Celebrations mark Battle of New Orleans bicentennial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – With somber battlefield ceremonies to fireworks over the Mississippi River, the bicentennial of the victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans is being celebrated on a cold Jan. 8 just like it was 200 years ago. British and American fighters faced off in a decisive battle in the western expansion of the United States of America.

Celebrations kicked off Thursday morning and are to extend through the weekend, culminating Sunday with a major re-enactment involving nearly 1,500 actors who will fire off cannons, muskets and rifles at a newly constructed replica of the famous Chalmette Battlefield.

The public and dignitaries, including the British ambassador, were to attend a series of events in New Orleans. Events included a wreath laying, re-enactments and the unveiling of a commemorative stamp.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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