New Orleans 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and Battle of the Badges Cook-Off Slated for Early September

The second annual competition brings together the city's first responders and raises funds

Last year's stair climb participants

September 11, 2017, marks 16 years since the largest terror attack on our nation, and first responders in New Orleans — and across the country — continue to do their part to remember the day’s fallen heroes. The Association of Memorial Stair Climbs will be holding its second annual New Orleans 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Saturday, September 9 from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. at 400 Poydras Tower. A Brotherhood Bash and inaugural Battle of the Badges cookoff in Lafayette square will follow.

Two years ago, local firefighters Nathan Richard and Neil Navarro noticed the lack of memorialization in New Orleans for first responders who lost their lives on 9/11, and then they discovered the Association of Memorial Stair Climbs. With each climb the organization pays tribute to the 343 firefighters, 60 law enforcement officers, and eight emergency medical service technicians who perished during the attacks on the Twin Towers. Although this is only the second climb held in New Orleans, more than 30 Memorial Stair Climbs occur every year across the country. Each registered climber will wear the name of a first responder who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001. In addition, climbers recognize a Louisiana first responder who lost their life during the previous year.

Once the climb is complete, the public is invited to gather in Lafayette Square to enjoy food, drinks, music, and a little friendly competition amongst first responders at the annual Brotherhood Bash. New to this year’s event is the Battle of the Badges cook-off — coordinated by Richard, who, in addition to being a firefighter, is the chef of the popular restaurant Cavan — which will pit 10 cooking teams from fire, police, and EMS departments against one another to determine which team will be crowned cooking champion. There will be a wide variety of dishes prepared by the teams — and sold to the crowd — that will include gumbo, pastalaya, po’boys, and spicy shrimp. Live music will be provided on the Budweiser stage by DJ Captain Charles, The Fleurtations, and Groovy 7.

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Proceeds from the event will go toward the Louisiana Heroes Project, a non-profit organization that supports Louisiana first responders, military, and veterans. To learn more about the event, visit the website.