For the first time in NFL history, New Orleans will be home to a parade to kick off the start of the NFL season and to commemorate the Saints XLIV Super Bowl win. The Tulane University Marching Band will be one of the acts appearing in the parade on Thursday (Sept. 9) to usher in the new season.
The “Krewe of NFL Kickoff Parade,” which will have a distinct New Orleans theme, begins at 5 p.m., starting at Esplanade Avenue and North Peters Street, and continuing into the French Quarter, traveling along Canal Street and finally ending on Julia Street. The procession will consist of popular floats from Carnival such as the Rex Streetcar, as well as specialty floats and throws commemorating the Saints Super Bowl win.
Music for the parade will be provided by eight local bands, including the Tulane Marching Band. The only collegiate band to participate, the Tulane group also performed in the Saint's Super Bowl victory parade in February.
Tulane band director Barry Spanier said that this is a particularly unique experience for his band members.
“Parade marching is generally reserved for the spring semester and Mardi Gras and requires a different set of ensemble skills,” said Spanier. “The Tulane Marching Band has dedicated rehearsal time to establishing parade protocols and commands to make the performance run smoothly.”
The marching band will perform several musical selections for the parade including the popular New Orleans anthem “Halftime” (“Stand Up and Get Crunk”), a special arrangement of “Saints,” and the Tulane “Fight Song.” In the spirit of Mardi Gras, the marching band also will throw out special doubloons created specifically for this occasion, to eager French Quarter crowds.
The parade will be followed by the NFL season opener between the Saints and the Minnesota Vikings at 7:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Superdome.
Michael Celone is a sophomore studying public health who is a student writer for New Wave.