Tuesday, 31 December 2013 16:28

New Year's Eve in New Orleans events: A blast

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Another wonderful exciting festive week has gone by. With the recent victory of our Saints against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can feel an air of optimism as our team is looking forward to the playoff game against the Eagles in Philadelphia on Saturday. Geaux Saints, go! We want to brave the New York cold weather for Super Bowl 2014.


In case you did not notice in Sue Strachan’s column in Sunday's T-P, I made it onto the list of Top 10 partygoers in 2013. If you didn’t, I thought you will enjoy seeing this. Go to http://www.nola.com/society/index.ssf/2013/12/social_scene_10_people_you_wil.html

But of course, as the recently departed Betty Guillaud used to say, “you knew that!”

Before, I share all the festive upcoming events and the one I attended, I do want to mention the passing of another one of the pillars of our community: lovely, Melba Law Steeg, a philanthropist and activist who served on a long list of boards and committees, diedWednesday at her New Orleans home. She and her husband Moises Steeg were very friendly every time I saw them. May her soul rest in peace. Her beautiful smile and her presence will be missed. Here is the link: http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2013/12/melba_steeg_90_philanthropist.html

I spent most of my week at Casell-Bergen gallery and only stepped out on Saturday to attend my darling friend Anne Simms Pincus' fabulous birthday at the Monteleone Hotel. Check out the photos.


I am looking forward to the end of 2013 that brought me some exciting events and to the new 2014. On New Year's Eve, after work, I am planning to attend Cinderella's Ball & Bash-Opera Ball 2013 at the Sheraton on Canal Street.

Cinderella's Ball and Bash begins with hors d'oeuvres, libations, music by the lovely Olga Wilhelmine, followed by dancing to the Yat Pack at 8:00, a silent auction and raffle, and a late night breakfast buffet. The event will culminate with a view of the spectacular fireworks display on the Mississippi River, plenty of champagne and Auld Lang Syne at midnight. The gala event, which is the major annual fundraiser for the New Orleans Opera Association, will be in the Sheraton’s Armstrong Ballroom. To purchase tickets and for more information call Melissa Gordon, Reservations Chair, at 504-897-6285.

Darlings as you know, New Orleans is famous for its New Year's Eve bash and there is no place like home to celebrate it. Here is a free NYE event you can enjoy:

NOLA New Year’s Eve: December 31, 10 pm-12am, Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square

Free and open to the public. Ring in 2014 “New Orleans Style” in the French Quarter with live local music leading up to the unique fleur-de-lis drop and midnight fireworks display over the Mississippi River. 

The celebration begins at the Decatur Street City Stage with a performance by Eric Lindell from 9:00-10:00 p.m. Honey Island Swamp Band will follow at 10:30-11:45 p.m. After that time we will count down together to midnight to launch the fleur de lis drop and the fireworks Symphony in the Sky to welcome 2014.

Watch as the newly renovated 8-foot tall by 5-foot wide two-dimensional fleur de lis descends a 25-foot pole atop Jax Brewery Condominiums to launch the exquisite Symphony in the Sky. Made of plywood with weather-treated cloth stretched over the frame, the fleur de lis a symbol of New Orleans' courage, is adorned with aluminum ribbons and LED lights, making it easier to view from both sides.

A 6-foot high by 4-foot wide "New Year" board will light up with two hundred 25-watt clear bulbs announcing the official arrival of 2014. The lovable 6-foot tall "Baby New Year," wearing a purple and gold diaper, will again be perched on the corner of the Jax rooftop for all to see. "Born" in 2000, Baby New Year has a styrofoam interior and was found floating in the Barth Brothers' den where he survived Hurricane Katrina. Baby New Year still boasts his Saints helmet, added the year the Saints played in (and won!) the Super Bowl.

Simulcast live, the display is choreographed to soulful New Orleans music and heard in 38 states and on the worldwide web on MAGIC 101.9 FM, and WWL 870 AM & FM and WWL.com. View Map Ring in 2014 “New Orleans Style” in the French Quarter with live local music leading up to the unique fleur-de-lis drop and midnight fireworks display over the Mississippi River.

If you prefer not to be in the crowd, you could also enjoy the festivities aboard the paddlewheel steamboat Natchez.  View the spectacular New Orleans skyline, lit up by the midnight fireworks show, from the steamboat’s  open decks. This cruise features hors d'oeuvres, food stations, and an open bar. The cost is $175 per person. Boarding will begin at 9:30 p.m., and the Natchez cruises from10:00 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Click here for the menu and to make reservations: http://www.steamboatnatchez.com/reservations.html

Darlings, there are too many soirees to end 2013 for me to mention but I do want to point out that two of my favorites chanteuses will performing at two great venues:

The Little Gem Saloon ,445 South Rampart Street will be celebrating its first anniversary and will be celebrating Tuesday, Dec 31 New Years Eve Celebration Featuring Anais St.John.  
My other girlfriend, talented vocalist Robin Barnes, will be singing her soulful sounds at the Windsor Court.

I  also want to point out that THEY’RE BAAACK! Those fun-loving guys in women’s clothing, playing the roles of four ladies in a TV show. Golden Girls at Mid-City Theatre until  January 12.Not to be missed. Read my darling friend's Dean Shapiro's column in the Advocate:http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/beaucoup/7900712-171/golden-girls-spoof-sashays-into

So have a great celebration whenever you may be - Happy New Year 2014! 

