Enjoy a Safe and Festive New Orleans New Year’s Eve

A new year is almost here, and we’re ready to celebrate! New Orleans is a popular destination for New Year’s Eve celebrations – the city boasts mild winter temperatures, galas like Big Night New Orleans, and an impressive fireworks display bursting high above the Mississippi River. Whether you choose to celebrate on the streets of the French Quarter or at a low-key house party, remember to stay safe this New Year’s Eve.

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Fireworks on the Mississippi are a New Year’s Eve tradition in New Orleans. (Photo courtesy Venson Kuchipudi on Flickr)

Know Your New Year’s Eve Transportation Options

New Orleans offers several methods for revelers to get around town without getting in their car. Residents and visitors can call a cab (plan ahead and call early, as cabs will likely be busy for the holiday), hire a car with one of the transportation apps like Uber or Livery, or take the streetcar. If you choose to walk, go with a group of people and stick to well-lit paths.

Buddy Up

Crowds are a part of New Year’s Eve in a big city. Many people gather to see the fleur-de-lis drop from the roof of Jax Brewery or to watch fireworks over the river. The vibe is festive and celebratory, but it’s easy to get lost in such a large crowd. If you’re going in a big group, pick a buddy to stay with throughout the evening – even on bathroom breaks (pro tip: there are public restrooms in between Café du Monde and French Market).

Don’t Overdo It

New Year’s Eve is often a time to let loose, but aim to indulge responsibly. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends never drinking on an empty stomach – food dilutes alcohol and slows absorption. In fact, according to Brown University, peak blood alcohol concentrate (BAC) could be as much as three times higher in someone who consumes drinks on an empty stomach when compared with someone who has eaten a meal before they drink. Because of alcohol’s dehydrating effects, drinking plenty of water should be a part of your evening plans.

Enjoy Added Safety

In October, voters agreed to an incremental sales tax increase of 0.2495% that will be levied and collected within the French Quarter Economic Development District. Resulting funds will support the New Orleans Police Department and generate at least $2 million to help fund 30 full-time state police officers. The hospitality industry and other entities will match the funds, creating a total of about $4.5 million to carry out safety measures specifically for the French Quarter, where so many of us — locals and visitors alike! — go to ring in the New Year.