Katrina anniversary: New Orleans to hear from 3 presidents but music may be the sweetest sound

Hurricane Katrina

Water surrounds homes just east of downtown New Orleans in an aerial view of damage from Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 30, 2005.

(Smiley N. Pool / Associated Press)

President Obama and former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are set to travel to New Orleans on three separate days to stand with residents commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Obama is scheduled to be in New Orleans on Aug. 27 -- two days ahead of the actual anniversary -- meet with survivors and local leaders and deliver a speech.

Bush, who was president during the devastating hurricane, and his wife, Laura, are to speak Aug. 28 at Warren Easton High School, a beneficiary of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Clinton is set to appear Aug. 29 at the Power of Community Gathering in the Smoothie King Center, the largest of the many observances surrounding the anniversary of Katrina, which killed almost 2,000 people.


Beginning at 5 p.m. local time, the event focusing on the city’s recovery follows a day of service sponsored by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in which an estimated 10,000 volunteers will work on 100 rebuilding projects in seven neighborhoods.

Former CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien is to serve as host of the interfaith gathering. Among the scheduled entertainers are Dumpstaphunk, R&B/jazz singer Ledisi, the Rebirth Brass Band, John Boutte, Tonya Boyd Cannon, Stephanie Jordan’s Big Band, Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Warren Easton Charter High School Marching Band. 

Free tickets are limited, and will be available to volunteers participating in the day of service; area residents can get them from Ticketmaster via and at New Orleans libraries.

At the end of the program, a second line is to form behind the musicians to parade to the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., in Central City, for a block party ending at 8 p.m.


Details at


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