Today, New Orleans will party harder than ever

NEW ORLEANS — Mardi Gras falls on a Sunday this year.

The city of the Saints is filling up with ex-New Orleanians and others ahead of the Super Bowl, many looking to cast off a legacy of football futility and natural disaster — others just looking to party down in one of the world’s greatest party towns.

“We’re staffing just like we do for Mardi Gras, and if the Saints win, we won’t close at all. We’ll stay open as long as people are standing,” said Earl Bernhardt, a bar owner in the French Quarter.

The Saints are making their Super Bowl debut After 43 years in existence. Fans from most cities would be headed to south Florida about now. But for ex-pat New Orleanians, the game is triggering a pilgrimage home.

And for everybody back in town, the party’s already started. Saints jerseys, “Who Dat?” T-shirts and black and gold beads are the uniform everywhere you go.

The French Quarter’s narrow streets also are awash in the team colors. “It’s been all Saints all the time,” said Steve Sabrier, an oil field worker who marched from the Superdome to the French Quarter after the NFC championship.

Sister Mary Rose, a Dominican nun who attends every Saints game and teaches at a Catholic school in the Quarter, said the feeling of sheer excitement in the city is almost tangible. “I think ‘exuberant joy’ is the word,” the nun said. “And it has brought such a unity to us, such a bond between all the people here it’s just amazing.”

“Who wants to be on Miami Beach when they can be in the French Quarter with the Who Dats for the game?” said New Orleans transplant Belinda Hernandez, who now lives in Atlanta. She actually turned down Super Bowl tickets.

Besides being Super Bowl weekend, this is the start of carnival season that ends Feb. 16 on the real Mardi Gras. There were two parades in New Orleans on Saturday and two set for today, but they’re rolling early to avoid conflicting with the game.

Rick Watson is among the natives coming back. “Where would you rather be if the Saints win, the French Quarter or Miami? Even if they lose you want to be in New Orleans,” he said.

Talk to us

More in Life

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

A clump of flowering ornamental grass or pennisetum alopecuroides in an autumn garden.
My garden runneth over with fountain grasses, and for good reason

These late-blooming perennials come in many varieties. They work well as accents, groundcovers, edgings or in containers.

A woman diverts from her walk on Colby Avenue to take a closer look at a pickup truck that was partly crushed by a fallen tree during an overnight wind storm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in north Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)
Storm season is coming. Here’s how to prepare for power outages.

The most important action you can take is to make an emergency preparedness kit.

Do you prefer green or red grapes? This antique Moser pitcher is decorated with enameled grapevines on shaded red-to-green glass.
Grapevine pitcher was made by renowned Bohemian company

Also, queries about grandmother’s coffee set and late husband’s Beatles records and memorabilia collection.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

Death of parent with child. Piece of paper with parents and children is torn in half.
Helping children cope with the hard realities of divorce

I’s important to set aside one’s feelings and find a way to make this challenging transition as comfortable for children as you can.

Can he get the fare difference refunded after he was downgraded?

American Airlines downgrades Thomas Sennett and his family to economy class on their flights from Boston to Phoenix. Why isn’t it refunding the fare difference?

Most Read