Sugar Bowl 2018: Your guide to events, local activities

Swarms of college football fans touch down for the big 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl weekend. Get ready for a jam-packed weekend of Sugar Bowl and New Year's Eve-related festivities. Here are some of event’s highlights to help you plan ahead. We also curated some activities for visitors looking for things to do while in New Orleans.

Allstate Fan Fest

December 30, noon to 6 p.m. & December 31, noon to midnight

College football fans can participate in festivities to kick off the Sugar Bowl at the Allstate Fan Fest on Saturday and Sunday at Jackson Square in the Jax Brewery parking lot. The Allstate Fan Fest is a free event for adults and kids of all ages. The fest features football-themed activities, pep rallies and other entertainment.

Photo courtesy: Allstate Fan Fest

Sugar Bowl Team Pep Rallies

December 31

Both schools participating in the College Football Playoff Semifinal will hold official pep rallies as part of the fan fest. Clemson’s official pep rally starts at 1 p.m., and Alabama’s pep rally will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Sugar Bowl New Year's Eve Parade

December 31 at 3 p.m.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade brings the Mardi Gras spirit to the New Year. Floats, bands and dance groups will take to the streets starting at 2:30 p.m. at the intersection of Elysian Fields Avenue and Decatur Street.  The parade will venture through the French Quarter passing the Allstate Fan Fest at the Jax Brewery before it finally wraps up at Canal Street. See the full parade route.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest

December 31

Sugar Bowl fans will also have the opportunity to be a part of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”  This is the second year the telecast hosted by Ryan Seacrest will have a presence in New Orleans. Witness the fleur-de-lis drop and a spectacular fireworks show, “Symphony in the Sky,” as New Orleans kicks off its tricentennial. Imagine Dragons and Walk the Moon will perform this year. Actress Lucy Hale will host festivities from New Orleans. The event is free and open to the public.

Looking for more New Year's Eve Celebrations? Here's a list of other options.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting town for the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans knows how to bring the party when ringing in the New Year. Here’s a list more of local parties, concerts and celebrations around the area to help you kick off 2018.

sports bars

Not going to the game? Here's a list of top game watching spots.

If you couldn’t score tickets to the Sugar Bowl, there are plenty of places around town to post up. We’ve got you covered with a round-up of sports bars when you’re craving that game-time atmosphere.

Are you visiting town? Here's a list of local activities to explore.

If you’re visiting New Orleans and need some activities to pass the time, we have you covered.

Here is a great list of indoor activities for fun without freezing.

We found some unique places off the beaten path to shop for gifts to bring home to your loved ones.

If you’re still in the holiday spirit, New Orleans is known for its gorgeous light displays. Here are a few holiday attractions still open around the area.

You also have to grab a po-boy while you’re in town. Here’s a list of local po-boy shops that are worth every calorie.

Trying to plan a date night while you’re in town? We curated a list of some restaurants to check out.

You can also plan a day to explore the Crescent City’s spooky side. Here are a few reported hauntings in New Orleans and the legends behind them.