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Dayna Bolden: How I Spent Bayou Classic in New Orleans

*Editor’s Note: GoNOLA teamed up with Dayna Bolden to bring you an inside look at her recent visit to New Orleans for Bayou Classic.

One Time in New Orleans, I experienced an epic girl’s trip weekend at the Bayou Classic with my mom and daughter Aria. It was such a fun and much needed trip. I partnered with New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation as a part of the  One Time In New Orleans campaign. 

Photo: Marrica Evans

My girls and I had the opportunity to spend a nice weekend in New Orleans, experiencing the Bayou Classic and of course all of the fun that NOLA offers.

Photo: Marrica Evans

I have been to New Orleans three times and I have loved it each and every time. But, every time I have visited the city, it has always been for Essence Fest. This was my first time visiting the city outside of the Essence Fest crowd, and I was excited to get a different experience.

Photo: Marrica Evans

The Bayou Classic is an annual event that involves college football rivalries, Grambling State University and Southern University. The Bayou Classic welcomes fans and alumni to New Orleans each Thanksgiving weekend for events featuring a parade, Greek Show, Battle of the Bands and Fan Festival that culminates with Saturday’s Bayou Classic football match-up.

On Friday, Aria and I attended the Bayou Classic Greek Show and Battle Of The Bands and it was everything! It was my first time attending a Battle Of The Bands and Step Show and it had me wishing I went to an HBCU! I feel like I missed out on attending an HBCU because I loved every moment of the show. Both schools’ bands showed out, performing a number of songs with perfectly choreographed dance moves. Aria and I were front and center, taking it all in. Aria definitely enjoyed herself. She left the show asking me if can play an instrument.

Saturday started with the Bayou Classic parade. I loved the parade because it brought out the WHOLE of New Orleans! From high schools, to middle school dancers, everyone was showing up and showing out at the parade.Aria even caught her first beads in New Orleans!

Photo: Marrica Evans

After the parade, we ventured to the fan festival. It seemed like everyone met here before the game, watched some performances, ate some good food and had a good time.

Photo: Marrica Evans

After the fan festival we were ready to head into the game. I did not have any allegiance to a team, but it was fun cheering on both. Southern University stopped a three-game Bayou Classic losing streak to Grambling State with a 38-28 win! Although part of me felt like I was secretly was secretly rooting for the underdog. My favorite part of the game, of course was the half-time show. I loved watching both teams put on a really entertaining show.

I loved every moment of our girls trip. New Orleans is one of my favorite U.S. cities. There is so much to do, so much life, culture, good food and character. I am so thankful for this opportunity with Visit New Orleans to have the perfect #OneTimeInNola experience with my favorite girls.

Visit New Orleans and leave with more than just a souvenir. #OneTimeinNola

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