AP NEWS

Donald Trump goes all out for first state visit, will welcome Emmanuel Macron

April 23, 2018

President Trump’s first state visit will welcome French President Emmanuel Macron with pomp and grandeur including a traditional review of U.S. troops, a diner showcasing the “best of American cuisines” and a performance by the Washington National Opera, the White House said Monday.

First lady Melania Trump, whose office organized the grand affair, released details of the visit by Mr. Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron for three days of events that include a state dinner Tuesday.

“First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald J. Trump are excited to welcome President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron of France for the Trump Administration’s first state visit,” the White House said.

Mr. Trump is the first president since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s to not host a state visit during his first year in office. The week’s events, however, are designed to make up for any lost time.

The visit kicks off Monday with the president and first lady welcoming the Macrons with a tree-planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.

Monday evening, the two couples will depart the White House on the presidential helicopter Marine One, for a scenic tour of historic monuments in Washington, ending at Mount Vernon the iconic home of America’s first president, George Washington.

The White House released details of Tuesday’s events:

Arrival Ceremony: On Tuesday Morning, April 24, the President and First Lady will host the State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. With the practice tracing back to the 17th century, the Trump Administration is proud to carry on the traditional military arrival ceremony. Nearly 500 members of the United States Armed Forces from all five military branches will be on the South Lawn for the traditional “Review of the Troops.” Guests invited to attend the ceremony include Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress, military families, and students from the Maya Angelou French Immersion School in Temple Hills, Maryland. State Dinner: The color scheme is cream and gold and the china settings consist of the Clinton china for the baseplate, along with both Bush (43) and Clinton china for the dinner service. The First Lady chose the Bush china with the green color palette to complement the spring green and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room. Mrs. Trump has also selected pieces from the extensive Vermeil collection as well as American Silver from the White House Collection from Tiffany Co. and S. Kirk Sons to add to the dcor in the State Dining Room. Entertainment: Washington National Opera from the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Floral Arrangements: The Cross Hall will feature over 1,200 branches of cherry blossom, all grown in the United States. The State Dining Room will feature more than 2,500 stems of white sweet peas and nearly 1,000 stems of white lilac both California and Dutch grown mixed. The parlors will feature a variety of mixed garden flowers. The Stephanotis vines, which will also be featured in the parlors, are from California. The Menu: The menu will be a showcase of the best of America’s cuisines and traditions, with nuances of French influences prepared by the renowned White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford. The first course celebrates the wondrous first harvest of spring, using greens from the White House kitchen garden. The main course will be a Rack of Spring Lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya, which will be cooked in a New Orleans tradition and scented with the trinity of Cajun cooking celery, peppers, and onions, and spiced with herbs from the South Lawn. Dessert will be a Nectarine Tart infused with White House honey and accented by crme frache ice cream. Wines: The wines were selected to complement the menu and embody the historic friendship between the United States and France, which dates back to the American Revolution. The Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015 is the product of American and French collaboration a combination of French plants from Dijon that thrive in the volcanic Oregon soil and colder temperatures. The wine was aged in 40 percent French oak barrels for more than 12 months. The Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurne” 2014 This wine uses the motto “French soulOregon soil.” The grapes at Domaine Drouhin are harvested and sorted by hand and fermented in French Oak barrels. Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crmant” has been served in the White House for official and ceremonial events many times over the years. The subtle sweetness and creamy effervescence of the 2014 vintage is the perfect accompaniment for a nectarine tart.