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Gretna is the second-largest city in Louisiana's Jefferson Parish, despite the fact that it covers just 4 square miles. The city is considered a suburb of New Orleans, which is only 3 miles away. Gretna offers many opportunities for careers, entertainment and shopping, both within its borders and in its neighboring cities.
The History of Gretna
Gretna was first settled in 1836, evolving from a railroad station on the Mississippi. The community was first called Mechanicsham, perhaps a nod to its ties to the railroad. It was connected to New Orleans via a ferry and grew fairly steadily early on. Gretna was officially incorporated in 1910, annexing the community of McDonogh to expand its boundaries.
One of Gretna's biggest claims to fame dates back to 1889, when the famous food and spice company, Zatarain's, was founded here.
Living in Gretna
Gretna offers many things to do within the city, and there are also many options in nearby communities. If you enjoy the outdoors, you can take advantage of hiking and biking trails, several state parks and charter boats. The Gretna Historic District is one of the largest in the area, featuring several buildings that date back to the city's early years. In addition, the city hosts a number of special events including Mardi Gras, farmers markets, art walks and holiday festivals.
The Gretna Heritage Festival is one of the city's largest events. This massive, award-winning block party spans 25 city blocks and features performances by a number of well-known musicians. Visitors come from miles around to enjoy carnival rides, international food, and arts and crafts booths.
Jefferson Parish School District operates the public schools in Gretna. There are also a few private schools in the city, offering an alternative to the traditional public school education.
Resources for Moving to Gretna
Here's some helpful information to make your move to Gretna as easy as possible:
- Utilities: Energy New Orleans provides Gretna with electricity and natural gas. The city's public utilities department oversees water and sewer services.
- Garbage and Recycling: Trash is collected twice per week, while recyclables are picked up weekly.
- Transportation: Public transit in Gretna includes Jefferson Transit and RTA routes, making it easy to get around the city.
There's no state property tax in Louisiana, which can be a major draw if you're considering buying a home in Gretna. In addition, the Gretna housing market is very affordable, with median home prices that are considerably lower than the national average. These factors can make it possible for many people to become homeowners. If you'd prefer to rent, you can still enjoy budget-friendly options and a range of styles, sizes and amenities.