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Thousands turn out in New Orleans for Bayou Classic parade

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 1:18 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The 48th annual Bayou Classic returned to New Orleans on Saturday, heralded by a Mardi Gras-style parade which brought out thousands of fans and tourists to the French Quarter and downtown.

Because of pandemic restrictions, last year’s game between Southern University and Grambling State University was played in Shreveport. But with infection spread down in New Orleans and vaccination rules in place, the festivities returned to New Orleans with a morning parade before the 4 p.m. kickoff at Caesars Superdome.

The parade signaled the return of the competitive rivalry that sometimes can reside under the same roof.

“I’ve been a Grambling fan all my life,” said Anthony Brown, whose son Antzavier, roots for and attends Southern University.

“I don’t know what happened. I’m still just happy he went to an HBCU.”

“I always knew because my godmother, godfather, my parents took me ever since I was little,” said Antzavier Brown. “I remember my first one was in Houston because Katrina came. Then I’ve been going, from middle school on up from high school.”

Much like a Mardi Gras parade, fans held out their hands looking to catch beads and other throws. And some folks in the crowd with no stake in the game said they just came for a good time.

“This is marvelous. We are enjoying ourselves, the weather is beautiful,” said Ronda Poe, visiting from Lakeland, Fla.

Some in the crowd say this is how the Bayou Classic was meant to be enjoyed.

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s so much fun just seeing all the people from both schools,” said Mya Vessell, a senior from Southern.

“I’m excited to see everything they bring to it,” said Anthony Brown. “The bands, the crowd, the fans. And just the excitement from everybody coming together from both teams.”

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