Many New Orleanians celebrate the beginning of the New Year at Jackson Square, where there are fireworks and the ceremonial countdown to midnight with the descent of a 6-foot tall, lighted fleur-de-lis at Jackson Brewery. This year, the spectacle will be viewed by many more people, as the French Quarter is the Central Time Zone's scene for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, broadcast from New York and other remote locations. Actress Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) hosts the New Orleans segments.
New Year's festivities also are getting a bump of extra energy from the Allstate Fan Fest, which features music by Panic! at the Disco and singer Jason Derulo. (The Oklahoma Sooners face the Auburn Tigers in the Sugar Bowl at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 in the Superdome.) Fan Fest takes place in the parking lot adjacent to Jackson Brewery and admission is free.
There also are festivities across the city. Here are some New Year's Eve shows for a variety of musical tastes.
Alynda Lee Segarra. Alto, the ninth-floor rooftop bar at the Ace Hotel (600 Carondelet St.) promises good views of the fireworks, and there's entertainment by Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, and DJ Ruby Lee. Segarra will release The Navigator in March. For $95 (including tax and tip), revelers get hors d'oeuvres and bottomless sparkling wine (cash bar for other beverages).
Squirrel Nut Zippers. Co-founder Jimbo Mathus' Squirrel Nut Zippers emerged from Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the 1990s and the group's retro-jazz sounds were popular during the swing craze. The band broke a seven-year hiatus by touring in 2016, and since several members of the current lineup live in New Orleans, the city has been a regular spot for shows. This New Year's Eve event at One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse St.) kicks off a national tour. Tickets $40.
Debauche. The self-described Russian mafia band leads a raucous welcome to 2017 at the Sanctuary Cultural Arts Center (2525 Burgundy St.). Debauche isn't scheduled to unleash its frenzied versions of Gulag songs until after midnight. The prelude includes performances by Roxie le Rouge's Big Deal Burlesque, belly dancing by Kerry Lynn and others and music by the Backyard Balkan Brass Band. Andrew Ward hosts festivities and there's a Champagne toast at midnight. Tickets $25.
Thunder Funk Revue. Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret St.) throws down the funk for New Year's. The lineup features members of Sexual Thunder! and Sexy Dex & the Fresh, up-and-coming bands whose influences reach beyond New Orleans sounds to Parliament, Prince and more. Admission is $15.
Preservation Hall. Preservation Hall doesn't have a bar and isn't typically a place to burn the midnight oil, but the Hall Lang Syne celebration features the Preservation Hall-Star Band and a Champagne toast at midnight in the courtyard. Proceeds support the Preservation Hall Foundation. Tickets $135-$300.
James McMurtry. The Americana stalwart returns to New Orleans with his full band for this New Year's Eve show at Chickie Wah Wah (2828 Canal St.). He's touring following the release of Complicated Game, his first album in six years. The Dana Abbott Band opens. Tickets $25.
Mars, Cauche Mar, Space Cadaver. For anyone who wants a taste of doom going into 2017, there's a murderer's row of local stoner doom metal at Poor Boys (1328 St. Bernard Ave.). The lineup includes stoner and doom metalists Mars, Cauche Mar and sludge metalists Space Cadaver. Tickets $5.