For more information and updates about how New Orleans is addressing the Covid-19 outbreak – including restaurants that are currently open for takeout and delivery – please visit
No, thanks

Get the LOCAL Perspective!

Find hidden gems and get insider information on NOLA’s best restaurants, bars, attractions, and events every week.


Best of Bayou Classic: 5 Ways to Celebrate 40 Years of Tradition

The best of a week’s worth of New Orleans events leading up to the Bayou Classic, a 40 year rivalry between Grambling and Southern universities.

Listen my children, and you shall hear, the top five things at Bayou Classic this year. What’s Bayou Classic? A smorgasbord of events celebrating athletic and academic excellence, culminating in a famed sporting match with a 40 year pedigree, between the Grambling State Tigers and Southern University Jaguars in an ultimate football battle.

bayou classic
Bayou Classic: Grambling vs. Southern

Forty years is a long time to develop a full scale tradition, so it’s no surprise that a slew of Bayou Classic events precedes the game itself. Check out our top picks for Bayou Classic fun this season.

GoNOLA’s Top 5 Bayou Classic Picks

1. Thanksgiving Day Parade What’s that, you say? A non-Macy’s day parade for Thanksgiving? If you’re worried that New Orleans, land of the costume closet, home of the marching band, soul of the celebration might not pass muster, I’ll gently remind you that Macy’s borrows acts like native New Orleanian-created 610 Stompers for its parade, not the other way around. Floats, bands, military, and krewes join only-in-New-Orleans and only-at-the-Classic sights to be seen, including the Human Jukebox of Southern University, Grambling State University’s World Famed Marching Tigers, and the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club

2. Battle of the Bands and Greek Show Why wait for halftime when you can get the pomp and circumstance of the Southern University Human Jukebox and the World Famous Grambling State University Tiger Marching bands starting the competition in the Dome the Friday after Thanksgiving? Pro-tip: Fans are almost as rabid about attending this as they are the game itself, and it sells out in advance. Translation: Stop reading, purchase your ticket, read on.

new orleans parade, bayou classic
Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade (Photo from Downtown Traveler on Flickr)

3. Empowerment Exchange and Health and Wellness Expo Get a different kind of wow factor out of your weekend as you personally reap the benefits of employment, empowerment, and health education info, strategies, giveaways, and tips at the Empowerment Exchange and new Health and Wellness Expo at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. You might not be donning your football helmet that night, but Expo experts will be on hand with pamper stations, massages, and beauty bars just for you, in addition to exercise demos and info on mental and physical wellness. Lagniappe: Email questions about the Affordable Care Act to and you can get answers during the Affordable Care Act Forum at the Empowerment Exchange.

4. Gospel Brunch Equation: Take a Grammy Award-winner, add a mecca of a music setting, serve it up as a brunch, a.k.a. New Orleans’ fourth official meal, and what do you have? The Bayou Classic Gospel Brunch, featuring Kirk Franklin at the House of Blues, with an unforgettable spectacle of the best brunch foods we have to offer. And even sweeter than dessert? A portion of the proceeds go to art and music support for under-served youth.

5. Bayou Classic It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. It’s the moment Grambling State Tigers and Southern University Jaguars have waited for every year for the last 40 years — the fans in the Dome, the teams on the field — the football game.  I would tell you more, but really, what more is there to say? Food. Beer. Football. Dome. Rivalries. Done.

Book Your Trip