New Orleans venues ready to host France’s Emmanuel Macron on Friday

The French leader visited the White House
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 8:20 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Jackson Square and other parts of the French Quarter will have important visitors on Friday. France’s President Emmanuel Macron and that country’s first lady Brigitte Macron will make several stops in the city.

The Macrons are already in the U.S. On Thursday, they visited the White House and met with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. A state dinner was also planned.

Once he lands in New Orleans on Friday, President Macron will be welcomed by Mayor Latoya Cantrell at Jackson Square and then walk through the quarter. He will also walk through portions of the quarter and then stop at the Historic New Orleans Collection, where he will meet with Governor John Bel Edwards to discuss climate change.

FOX 8 spoke to Daniel Hammer, President, and CEO of the Historic New Orleans Collection about Macron’s upcoming visit.

“It’s such an honor; we’re so excited, ever since we found out about the visit we’ve been just getting reay. We’ve got our place looking spit-spot as much,h as possible and we’re really honored and excited to host President Macron and Governor Edwards.”

Following the meeting between Macron and Edwards at the Historic New Orleans Collection, a Memorandum of Understanding that will create a position on Gov. Edwards’ Climate Initiatives Task for a French expert will be signed by Edwards and France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Collona, in the presence of Macron.

“We’re thrilled that they’re going to be signing an agreement around collaborating around resiliency and sustainability in the face of climate change, you know, here at The Historic New Orleans Collection, we work to preserve and make resilient our history and our culture in the face of a changing world,” said Hammer.

Then Macron will visit the New Orleans Museum of Art. The French Consulate in New Orleans says he will reaffirm his commitment to the French language and culture at the museum and announce the creation of a fund that will support the teaching of French in American schools.

Standing next to a giant portrait of Marie Antoinette, museum director Susan Taylor also expressed excitement over hosting Macron.

“It’s very special; we are honored and delighted to be able to host the president here at the museum,” said Taylor.

Preparations were underway inside the museum at the time Taylor was interviewed for this story.

“We will have a number of welcoming opportunities for both the French president and his delegation, so we’re getting the Sculpture Garden ready, there are spaces in the museum that are reserved for the delegation and the president making sure that those are welcoming and hospitable,” she said.

New Orleans Police Supt. Shaun Ferguson says his department is working with Macron’s security team and the U.S. Secret Service to ensure the Macron’s safety.

“Just as we would do with any official at that level it would be street closures along their movement but nothing in particular. I will not give any specifics with regard to location or things of that nature,” said Ferguson. “I will allow his security team to do that, do the public messaging on their behalf but what I can say is we have been working with them for the last couple of weeks, in preparation for this visit.”

Businesses adjacent to Jackson Square are excited about the prospect of lots of spectators in the area as the Macrons visit the city.

Hughes Drumm works at the Tabasco Country Store which is right next to the square.

“We would certainly hope so, we’re looking forward to it, definitely,” he said.

“Of course, the French president’s visit to New Orleans will thrust theo the international spotlight.

“That’s always great, especially if you have a small business in the city, it’s great to get any kind of attention international tension always help and the company we represent Tabasco is a global company so it fits in nicely,” said Drumm.

The Macrons will have dinner in the city and afterward, take in Frenchmen Street to experience New Orleans jazz and other culture.

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