Jan. 2: Starting Fresh

2019, peace out. We're done with you. 2020, welcome.

by Clint Durrett
January 2, 2020

2019, peace out. We’re done with you. 2020, welcome. We’re glad you’re here. So much to look forward to in a new year: new beginnings, new starts, new lives and new ideas all in New Orleans. And for all you locals, we’re glad to have you on board this ship as we navigate the new waters of the year and welcome in the new “roaring ’20s.” As we march into the new year, we’re highlighting the last night of the decade in photos, some new grub ideas and things to hit up this weekend. Happy New Year!


The last night of 2019 and the beginning of 2020

At midnight Jan. 1, 2020, we went out and enjoyed the fireworks on the Mississippi River at Crescent Park. New Orleanians gathered and looked toward the Central Business District and French Quarter in New Orleans as fireworks rang in the new year. In Jackson Square, a lighted fleur-de-lis dropped on top of Jax Brewery. We sent photographer Matthew Hinton to capture the end of a decade and the beginning of the roaring ’20s.


‘I treat the plants right, believe they will grow, and they always do’

If you’ve tried your hand at gardening and find yourself killing a couple of paychecks worth of plants, we found someone who can help. Before you embark on a last-ditch effort at finding your green thumb, we turned to Ms. Gloria for wisdom on all things gardening and wrote down her advice. We have tips from Gloria Ward, known better as simply, Ms. Gloria.


A Warm Welcome: Homemade meals at Dixie Chicken & Ribs

Tucked away behind a gas station, off Harrison in Lakeview, Dixie Chicken & Ribs is a welcoming neighborhood spot with daily specials and heartwarming homemade meals. It’s the type of place that’s closed on Sundays, but you can still play your numbers on the Saints pool; the kind of place where most people don’t need a menu, and most people know somebody. Read about the authentic joint here. 


What To Do This Weekend


Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con | Friday-Sunday| Ernest N Morial Convention Center | Tickets Start at $35

Celebrate the best in pop culture when Wizard World returns to New Orleans from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5 at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Meet “Outlander” stars featuring Sam Heughan plus “Smallville” headliners Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum and others, as well as world-class artists, exhibitors and cosplayers, and participate in entertaining, interesting programming panels all weekend long. Tickets start at $35, kids 10 and under get in free. www.wizardworld.com.

Black & Gold Fan Fest | 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. | Hancock Whitney Center | Free To Attend

The Saints are on the way to the playoffs, and a Black & Gold Fan Fest on your lunch hour is the right way to get your mind right for the game. The Fan Fest will be at the Hancock Whitney Center at 701 Poydras St. from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. There will be tickets and sideline pass giveaways to the playoff game against Minnesota! Special appearances include the Saintsations and a Saints mascot, as well as a Saints legend! There will also be face-painting, food and beverages, as well as tunes by DJ Raj Smoove.


Megan Diana | Doors Open At 9 p.m. | Gasa Gasa | Tickets Start at $7

Now that you’ve had a day or two to recover from New Year’s Eve, you should get out and kick 2020 off with some music with Connor Donohue, Megan Diana ( Dream Country Disco) and Baby Grand.
Grab your family and friends and go relax and unwind, while painting voodoo referee dolls for $15. All Art Supplies are included plus a free drink ticket. A food truck will be on site and pets are welcome. Wear clothes to paint in!


Vikings at Saints playoff game | 12:05 p.m. kickoff

Your team isn’t in the playoffs? Can’t relate! The Saints are duking it out against the Minnesota Vikings in the Superdome Sunday. Don’t have tickets? No worries, we’ve got a list of great neighborhood bars here where the energy is just as electric as it is in the Dome.

Christmas at Barcadia | 11 a.m. | Barcadia New Orleans | Free admission, drink and game prices vary

Can’t shake that holiday spirit just yet? Barcadia’s holiday pop-up bar isn’t taking their lights down until Jan. 5, so you’ve got a few days to get that last sip of mint liqueur hot cocoa in! Click here to our list of holiday-themed bar pop-ups, but call to double-check if the one near you has turned its Christmas lights off!


Other Things You Should See

Hi. I’m Clint. I’m the Local Market Manager for Very Local New Orleans. I’ve lived in New Orleans since 2001 and been living my best life in this rad place since that year. I have 10 years of broadcast journalism and digital media experience. Before Very Local New Orleans, I worked for WDSU-TV – producing, product developing, digital media managing– I’ve done it all. I’ve seen first-hand the trials we’ve suffered in this city and the celebrations we’ve enjoyed. I love New Orleans. It’s home. I’m going to work my hardest to bring you the content and experiences you care...

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Tarpon Springs

In this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando you’ll be transported to a thriving Greek community nestled on Florida’s gulf coast. From sponge diving to flaming cheese to a Greek bakery that supplies a ginormous amount of baklava to the entire country, you’re sure to fall in love with Greek culture in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

new orleans parks

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

black owned brunch spots new orleans 14 parishes

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

From the Ivory Coast to Gentilly Woods – Eburnieya brings West African flavors to New Orleans

Owner Ashley NDakpri’s endeavor is the only restaurant in New Orleans that serves Ivorian cuisine.

Queen Trini Lisa’s Ascension to New Orleans’ Caribbean Soul Food Throne

Lisa Nelson didn’t plan on being a chef. She didn’t anticipate becoming a queen either, but true to the most beloved of royalty, the people made her one.