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Monroe-West Monroe, Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Upcoming Events
Les Miserables
08/1/2014
Discover a nation in the grip of revolution, where convict Jean Valjean is on the run. Hunted relentlessly by the policeman Javert for breaking his parole, he must leave his past behind and keep his vow to raise the young orphaned Cosette. But with revolution in the air and Javert closing in, Jean Valjean has no choice but to fight for his life and sacrifice everything to protect the people he loves. Epic, grand and uplifting, Les Misérables, a sung-through pop opera, is a powerful affirmation of the human spirit that has made it a popular masterpiece. Directed by Jason Rinehart, Conducted by Deborah Chandler.

4th Annual Rotary Club of the Twin Cities Poker Run
08/2/2014
Take to the water or the road for this Poker Run benefitting Salvation Army and various Rotary Club of the Twin Cities projects. Boat stops include the Sterlington Bridge, Whites Lake, West Monroe Dock, Lazarre Point, Moon Lake Marina, Long John Beach, River & Rail Cantina, and Prairion Bayou Ramp. Bike stops include Skeeters, Bootleggers, River Grille, Sparks Nissan, Bleu Bayou Harley, Lazarre Point, Moon Lake Marina, and Prairion Bayou Ramp. The Grand Prize is $10,000 and is paid out on 1st Royal Flush dealt with original hand. The best hand wins 50/50. Must be 21 to participate.

My Mini Masur Drop In Activity
08/2/2014
Bring your kids and let the creativity flow at the Masur Museum as they create an art project. This event is free of charge and children will leave with a unique art project.

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History

Ouachita Parish was established March 31, 1807 when the Territory of Orleans was divided. The original Ouachita Parish was later divided into the nine parishes that currently makeup Northeast Louisiana (Morehouse, Union, Caldwell, Franklin, Tensas, Madison, and East and West Carroll). The name Ouachita originated from the Indian tribe who inhabited the area at the time of settlement. The city of Monroe is the parish seat for Ouachita. The twin cities of Monroe-West Monroe began when Don Juan Filhiol was hired to establish Fort Miro as a Spanish presence on the north Ouachita River. Fort Miro became Monroe in May of 1819 to honor President James Monroe and the first steamboat to travel up the Ouachita to North Louisiana. West Monroe received its name in 1880 from railroad workers who needed to name a new city just west of Monroe. In 1914, Joseph Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola, built his home in Monroe and was actively involved in the city’s development until his death in 1952. His daughter, Emy-Lou established the Emy-Lou Biedenharn foundation in 1971 to support the cultural and artistic life of Northeast Louisiana.

Monroe got its first zoo in 1924, at what is now Forsythe Park. The small zoo originally housed fifteen animals. Since the 1935 move to an 80 acre facility in southern Monroe, the zoo has grown to hold over 500 animals in naturalistic habitats and features the only boat ride in the United States that takes visitors on a tour of naturalistic island habitats.

Historically, the twin cities and the surrounding parish have been known as small farming communities; in 1925, the world’s first aerial crop dusting organization, Huff Daland Dusters was formed in Monroe. That company later became Delta Airlines.

One little known fact about Monroe is the role it played in World War II. During the war, Monroe’s Selman Field served as the largest flight navigator school in the nation. Monroe was also home to General Claire Chennault, founder of the Flying Tigers, which played an integral part in the war. You can view memorabilia of Selman Field, General Chennault, and aviation history at the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum.

In 1978, Monroe became home to one of Louisiana’s seven nationally registered castles, Layton Castle or Mulberry Grove. Although it was remodeled in the early 1900s, much of the original 19th century décor remains.

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