Bayou Classic Parade Moved to Game Day: Saturday, November 25, 9:30 a.m.
The Marching 100 is set to participate in the parade opening the 44th Annual 2017 Bayou Classic. This year’s annual Bayou Classic parade will be held Saturday, November 25 at 9:30 am. While it traditionally takes place on Thanksgiving Day, Parade Director, Jon Kardon, says it has been moved to the same day as the game to build momentum throughout the day.
The change in date is expected to increase excitement and crowd size, as well as get parade goers in a “Bayou Classic state of mind.” In 2016, nearly 80,000 attendees flocked to the streets of Downtown NOLA to witness the spectacle and this year, the attendance is expected to be bigger and better.
The route will begin at N. Peters Street and Elysian Fields and end at Loyola and Perdido.
Performing will be 14 “cream of the crop” high school marching bands, such as New Orleans’ own St. Augustine High School, McKinley High School’s Big Blue Machine from the East Baton Rouge Parish, the U.S. Marine Corps Band and the drum line from Dr. MLK Jr. Early College, native to Denver, Colorado. There will also be bands featured from Maryland and Georgia. Bayou Classic sponsors, including Cricket Wireless, will have floats in the parade as well as local organizations such as the mentorship program, Son of a Saint.
Kardon says he “works very closely with the New Orleans Police Department from the beginning [of the parade] to the execution.” He ensures that the force is active in the route planning, highly aware, and “very vigilant.” He is confident in their ability to protect and eradicate impending disruptions.
In fact, he believes there’s no better police force to navigate parade festivities and enforce safety measures. The goal of the Bayou Classic parade is to experience family-oriented fun. Kardon hopes to eventually have “the largest collection of marching bands in the city.” He believes he already has the best bands participating each year and looks forward to showcasing their talent as well as inspiring future, aspiring musicians.
Courtesy of Southern University and A&M College.