New Orleans is famous for hosting some of the top New Year's Eve parties in the country. Huge crowds gather in the city to celebrate the start of the new year in true southern style with live music and lots of food options. The city's main events are centered around the French Quarter, with an epicenter on Jackson Square. New Orleans has something for everyone, so let's see what's in store for visitors!
NYE at Jackson Square
Just a block away from the Jax Brewery, you can join the biggest New Year celebration of New Orleans at Jackson Square. For a few hours before midnight, there's live music and festive mingling that culminates with the Fleur De Lis drop (an alternative to the Times Square ball drop) and fireworks over the Mississippi as the New Year kicks off. The admission is usually free, so you might want to show up early to get a spot closer to the center.
You can also find all sorts of live music shows and parties across the city. Lots of places on Bourbon St and Frenchmen St offer open bars and food for a flat cover fee. Some bars are lucky to have a balcony to throw the famous balcony bashes, a traditional French Quarter-style party.
If crowded outdoor and indoor celebrations are not your thing, make a reservation at one of the city’s fine restaurants that offer deals and packages for the quiet festive evening. Or you can have a magical night on the Mississippi River with a dinner cruise on the iconic Steamboat Natchez. New Orleans is always super pro LGBT, so you'll find a slew of events and activities for the LGBT community there, including laser shows, DJ sets, cabaret, and more.
Check the latest program updates, make the reservations in advance, or spontaneously head to Jackson Square—and let your NOLA New Year be one of the best memories of the season.