Super Bowl 2013: New Orleans welcomes fans

A worker secures a screen over a fence that surrounds the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as crews prepare for the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football. (AP)

With six days to go, New Orleans seems tuned up and ready to greet the teams and their fans.

D.C. residents Apeksha Iyer and Wayne Hartsel are in town for a conference and stumbled into Mardis Gras and Super Bowl pregame festivities.

“It’s amazing,” Iyer says. “It’s the first time I've been here.”

Around town, buildings are festooned with Super Bowl banners and the media is starting to roll in.

A few radio sports talkers are already talking sports in the famous radio row at the massive media center. But it’s out among the sidewalk cafés of the French Quarter where the welcome mat is really out.

The famous Café Dumonde, with its sidewalk trumpet serenade, is always busy selling beignets and coffee. But other businesses like Montrel's Bistro are eager to see the Super Bowl crush.

“Everybody is excited that the Super Bowl is coming to new Orleans cuz we're able now to show what New Orleans has to offer,” says Montrel’s Bistro’s chef Sidney Montrel.

Die hard Ravens fans Keith Brewer and Sean Douglas of Howard County have spent the last few days sampling those offerings. They came for the casino and, believe it or not, they're going to miss the game.

“We were hoping to win enough to buy some Super Bowl tickets and stay but it wasn't in the cards,” says Douglas.

“Very upset to leave but my liver is happy,” Keith Brewer says.