300 Vietnamese New Year

Residents celebrate Tet, or Buddhist New Year, a three-day festival that draws more than 10,000 people to Mary Queen of Vietnam.

Vietnamese were settled in New Orleans after the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

Although they are a relatively recent addition to New Orleans’ melting pot of immigrants, the Vietnamese have become an integral part of life in and around the city. From their bakeries and restaurants to their shrimp boats and persistence, the population has demonstrated they are here to stay.

Catholic Charities brought hundreds of families to the state after the fall of Saigon in 1975. The Catholic church settled the families in eastern New Orleans, as well as in Jefferson Parish, St. Mary, Terreborne and Lafourche parishes. In New Orleans, many families were settled in the Versailles Apartments in New Orleans East. So many Vietnamese Catholics settled in the area that a new church was created, Mary Queen of Vietnam Church. Other Vietnamese, many of them Buddhists, were settled in the Kingstown area of Marrreo.

The Vietnamese are well known as fishers and shrimpers and are renowned for their bakeries, including Dong Phuong and Hi-Do.

The Versailles Community was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and the resulting flooding. But because of its tight knit community it was one of the first neighborhoods to return to New Orleans East.

According to the 2010 Census, there were about 17,000 Vietnamese living in the metropolitan area and about 30,000 living in the state.