- Associated Press - Thursday, December 31, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans is set for its annual New Year’s celebration, which draws thousands each year to the French Quarter and the banks of the Mississippi River.

The city was set Thursday to welcome 2016 with a free concert near the Quarter’s Jackson Square. At the approach of midnight, a giant, brightly lit fleur-de-lis - the city’s symbol - was to slide down a 25-foot poll, followed by the illumination of a huge “2016” sign and the triggering of a massive fireworks show on the river.

The celebration marking the new year always prompts added security. In addition to city police, 100 state troopers will provide law enforcement help during the holiday weekend, which includes Friday’s Sugar Bowl football game.

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