NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Traveler's Choice Destinations ranks it among the top 10 best places to ring in the New Year - the countdown and drop of the Fleur de Lis in the French Quarter is the must see celebration in the Crescent City, and with less than 24 hours to go, preparations for the big event are under way.
Jackson Square is ground zero for the New Year's Eve fun in the French Quarter, as the Allstate Sugarbowl's Fan Fest will kick-off the festivities tonight at 6:00 p.m. with a concert, and of course the party won't stop until 2014 arrives!
For event organizers the countdown is already on and preparations are well under way. The New Year's Baby was unloaded and delivered to JAX Brewery, this year wearing the Saints' black and gold helmet, a sign of good luck as the Saints head off to the playoffs.
Starting at 9:00 p.m. at Jackson Square there will be performances by Eric Lindell and Honey Island Swamp Band. Then at 11:59 p.m. thousands of people will watch the Fleur de Lis descend from the roof of JAX Brewery, followed by fireworks over the Mississippi River. Find all the information, by clicking here.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE --
And there is more than just the Fleur de Lis drop to check out this New Year's Eve in New Orleans:
If you'd rather lace up your shoes and hit the bowling lanes, Rock n' Bowl is having a big bash tonight, with general admission tickets still available for Rock n' Bowl's New Year's Eve party. They cost $27 and Louisiana guitar player Tab Benoit and New Orleans native Amanda Shaw will both be performing. For more information, click here.
The National World War II Museum is holding its first New Year's Swinging Eve. You can dine and dance to the museum's Big Band in the US Freedom Pavilion, and the Victory Belles will be performing, along with the cast of Jump, Jive and Wail- the music of Louis Prima. Tickets are $200, reservations are required, and you're encouraged to wear your best 1940's attire. For more information, click here.
NEW YEAR'S EVE FOR THE CHILDREN --
If you've got little ones who may not be able to stay up until midnight, or you're just looking for some fun today, there are a couple of options:
The Louisiana Children's Museum is ringing in 2014 at noon today. The fun starts at 9:30 a.m. and the party lasts until 2:30 p.m., and once the clock strikes 12 p.m. there will be a confetti toss and balloon release for kids. Kids can make their own hats and noise makers, dance, and enjoy the music. The event is $10 a person for anyone ages 1 and up, and $5 for members of the Louisiana Children's Museum. Click here for more.
At the Audubon Zoo they're also kicking off the New Year early, with family friendly fun starting at 10:30 a.m. and going on until 1:00 p.m., with the New Year's countdown scheduled for noon. Kids can get complimentary party hats, and check out a performance by the Imagination Movers, Back in Blue. Click here for more.
HOLIDAY SAFE RIDE HOME PROGRAMS --
Satewide law enforcement officials are working to keep drunk drivers off the roads, and multiple parishes are offering rides through Safe Ride Home Programs. If you or someone you're with has had too much to drink, consider calling:
The Slidell Police Department will either provide a ride home tonight or help find a cab, call (985) 643-3131.
In Covington, the police department is also offering rides to anyone who can't find a cab, call (985) 892.8500.
Mandeville police are not offering rides, but if you call, they will help you call a cab or track down someone to pick you up.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office will send a taxi at no cost starting at noon, if you call 911 from anywhere in the parish.
St. Charles and St. Bernard parish Sheriff's Offices will also offer a ride, call (985) 783-6807 for St. Charles Parish and (504) 271-2501 for St. Bernard.