New Year's Eve in New Orleans
December 31, 2013

When: December 31, 2013
Where: Jackson Square
Cost: FREE!

When it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve in grand style, no other city does it better than New Orleans. And, best of all, much of it is FREE.
Jackson Square is ground zero for the evening’s fun and excitement, with live entertainment beginning at 9 p.m. This year’s party will feature Eric Lindell and the Honey Island Swamp Band.
At 11:59 p.m., the crowd in the street turns its thousands of eyes upward toward the roof of Jax Brewery, waiting for an 8-foot-tall fleur-de-lis to drop from its lit-up perch, switching on the light that will read 2014. 
Immediately following the fleur-de-lis drop, a spectacular 10-minute firework display is launched skyward. This colorful, sonic-booming, pyrotechnic extravaganza is consistently ranked one of the best in the nation.
Keeping the celebration going after that isn’t hard, whether it be at a nearby bar on Bourbon Street or elsewhere in the French Quarter, or at a music club along Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. The party can go on till the wee hours...or even longer...
Live music, drink specials, great food, happy people celebrating in the streets...how can any other city top all that?

Dining and Entertainment

If outdoor celebrations and throngs of revelers are not for you, there are plenty of upscale spots around the city to relax and enjoy your evening. You can make a reservation at one of the city’s many fine restaurants and celebrate the evening over a delectable meal. Just don’t forget to order a glass of champagne for a traditional New Year’s toast with your loved one(s). Many restaurants offer special deals or packages for the evening, so make sure you check ahead. 
In the mood for live music? You can start with the free concerts in Jackson Square or check out some of the other live entertainment happening around the city. Some local favorites include...

  • The Revivalists at the brand new Civic Theatre, where they’ll be joined by opening acts Dirtfoot and Cardinal Sons! Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.  Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9:30 â€“ won’t want to be late for this one!
  • Tipitina’s New Year’s Eve featuring Galactic.  The funk and jazz jam band was founded in the early 90s in New Orleans, and they are known for throwing a great party! Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online. Doors open at 9:00!
  • Dumpstaphunk plus Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band are playing at the Howlin’ Wolf. Is it just me, or is it too good to be true that these two local legends are playing in the same place on the same night? Contact The Howlin’ Wolf to purchase tickets.
  • DJ Soulsister’s Soul Party at One-Eyed Jack’s. General Admission is just $10, but you can purchase the open bar package for $50.

Check out local listings to find out which bands are playing that night in other venues around the city. 

Riverboat Fireworks Cruises

Two paddlewheel riverboats operating from the docks of New Orleans offer cruises on the Mississippi River before, during, and shortly after the fireworks celebrations. You can choose between the Natchez or the Creole Queen. Both offer a fantastic waterborne experience you’ll always remember.
Passengers can board the Creole Queen between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., and the boat sets sail an hour before midnight. In addition to being as close to the fireworks as possible, you will also be treated to a late night buffet, open bar, champagne toast and the music of a live deejay. The boat returns to the dock at 1:00 a.m., leaving you plenty of time to still get out and enjoy the festivities of the French Quarter nearby.
For more information on the Creole Queen New Year’s Eve cruise go to www.bigeasystore.com/CC/holiday-newyearseve-2013.htmlor call for reservations at (504) 293-2316.
Passengers who book reservations on the Natchez will be boarding between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 31, with the boat setting sail at 10:00. The cruise will feature a delicious holiday buffet, a premium brand open bar and live entertainment. The boat will dock shortly after the fireworks display ends, and the party continues dockside at the Toulouse Street Wharf until 12:30 a.m.
Reservations are required and holiday attire recommended. Click here to make reservations www.steamboatnatchez.com/reservations.html or call toll free (800) 365-2628. The local number is (504) 586-8777.

New Year’s Eve Parties

Throughout New Orleans on New Year’s Eve, a number of venues host parties that celebrants can attend for the price of admission. As of early December 2013 at least nine of them have been announced. Prices for these events range from $20 to $300 per person.

Information about these paid admission New Year’s Eve parties can be found on the Eventbrite website.

For the Kids 
(and their parents)


If you’re looking for a celebration the whole family can enjoy, there are fun options for all of you. TheLouisiana Children’s Museum hosts an annual Countdown to Noon – a festive celebration featuring games, entertainment and a New Year’s countdown to 12:00 noon, complete with balloon and confetti drops and a soda-pop toast. Festive hats and noisemakers are also included to make the afternoon an extra-special affair. 
The Audubon Zoo hosts a “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration, so your little party animal can ring in the New Year in one of the country’s top-rated zoos. This event features live music, games and prizes, and a countdown with sparkling apple cider. 
Whatever your preference, New Orleans has all the bases covered for New Year’s Eve. Once you’ve experienced New Year’s Eve in NOLA, you won’t want to celebrate it anywhere else. 

View the spectacular New Orleans skyline, lit up by the midnight fireworks show, from the . This cruise features hors d'oeuvres, food stations, and an open bar. The cost is $175.00 per person. Boarding will begin at9:30 p.m., and the NATCHEZ cruises from 10:00 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.  


by Margarita Bergen


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