Soon enough the presents will be unwrapped, the food will be devoured, and the age-old question, “What should we do for New Year’s Eve?” will strike panic in everyone’s party-planning hearts. Luckily in New Orleans, there are plenty of options to fit your fancy. This guide specifically gives you the best ways to celebrate while catching the fantastic fireworks display over the Mississippi River.
Where to Watch New Year’s Eve Fireworks
This year New Orleans will be reppin’ the Central Time Zone for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” Broadcasting live from Jackson Square, the show will feature performances from the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Fan Fest, celebrity interviews, and a fleur-de-lis drop (of course!) at the stroke of midnight. If you’re looking to get in the thick of all the excitement, this is the place to be. To make a day of it, get downtown early to catch the Allstate Fan Fest that is free and open to the public from noon to 6 p.m. at Jax Brewery. It’s your last chance to enjoy a Revillion dinner at any of the restaurants in the Quarter, then head down towards Decatur Street to get a prime spot for the midnight drop and fireworks.
If you want the swankiness of a New Year’s Eve party plus a view, be sure to check out the special events and parties at hotels and clubs in the French Quarter. Inquire about access to a balcony or rooftop if fireworks are a “must” on your holiday list, and consider wearing something sparkly, too — these events are typically fancy.
Want to stay in the Quarter but keep it casual? Go to the banks of the Mississippi between the Dumaine St. streetcar station and the Governor Nicholls Street Wharf. This area of the riverbank is slightly less crowded, giving you some breathing room and an easy post-fireworks walk to Frenchmen Street. This is the perfect opportunity to get some drinks and food to go, and enjoy the downtown vibe from a casual perch.
Can’t get close enough to fireworks? Then your spot is on one of the riverboats that will be cruising directly under the show on the Mississippi River. Places to party include the Steamboat Natchez and the Creole Queen. Spend the day in the French Quarter catching the Allstate Fan Fest or shopping, and jump on your riverboat in the evening. Music, food, drinks, and rolling on the river into the new year? Yes, please!
If you still want the excitement and great view but with a little more of a chill crowd, head towards the Bywater. Crescent Park offers ample space to pack a picnic, grab a group of friends and have one of the best views of the city. The park is family friendly, and it’s a great option to share the excitement of fireworks with kids without being in the French Quarter crowd. If you can perch at the top of bridge during the fireworks, you’re guaranteed to have one of the best views of the skyline. The area is also home to some of the city’s funkiest bars and restaurants — you’ll have plenty of options for fun after the fireworks finish.
Start 2017 off by being on the “Best Bank,” as locals endearingly call the city’s West Bank. Algiers Point has the beauty and charm of the French Quarter, with a little less of a crowd but a whole personality unto itself. Make a day out of your celebration: take the ferry across the river, grab a pint at Crown and Anchor Pub or Old Point Bar, and post up on the levee to get what’s arguably the best spot to watch the fireworks. Prepare ahead by checking the ferry’s schedule and mapping out your bar and restaurant options in Algiers Point.
A few more ideas…
- Each neighborhood tends to have its own best spot to see the fireworks without straying too far from home. Ask neighbors or friends in the area, and you’ll likely get the inside scoop on what part of the local park has the best view, or who’s having a house party with a great viewing area from the porch. Sometimes the
- Don’t forget about the rooftop and balcony bars in the city! Depending on their location, they can be prime spots to catch the fireworks all in the comfort of your own neighborhood bar. Call ahead to confirm hours and special event tickets for the night.
No matter where you are, when the clock strikes midnight, take a look at the sky and watch 2017 arrive with a bang!