The Big Easy hosts its 10th Super Bowl Sunday, tying with Miami for the most Super Bowls hosted by a city. Tickets to the big game are scarce, but the parties are plentiful. So, for those who don’t have tickets to Super Bowl XLVII, don’t fret. There are plenty of events, kid-friendly, food-oriented and more raucous, to keep you busy.
The biggest family-centered event is Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard, which will open on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Woldenberg Park. Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard features four days of live music, food and popular beverages.
The centerpiece of this event — the Roman numeral XLVII, or 47 — will arrive on a barge on the Mississippi River at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It will stand 30 feet high, stretch more than 100 feet wide and will be heralded by a fireworks display.
“We could not be more excited to host our 10th Super Bowl to show the world why New Orleans is a great city to live in, work in and visit,” said Jay Cicero, executive director of the Host Committee and president/CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation.
“We are proud to bring sports fans unparalleled events like Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard to enhance the overall fan experience.”
Super Bowl Boulevard boasts nearly 50 musical acts, including the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Rebirth Brass Band, Charmaine Neville and many more.
There will be live television broadcasts from the area and interactive fan events like the Xbox Kinect fan dome, which houses numerous Kinect for Xbox 360 gaming stations on which to play.
For early risers, “Good Morning America” will broadcast from the House of Blues New Orleans with a performance from Tim McGraw on Friday.
The Seventh Annual DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl is a must-see. This event is held on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and pits some of Hollywood’s biggest stars against former NFL greats in a rowdy flag football game.
The day starts at 9 a.m. with a country music concert, tailgating, and interactive experiences. Snoop Dogg, Deion Sanders, swimsuit models and many more are expected.
The Celebrity Beach Bowl will take place at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, 1350 Port of New Orleans Place. The venue has been filled with more than 1 million pounds of sand to accommodate the bowl.
The Beach Bowl is free and open to the public, but first come, first-served.
Once the sun goes down and the kids are put to bed, New Orleans will be bursting with high-profile late-night entertainment.
Marshall Faulk along with Africa for the Future, an organization dedicated to uplifting communities in sub-Saharan Africa, will host “One Night Only” at The Columns Hotel on Thursday.
The event will kick off at 7 p.m. and will celebrate successful educational and social initiatives in Africa and New Orleans.
There will be performances by Jonathan Batiste, the jazz musician whose profile has risen nationally with appearances on HBO’s “Treme,” along with Les Nubians and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the downtown arts school that is a sponsor of the event.
Athletes Eric Dickerson, Michael Irving and Darren Sharper, actor and New Orleanian Wendell Pierce and entertainer Snoop Dogg will be in attendance.
“Myself and Africa for the Future are looking forward to a night of celebration with NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and the Marshall Faulk Foundation,” said Lamar Jones Jr., founder of Africa for the Future. “The event will showcase NOCCA students’ talent in the hometown of jazz, and we hope to continue to raise awareness throughout the year to hit our goal of $2 million by 2014.”
Tickets are available at http://www.africa-for-the-future.org.
ESPN NFL football analyst Ron “Jaws” Jaworski hosts a fundraiser Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Bourbon Vieux, 501 Bourbon St., to benefit the Jaw Youth Playbook and United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area.
Co-sponsored by the New Orleans VooDoo arena football team, the event will also feature the VooDoo Dolls dance teams, along with Jaworski’s ESPN booth mates Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico, ESPN personalities Mike Ditka and Suzy Kolber, and many other celebrities for “an exclusive evening of premium cigars, fine spirits and Super Bowl sizzle.” Tickets start at $500. Go to http://www.jawscigarparty.com.
For high rollers, the House of Blues will host the Drew Brees Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert Friday at 8 p.m.
Multi-platinum rapper/recording artist Nelly and super producer Swizz Beats will perform.
All proceeds benefit the Drew Brees Foundation and Hurricane Sandy relief. Tickets start at $1,000. Call (504) 310-4999 or go to http://www.houseofblues.com.
VH1 and the NFL come together for “VH1’s Best Super Bowl Concert Ever” on Friday at 9 p.m. at the Sugar Mill in the Warehouse District.
This event will be hosted by Michael Strahan of “LIVE with Kelly & Michael” and Carrie Keagan of the “Big Morning Buzz Live.”
Train will provide the featured musical performance for the evening, but surprise guests and local artists will also hit the stage.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and the party begins at 7 p.m. Fans can register to attend at http://www.1iota.com. Free. The show will be broadcast on VH1 at 8 p.m.
Taste of the NFL, the Super Bowl’s annual “party with a purpose,” takes place Saturday at the New Orleans Convention Center, Hall J. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The strolling food and wine event benefits Second Harvest New Orleans and features food from the nation’s top chefs, who are paired with NFL players and Hall-of-Famers from each NFL team city. Special guest appearances this year include: culinary host, Chef Andrew Zimmern, creator and host of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods”; the newly crowned Miss America, Mallory Hagan; and a live performance by alt-rock legends Soul Asylum at 10 p.m.
Tickets are available at http://www.TasteoftheNFL.com.
For those who want an alternative to Bourbon Street, Frenchmen Street, which is only a few blocks away in the Faubourg Marigny, is a hip choice.
“I’ve been performing on Frenchmen for over 25 years, and it has definitely gained in popularity,” said Charmaine Neville, the renowned New Orleans singer. “There is great music all over this city and this will be big.”
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