NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Crowds are already filling downtown New Orleans for all the New Year’s Eve festivities and the Sugar Bowl, and today set-up began for the nationally-televised “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”

The hustle and the bustle of the holidays is not over, just look at the crowds in the French Quarter for New Year’s.

“I’m just excited. It is my first time in New Orleans and I wanted to bring my family. We’re amazed at the history here, the French architecture, all the energy I see in the city, and I love it,” Gale Shank, K-State Graduate said.

The Sugar Bowl, which is bringing in both K-State and Alabama fans is a big draw, plus the annual Fleur De Lis drop, and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve which is nationally-televised. Today, crews brought in and are setting up the 6-foot, 100 pound, LED Fleur De Lis that’ll drop from atop of Jax Brewery at midnight.

“New Orleans is one of those places that Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve chose to broadcast from, so it really shows we are a hot spot, an iconic destination,” Kelly Schulz, Senior Vice-President of Communications at New Orleans & Co. said.

Schulz says they are expecting this year to be a comeback year after the pandemic, especially with hotels already solidly booked.

“They were telling us for New Year’s and Sugar Bowl—80 to 90 percent occupancy that was several days ago,” she said.

Schulz went on to say, “We’re really built for special events and this is what we do better than anyone else.”

And looking forward to 2023, tourism leaders are making a resolution to build international tourism again.

“Those travelers haven’t been able to return to the United States and New Orleans in the numbers we’d like. We are working to get those numbers back in 2023,” she said.

You can watch “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” right here on WGNO-TV on New Year’s Eve. Entertainer Billy Porter will be hosting from New Orleans.