For 45 years, Bayou Classic has had a legendary impact on the history of historic college rivalries and this year was no exception. While many across the nation were enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday weekend upwards of 200,00 gathered in New Orleans for not only the football game but the entire Bayou Classic experience.
One of those experiences was the parade which kicked off Saturday morning with twelve floats and more than 45 total units. The parade began on Elysian Fields Avenue at N. Peters Street and ended at Duncan Plaza located on Loyola Avenue at Perdido Street.
Leading the parade was the “proud” Marine band and it ended with Santa, Mrs. Clause, and a snowman waving to the crowd in a true and festive holiday spirit.
Parade goers were able to catch a handful of goodies to take home. It included medallion beads, cups, t- shirts, pom pom shakers and posters from Grambling and Southern, candy, toothpaste and Tide from Proctor & Gamble, and more.
Miss Cover Girl 2018-2019, Alianndra Williams, got the opportunity to throw beads from on top of the Grambling State University SGA and Homecoming Court float. The float was decorated with rainbows, clouds, a body of water, plants and trees.
“It was a great experience because it was my first time ever participating in it. I got to meet some of the alumni, laugh and have fun with my classmates,” said Williams.
“My favorite part was seeing all the kids faces when they saw the floats because I love kids and to see them get excited made me happy,” said Williams.
The Grand Marshall was Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell. Miss Louisiana Holli Conway also made a guest appearance .The parade was packed with decorative and colorful floats from beginning to end.
First time parade attendee and member of the DFW Metro alumni chapter, Kaye Nichols, thought the parade was wonderful and enjoyed watching the “cute” little kids and the marching bands perform.
“I really, really enjoyed it. Especially when my chapter’s float came through. It was really good to see everybody out enjoying themselves,” said alumna Nichols who graduated from GSU in 2007 with her master’s degree in social work.
Although Tallulah Louisiana native, Lashundra Jackson, was upset that Grambling and Southern’s bands were not a part of this year’s parade she was still able to have a good time.
“My favorite part was the high school marching bands. It’s good that they’re doing something positive …they could be doing anything so I think to be out here celebrating this black excellence is a great thing,” said Jackson, a Grambling 2001 graduate who received her degree criminal justice.
The parade included St. Augustine High School Marching Band, GSU president’s float, Landry-Walker High School Marching Band, GSU Foundation float, McDonough Senior High Marching Band, GSU Bayou Classic Committee, Helen Cox High School Marching Band, GSU SGA and Homecoming Court float,
Urban League, Noe Satin Dolls Dance and Drill team, Boy Scouts of America of the greater New Orleans area, Proctor and Gamble, West-side Shrine Club, Bogalusa High School Band, Coca-Cola, Southern University of Shreveport, LA Marching Band,
Southern U. President and Southern BR Chancellor float, DJ A-Blaze, Dance JHC, Southern University’s Foundation and Bayou Classic Committee, Langston Hughes High School Marching Band,
New Orleans Power 102.9,106.5, Max 94.1, Southern U. SGA & Homecoming Court float, Alice M. Harte Charter School Marching Band, Southern U. Alumni Association, S.B. Wright Charter School Marching Band, Jeannie Morris School of Dance, Encore Academy dragons, Q 93.3, Busy Bodies Dance Company and more. .