natural gas processing plants and petrochemical production facilities in the Western Hemisphere?
  • ...Louisiana is the only state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who were driven out of Canada in the 1700s because they wouldn't pledge allegiance to the King of Great Britain?
  • ...The town of Jean Lafitte was once a hideaway for pirates?
  • ...Because of its many bays and sounds, Louisiana has the longest coastline (15,000 miles) of any state and 41 percent of the nation's wetlands?
  • ...Louisiana is the nation's largest handler of grain for export to world markets and that more than 40 percent of the U.S. grain exports move through Louisiana ports?
  • ...The site of the oldest known Louisiana civilization is Poverty Point in West Carroll Parish, where an Indian village existed 2,700 years ago?
  • ...Louisiana has 2,482 islands, covering nearly 1,300,000 acres (5,300 km2)?
  • ...The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, with a length of 23.87 miles (38.42 km), is the world's longest bridge built entirely over water?
  • ...Baton Rouge was the site of the only battle fought outside of the original 13 colonies during the American Revolution?
  • ...Louisiana produces more furs (1.3 million pelts a year) than any other state?

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Flag of the State of Louisiana You are invited to participate in WikiProject Louisiana, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Louisiana.

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Flower Magnolia Magnolia

Brown Pelican

Motto Union, justice, and confidence
Nickname The Pelican State
Tree Bald Cypress
Bird Brown Pelican

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Lafayette is a city on the Vermilion River in Lafayette Parish, in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Lafayette is the parish seat. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 110,257; a 2004 census estimate put the metro area's population at 246,160. It is the fourth largest incorporated city in the state. It is the principal city of the Lafayette-Acadiana, LA Combined Statistical Area, which, in 2006, had an estimated total population of 537,947.

The city was founded as Vermilionville in 1821 by a French-speaking Acadian named Jean Mouton. In 1884, it was renamed for the Marquis de Lafayette, who assisted the United States during its Revolutionary War. The city's economy was primarily based on agriculture until the 1940s, when the petroleum and natural gas industry became dominant.

Lafayette has a strong tourism industry, attracted by the Cajun and Creole cultures of the surrounding region. It has one of the highest restaurant counts per capita of cities in the area. (read more . . . )

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Statistics: Population

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