NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— An action-packed weekend is planned in New Orleans. With ESSENCE Fest and the 4th of July, half-a-million visitors are expected to flood the Big Easy.

And with crime continuing to persist in city limits, it’s no surprise city leaders are stepping up security and restricting certain areas.

This year, New Orleans has already seen almost 150 homicides–the most since 2019. But, that number is well on its way to surpassing previous records.

“We’ve had a murder-suicide last weekend, we arrested a female for killing her significant other, we’ve had brothers kill a brother, so this is serious,” NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson explained in a press conference on Wednesday.

In an effort to curb crime ahead of the busy weekend, extra safety precautions will be in place throughout the CBD and French Quarter.

“We will have a full complement of NOPD officers on patrol around the city with the vital assistance from our federal as well as state partners,” Ferguson added.

That includes 50 additional state troopers and extra lighting on Canal, Bourbon, Poydras, and Decatur streets.

The New Orleans Fire Department is also preparing for possible emergencies related to fireworks by deploying two spring vehicles downtown. That’s also why officials want to remind everyone that fireworks are illegal in Orleans Parish.

“Go and see the professional fireworks displays in the city. They’ll have a beautiful one on the river for the 4th of July.”

And of course, officials urge the public to stay vigilant, alert, and always keep an eye on their food and drinks. View traffic changes and reminders below.

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Limited French Quarter Access

The NOPD will restrict vehicle traffic in the French Quarter during evening hours from Friday, July 1 to Monday, July 4.

From 8 p.m to 4 a.m., vehicles entering the French Quater within the perimeter of Canal, Decatur, Dumaine, and Rampart Streets will be screened to ensure they are residents, employees, hotel guests, and taxis or ride-sharing services.

During the overnight hours, no vehicles will be allowed on Bourbon Street from Canal to Dumaine Streets, and the 700 and 800 blocks of St. Ann, Orleans, St. Peter, Toulouse, St. Louis, Conti, Bienville, and Iberville Streets. Bourbon Street crossings are only available from Dumaine Street to Esplanade Avenue.

Parking Restrictions

From 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. overnight Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, parking is not allowed on the following roadways:

  • 700-800 blocks of St. Ann, Orleans, St. Peter, Toulouse, St. Louis, Conti, Bienville, and Iberville Streets
  • Canal Street, both sides, from Claiborne Avenue to Convention Center Boulevard
  • Poydras between LaSalle and Claiborne
  • Perdido between Loyola and Claiborne
  • Tulane between Loyola and Claiborne
  • LaSalle between Poydras and Tulane
  • Clara between Poydras and Perdido
  • Claiborne between Perdido and Tulane
  • Claiborne between Poydras and Cypress
  • Old Poydras between Bolivar and Galvez

For more information and to view a map, click here.

ESSENCE Fest kicks off Thursday, June 30, and runs until Sunday, July 3 with Independence Day to follow.