Who Dat Nation, you are needed more than ever. The Brees-Peyton era is almost at an end, and the GOAT quarterback deserves another ring before he retires in glory. Tailgate the Monday Night Football game against the Indianapolis Colts to see where the (currently 10-2) Saints will fall in the playoffs. WHO DAT!
Cost: Prices vary
A tradition since 1946 featuring a large enough crowd helping to keep you warm and by the light of free candles, no one will be able to tell if you actually know the words to “O Holy Night” -- though lyric sheets are provided. (Note that even if you don't love caroling, Jackson Square’s public event is self-contained and relatively brief.)
Even if you don’t care about football, the 86th annual Sugar Bowl Classic brings a lot of energy and excitement to downtown New Orleans. One of six games that determine which teams go to the final College Football Playoff National Championship, it also includes a free fan fest with interactive games, parades, and pep rallies in the Jax Brewery parking lot.
Cost: Tickets start at $100
Mardi Gras takes place on a different date each year, depending on when Easter falls, but Carnival season always kicks off on Twelfth Night. The Joan of Arc parade is a beautiful way to observe the holiday’s Catholic roots. Winding through the French Quarter, it’s an intimate parade that tells the story of the neighborhood’s favorite saint through costumes, signs, and handmade throws.
Mardi Gras World
Speaking of football, on the eve of the College Football Playoff National Championship, get the chance to sample food and drink from the city's best restaurants. Enjoy bites from chefs Ryan Prewitt of Peche, Rebecca Wilcomb of Gianna, Justin Devillier of Le Petite Grocery, Mason Hereford of Turkey and the Wolf, and many more. All proceeds benefit the College Football Playoff Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, which provides resources and professional development for educators around the country.
The National World War II Museum
Coastal Fashion Week brings 11 runway shows to seven cities across the Gulf Coast, and its shows sell out every time. Expect a stylish combination of charity and glitz, with coat drives and spotlights on up-and-coming designers, at the New Orleans stop.