BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - People across the capitol region are preparing for what will be a busy weekend, with both a bowl game and New Year's Eve celebrations.
Many stopped by the Parties Start Here outlet off Perkins Rd. Friday, including Jason Hanks, who was doing a little shopping ahead of his friend's wedding. The ceremony is taking place New Year's Eve and the invite requested guests wear something "sparkly." He picked out a bedazzled suit coat in bright gold.
"Anyone who knows me knows this will be way over the top for me, but it's what you do for friendship," Hanks said.
Several bars and restaurants will get the party started early Saturday, just in time for the Citrus Bowl, which starts at 10 a.m. Buffalo Wild Wings at the edge of LSU's campus will open at 9 a.m. for customers wanting to watch the Tigers play.
At Walk-Ons near Tiger Stadium, the doors are opening at 9:45 a.m.
"It is a little bit weird. Normally we're used to a game around 6 or 7 at night. We plan on having a bit of a crowd, of course," said Meagan Alexander, a Walk-Ons manager.
Many others will be watching the bowl game at home. Tanie Bush plans to turn Saturday into an all-day party, starting with LSU and ending with the countdown to midnight. She did some last minute party shopping Friday afternoon, purchasing giant gold balloons that spell out 2017.
"We have a lot of friends and family coming tomorrow, and we're sort of just winging it, just decided to do this," Bush said.
She hopes Sunday starts a new chapter in her life. "I went through cancer this year, so it's been a year, but yippee, we move on," she said.
That is a motto that many across the capitol region share. After a rough 2016, seemingly everyone is wishing for a brighter new year.
"I'm hoping for no floods, first off, and a more peaceful city this year," Hanks said.
"Personally, I'm glad to see it gone. Hopefully 2017 will be much better," said Nelson Maddox, who owns Parties Start Here.