By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com College Football & Nightlife Blogger
This ain’t the Alamo Bowl, folks.
This is the Sugar Bowl. New Orelans. College Football Playoffs.
Texas and Washington, who met in last year’s Alamo Bowl, are playing this year in the CFP national semifinal in the Sugar Bowl. The winner advances to play the Alabama-Michigan winner for the college football National Championship. The game is in the New Orleans Superdome (or, to get in all the sponsors names it’s the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Caesars Superdome) on New Year’s Day 2024 with kickoff at 7:45 p.m., local time. New Orleans is in the Central Time Zone.
Now that we have the formalities out of the way it’s time for the fun! This is a complete fans guide to the game, the events, the festivities and New Year’s Eve in New Orelans – PubClub.com’s #1 NYE location in the world – and Bourbon Street bars.
Sugar Bowl Parade New Year’s Eve
About the time you emerge from your first (or maybe second, depending on when you arrived in town) night on Bourbon Street and had some breakfast and a Bloody Mary or two, there is a Sugar Bowl parade on New Year’s Eve day.
It starts at 2:30 p.m., and starts at the intersection of Elysian Fields Avenue and Decatur Street. It goes up Decatur Street along the Mississippi River through the French Quarter the French Market, Cafe du Monde and Jackson Square. It will be broadcast live by WDSU-TV in New Orleans, which will be set up up on a state at Oscar Dunn Park across from Jackson Square.
NewOrleans.com Allstate Sugar Bowl Tailgate Town Pre-Game Party
The official pre-game party is at the Superdome. There, you will find food, interactive games and unspecified entertainment. It starts at 4 and you must have a ticket to the game for this tailgate party.
Frankly, you’re better off on Bourbon Street.
New Orleans On New Year’s Eve & Where To Watch The Fireworks
There’s nothing like being in the Big Easy for New Year’s Eve. There’s a reason it is at the top of PubClub.com’s Top NYE party destinations list.
First of all, it’s all free. And it’s leagal to walk around the French Quarter with a drink, beer or cocktail. Several places serve drinks to go and there are pop-up BIG ASS BEER spots all over the place. You can even take your drinks out of a bar and onto the street.
There are fireworks, the French Quater and Bourbon Street. There are tens of thousands of lively, fun people. Most, but not all, of them are there for the Sugar Bowl. Be friendly with fans of the other team and you’ll have an even better time.
Hit Bourbon Street first (see below) and around 11 head to Jackson Square. Be sure and have enough beer/cocktails with you to last the next hour. The fireworks are blasted off a barge on the Mississippi River at Midnight. Jackson Square is crowded; it’s where most people go to watch the fireworks. Once you get there, you’re kind of stuck. So again, have enough drinks to last you until after the fireworks and don’t get settled and suddenly say “oh, I have to go to the bathroom.” You can also watch from the long plaza along the mighty Mississippi.
Whenever you’re ready to leave after the fireworks, head back to Bourbon Street.
New Orleans Bourbon Street On New Year’s Eve
Ahh, Bourbon Street. It’s fun anytime of the year and especially so on New Year’s Eve. Because you can buy beer and booze to go, you don’t have to necessaily go into a bar. You can simply walk back and forth on Bourbon Street. You can go into the bars, of course – Pat O’Brien’s, home of the Hurricane, has a very long line – and pretty much bar-hop as you please.
Many have live music and few have cover charges. The Famous Door is a PubClub.com favorite Bourbon Street bar, as is the Tropical Isle with its green Hand Grenade cocktail. Some places have balconies where you can look down on the action of Bourbon Street, Mardi-Gras style.
Pro’s Tip: First check out Bourbon Street 5ish. There, you can get the feel for what happens later. The bars also have 3-for-1 and other Happy Hour specials until 7. But here’s a warning: pace yourself!
New Orleans Weather For New Year’s Eve
I have been in New Orleans for New Year’s Eve when it’s sunny and warm, when it’s raining and when it’s freezing cold. Check the weather before you pack but definitely take jeans and a sweatshirt and/or jacket – with your team’s logo, of course.