Not sure what to do on the biggest party day of the year in the biggest party city in the country? As you might’ve guessed, you’ve got no shortage of options! Whether you’re looking for something classy and sophisticated, wild and crazy, or a little of both, there’s a celebration with your name on it. From parades to concerts to black-tie galas, #FrayLife is here with our guide to the best ways to ring in 2019.
Allstate Sugar Bowl Fan Fest & Parade
Jackson Square/ Jax Brewery Parking Lot, 12:00- 6:00 pm
Start your revelries early by heading into the Quarter for the 13th annual Fan Fest. It’s not a holiday in New Orleans without a parade, and this one rolls at 2:00 pm. Expect marching bands, mascots, and cheerleaders for the football-meets-Mardi-Gras themed fête. Attendance is free and open to the public.
Dinner in the Quarter
In between the festivities of the Fan Fest and Rockin’ Eve is a perfect opportunity for fine dining at one of the Quarter’s many renowned establishments. Restaurants like Brennan’s, Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s, and Antoine’s have been around nearly as long as the city herself (ok, not quite…) Many eateries offer NYE specials, but they book up quickly, so plan ahead!
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve
Jax Brewery Parking Lot, 6:00 pm-Midnight
NYRE has been an institution since the early 1970s. While the main event is Times Square, New Orleans has been the NYE hub for the Central Time Zone since 2017. Celebrate with the crowds at this mammoth party featuring a huge concert with top-billed acts (previous bands include Imagine Dragons and Panic! At the Disco). The performances begin at 9:00 pm and go until the fireworks and fleur-de-lis drop at midnight. Show your best NYE NOLA spirit and you might just get on TV!
Steamboat Natchez & Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Fireworks Cruises
Riverfront, 10:00 pm- 1:00 am
Want to get a different view of the fireworks display? There’s no better place to see them than from the middle of the Mississippi! Both boats, which dock right in front of Jackson Square, have special NYE cruises that feature gourmet dinner buffets, live music, dancing, and plenty of champagne. Tickets are available online.
New Year’s Eve at Marché
Marché, French Market, 9:00 pm- 1:00 am
Located above the legendary French Market, Marché is a swanky event space with one of the best views in the city. The black-tie optional party will have gourmet food stations, passed hors-d’oeuvres, and an open bar with plenty of free-flowing champagne. Dance all night to the sounds of the Benchwarmers and watch the fireworks and ball drop from a bird’s eye view. Tickets are available online.
Bourbon Street Balconies
If your idea of an awesome night is one you don’t quite remember, head up to the balconies on Bourbon Street. Hand Grenades and Hurricanes will quickly have you in the NYE spirit as you throw beads down on the revelers walking by below. Most bars with balconies sell tickets in advance, so check online at your favorite to make sure you don’t miss out.
New Year’s Eve at BB’s Stage Door Canteen
WWII Museum, 9:00 pm- 1:00 am
If the Quarter isn’t your kind of place, head to the warehouse district and get ready to step back in time at the WWII museum. Sport your finest retro glam attire and enjoy a four-course seated dinner, followed by a night of dancing to the 1940s sounds of the Victory Swing Orchestra. Clink flutes at midnight with a champagne toast, followed by a chocolate buffet. Tickets are available online.
How do you plan on celebrating 2019? Share with us in the comments and be sure to tag #FrayLife and #NOLAFray as you bring in the new year!
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View More Articles By Katie Baer