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Much of Gretna’s historic architecture reflects the shotgun homes and Creole cottages of New Orleans, its neighbor just across the Mississippi River. A more laid back, small-town feel has always set Gretna apart. Beginning in the 19th century, an agreeable marrying judge made the area a destination for couples seeking quickie weddings. A legacy celebrated each Valentine’s Day when the local justice of the peace conducts ceremonies and renewals of vows over the anvil inside the historic Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop. A free pedestrian ferry ride delivers visitors from New Orleans to the heart of Gretna’s historic downtown. It is home to many restaurants and museums that honor the city’s original settlers. On Saturday mornings, a lively farmers market convenes by the site of a historic train depot with local artists displaying their work on the second Saturday of each month for the Gretna Art Walk.