Office of the Mayor-President

For release: IMMEDIATELY

Release Date: 11/03/2016

Mayor Holden Announces Plans for Baton Rouge Bicentennial Kick-Off

For release: IMMEDIATELY

For more information contact:
Susan Boudreaux, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-5101
Michelle McCalope, Mayor’s Office: (225) 389-7957

Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden announced today that Baton Rouge will kick-off a year-long Bicentennial celebration on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the city’s 200th year since becoming an incorporated city.

The Baton Rouge Bicentennial will officially kick-off at the 2016 Red Stick Revelry New Year’s Eve celebration at The Crest Stage in Galvez Plaza and the North Boulevard Town Square when the Red Stick drops at midnight.

“We’re asking all of Baton Rouge’s great events that take place throughout 2017, as well as our organizations and institutions, to adopt the Baton Rouge Bicentennial logo and let everyone know it’s a great time to visit Baton Rouge,” Holden said. “There won’t be one single party next year – there will be many!”

Earlier this year, Holden appointed a Bicentennial Committee, with honorary co-chairs Andre Moreau and actress Lynn Whitfield, to plan ways to recognize and celebrate Baton Rouge’s 200 years of history. The committee members represent a broad base of organizations throughout the city who have been working to incorporate the Bicentennial into wide-ranging programming in 2017.

Holden noted that Visit Baton Rouge will incorporate the Bicentennial into its 2017 marketing, letting tourists, group meetings and conventions know it’s a great time to visit. The East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries are documenting the Bicentennial, working with Baton Rouge’s arts, cultural and educational organizations.

“We endured a civil war, organized America’s first bus boycott against segregation back in the 50s, and boomed with the petrochemical industry in the 70s,” Holden told the crowd at a press conference in Town Square.

“We welcomed over 200,000 displaced people from New Orleans after its devastation by Hurricane Katrina eleven years ago. And along the way, we became a boom town in our own right, landing new jobs and corporate facilities in technology, television and film production, digital arts and many other sectors.”

Paul Arrigo, President of Visit Baton Rouge and Mary Stein, Assistant Director of the EBR Library system, provided additional details on how local groups can follow the celebration on social media, download the Bicentennial logo and plan events and celebrations to commemorate the Baton Rouge Bicentennial.

More information about the Baton Rouge Bicentennial will be available as it develops at, and on Twitter @BatonRouge200.

Visit Baton Rouge Cox Communications Entergy Raising Cane’s
Belle of Baton Rouge Casino & Hotel

Baton Rouge Bicentennial Committee members are:
• Paul Arrigo, Visit Baton Rouge
• Mary Stein, EBR Library
• Renee Chatelain, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
• Fairleigh Jackson, Foundation for Historical Louisiana
• Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
• Stacy Simon, Visit Baton Rouge
• Karron Alford, Visit Baton Rouge
• Davis Rhorer, Downtown Development District
• Kia Bickham, Office of the Mayor-President
• Rannah Gray, Red Stick Revelry
• Bishop Ivory Payne, The Weekly Press
• Eric Dexter, Forum 35 President
• Carolyn Bennett, community volunteer
• Dr. F. King Alexander, Louisiana State University
• Patricia Flood, Southern University
• Philip Smith, Baton Rouge Community College
• Carolyn McKnight, BREC
• John Sykes, Magnolia Mound Plantation
• Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian
• Verdi Adam, community volunteer
• Melissa Eastin, EBR Library Archivist
• Faye Phillips, former archivist for LSU

More information can be found on our website.