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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- If you like food, music and football, Super Bowl Boulevard might be the place for you to hang out this weekend. The NFL experience officially kicked off in Woldenberg Park on Thursday night with a bang.

Fittingly Tina Turner's 'Proud Mary' filled the riverfront as a barge made its way slowly to Woldenberg Park carrying the NFL Super Bowl roman numerals.

'This is amazing. I'm excited. It hasn't been here since 2002, I think. This is all nice, the fireworks and pyrotechnics. It's pretty cool,' said West Bank resident Algee Edwards.

The precious cargo and fireworks display left the crowd mesmerized as 'Super Bowl Boulevard' officially opened to the public.

Keith Pfister reached for a bowl of gumbo to warm up after the big show.

'Only in New Orleans, right? Only in New Orleans can we put this kind of show on,' said Pfister.

The four-day festival will showcase menus from 17 food vendors. Local musicians will also take to four different stages on the Boulevard.

Despite fighting a cold, Gentilly resident Sophia Hardy says she had to come out to celebrate her city.

'It's important to the city. It's important to New Orleans. It's just a joyous occasion for all of us,' said Hardy.

With Super Bowl Sunday just days away, these football fans from near and far can't wait for the big game and finding out who will be the next NFL champion.

'You know, I'm going to go with San Francisco,' said Pfister. 'The Ravens. I can't do the 49ers. I rooted for them the week before. Not this time,' said Edwards.

'I'm always a Steelers fan at heart and because of that, I'm cheering for San Fran,' said Mid-City resident Amanda Klein.

Super Bowl Boulevard will be open to the public, free of charge until Sunday, February 3.

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