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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- The expectations are high this New Year's Eve, with plans to see 50,000 people pack Jackson Square to see the fleur de lis drop.

The preparations started while other countries were ringing in the new year. Cleaning crews have been sweeping every street in the French Quarter while the stage was set for three bands to entertain the masses until the clock strikes midnight.

Baby New Year has been overseeing all of the hard work atop Jax Brewery underneath the Saints helmet that's celebrating Sean Payton's return in 2013.

'It's been a great year for New Orleans. We've had such great rankings from travel magazine from around the world saying we're the number one destination, and we're the number one destination for New Year's Eve vacation so you can't beat that. And we go into 2013 with great expectations,' said Mark Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

Fireworks will begin at midnight and last 15 minutes. It'll feature specialty colors and sounds for the Sugar Bowl teams Florida and Louisville and their fight songs.

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