The 2022 Sugar Bowl features Ole Miss and Baylor, and Ole Miss fans are known for their tailgate partying on the campus Grove before games, so just imagine them on Bourbon Street for New Year’s Eve and the game.
The Sugar Bowl, which is on Saturday, Jan. 1, has Ole Miss facing Baylor. Game time is 7:45 p.m., local time.
Here is when and where to find the party in normal Sugar Bowl years.
SUGAR BOWL EVENTS
• Fan Fest. This is where to get in the spirit of the game. It’s an NFL-experience type of corporate happening, though it involves a pep rally with cheerleaders and local bands. Plus there’s interactive games and other bowl games on a Jumbrotron. Dec. 31 Noon-midnight and Jan 1, noon-6 p.m. The bands start at 6 p.m. Location: Jax Brewery parking lot, Decatur Street.
• NYE Parade. Introduced in 2016, this is a New Orleans style (which means mini-Mardi Gras) parade down Decatur Street. It goes right by Jackson Square. Starts at 3:30 p.m.
• Fan Jam. The day of the game at the Superdome. Kind of a pre-game pep rally with bands and cheerleaders from both schools, food and a rock-style band. Plaza area, outside Gate C. For a true tailgate experience, tho, it’s hard to beat the scene on Bourbon Street. Starts at 4 p.m.
• The Game, Pre-Party Tailgate, Superdome, Post-Game Celebration. Finding fans on game day will not be difficult. They will be on Bourbon Street. Some will start early but by the time Happy Hour kicks in so, too, will the crowds. Kickoff is at 7:45 p.m., and since the Super Dome is but a safe, 20-minute walk from, say, Razzo, it will be going strong until about 6. Once at the Superdome the partying doesn’t stop there, for beer and alcohol is sold inside the stadium. Afterward, everyone still ready to party – Win or Lose, We Booze! – heads back to, you guessed it: Bourbon Street!
BOURBON STREET BARS REVIEW
As the name implies, Bourbon Street is the party equivalent of being on the 50-yard-line. And since Ole Miss fans like bourbon, it stands to reason they love Bourbon Street.
The “lower end,” that is the part closest to Canal Street, has some of the city’s most famous high-end restaurants. But that soon gives way to strip clubs (Jimmy Buffett used to strum his guitar in front of the swinging legs), bars and more bars.
Bourbon Street has dozens of bars lined up next to each other with music pumping out into the Quarter. It is legal to walk out of bars with drinks (be sure and pour the contents into a plastic cup). It is also legal to drink on the street.
In fact, one does not even have to leave the street to get a drink – there are beer stands between the bars and counters serving all kinds of mixed concoctions in tall containers.
Bourbon Street bars have 3-for-1 drinks from 4-7. Every day. Even weekends. Even on New Year’s Eve. And even on game day.
There is no “last call” in New Orleans. Bars close when people leave. And on Bourbon Street, that’s rarely before 4 in the morning.
• Krystal Burgers and Lucky Dogs. Late at night (or early in the morning, really) find those fans at Krystal Burger at the end of Bourbon Street. They will order a half-dozen or more of the little square patties, then wake up in the morning wondering why they did it. Lucky Dogs are unhealthy but delicious hot dogs sold by street vendors positioned up and down Bourbon Street.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NEW ORLEANS
The Big Easy is PubClub’s #1 destination for NYE. Why? Because it’s a huge, open street party that doesn’t even require going into a bar to have fun. And getting into a bar is a snap, with the exception of Pat O’Brien’s which has a line around the block after midnight.
There’s a fireworks show at Jackson Square with a live band and countdown, plus countless places to stock up on the “roadies” to enjoy the show. And then it’s back to Bourbon Street.
A QUICK GUIDE TO THE SUPERDOME
The Superdome is located across Canal Street from the French Quarter. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from Bourbon Street. There’s a “Fan Jam” in front of the stadium starting at 5 p.m., But it’s mainly for families and for us partiers, is not worth leaving Bourbon Street.
Inside, drinks are served at several bars, including daiquiri machines. The Superdome is an indoor venue.
Kickoff is at 7:45, New Orleans time (Central Time).
Address: 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr, New Orleans, LA
LOCALS’ NEW ORLEANS TOP PARTY TIPS:
Walk on the sidewalk to best avoid betting constantly bumped into by stumbling revelers on Rue Bourbon….It’s quite acceptable to walk out of bars with full drinks in New Orleans. Just be sure and pour it in a plastic “to go” cup. …With all this great food, restaurants close between 10:30 and 11, so eating late is a definite problem. Go for it early….Wear white when eating beignets at Cafe du Monde (the powdered sugar really shows up on dark clothes)…If you ever get in trouble in New Orleans, remember these key words: “Yes Sir. No Sir. Thank You Sir.”