Fan Fest, Pep Rallies, Bourbon Street And The Superdome
A free Fan Fest takes place fore two days before the Sugar Bowl.
• The 2014 Sugar Bowl Wednesday, Jan. 1.
The only question is can their fans find their way off Bourbon Street to the Superdome?
No matter the teams because it's in New Orleans and the game is the day after New Year's Eve!
Fans of both teams need to know to line up at the Acme Oyster House, where to go for gumbo (the Gumbo Shop), what a muffaletta is, and can find their way into and stumble out of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe.
And they certainly need know their way around Bourbon Street, so much so they can order a hand gernade at the Tropical Isle without bothering to ask the bartender what's in it.
That's all part of connecting with New Orleans, which is great any time o the year. But there is something special about being here for the Sugar Bowl.
Mardi Gras beads are part of the Bourbon Street attire.
Look for fans of both places to sing along to the cover bands in places like the Famous Door or Krazy Korner.
So here is when and where to find the party.
SUGAR BOWL EVENTS
Pose with the Sugar Bowl trophy at Fan Fest.
Pep rallies for each team take place on Decatur Street.
• 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 and concerts. Plus there's interactive games and other bowl games on a Jumbrotron. Dec. 31 and Jan 1, noon-8 p.m. Concerts start at 6 p.m. Location: Jax Brewery parking lot, Decatur Street.
Fans jam into FanFest for a pep rally.
• 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 7:30 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!
Fans take advantage of the balconies on Bourbon Street.
Of course, there's also partying in the street in New Orleans.
As the name implies, it's the party equivalent of being on the 50-yard-line. And since Florida fans like bsourbon, 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
It's hard to tell with New Orleans, but this is New Year's Eve.
The Big Easy is PubClub's #1 destination in the world 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.
PUBCLUB.COM'S TOP NEW ORLEANS PICKS
• Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Cafe du Monde: New Orleans' Legendary Places. People from Florida love their adopted son, Jimmy Buffett. And the term "Parrotheads" was created in Cincinnati! Maybe they should forget the game and have a big Parrothead concert. That way, everyone would be assured to get along with one another.
Buffett's bar, Margaritaville Cafe, is on Decatur Street. With live local bands and musicians, Buffett concert videos, cheeseburgers, boat drinks and margaritas, it's part of life for Gator and (we think) Bearcat fans.
Conveniently, it's located just down from the Cafe du Monde and its legendary 'too hot to touch" beinets. Appropriately, a Buffett song salutes it with this line: "The coffee is strong and the doughnuts are too hot to touch." The name of the song? "The Wino and I Know." How appropriate for New Orleans.
The Superdome is an indoor arena about a 15-minute walk from the French Quarter.
Kickoff is 6:30, New Orleans time (Central Time). 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 4 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.
Address: 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr, New Orleans, LA
LOCALS' NEW ORLEANS 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."