NEW ORLEANS (KXAN) — At least a couple hundred Longhorn fans followed a New Orleans brass band on a mile-long parade to the Sugar Bowl, a time-honored Big Easy tradition called a second line.
The parade was organized by the NOLA chapter of Texas Exes, and took fans from a pre-game bowl party at a bar called the Rusty Nail to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where the Longhorns waited to take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
“A second line is really part of the heart and soul of New Orleans,” said Statton Frank, an officer for the NOLA chapter who helped organize the event.
The band learned some of Texas’ songs and mixed them in with the big, punchy brass standards of their city. Fans danced and chanted block after block.
“This is awesome!” Terence Finley shouted over the crowd. “We have taken over this city!”
Finley and his fiancee, Courtney Cox, live in Los Angeles, but didn’t want to miss the game. Both originally from Texas, the pair decided to hold over their holiday trips back home a few days and got tickets.
“We traveled for Maryland,” which Texas lost, Cox said, “so, you know, that happened. And so we kind of needed a little palate-cleanser.”
The pair spent the first part of the evening at the Rusty Nail, watching other bowl games in their burnt orange and waiting for the second line to start. Neither of them had experienced one until earlier this week, but as soon as they did, they were ready for Tuesday.
“People will see that Texas fans travel well,” Finley said, “but also that they’re having a great time.”
Across town Tuesday evening, right next to the Superdome, the Longhorn Band turned a tailgate into a pep rally. The main Texas Exes organization set up in the Smoothie King Center, where the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans play, and expected a couple thousand alumni, fans and family to show up.
The band did, too, and rallied everyone with chants and songs before they, too, headed to the Superdome.
“We expect our pep rallies,” Peggy Little, of Austin, said. “We like our pep rallies; we love the band.”
It took the second line about 30 minutes to parade the mile to the arena. New Orleans police officers escorted the crowd, blocking roads on motorcycles as people looked on from sidewalks and apartments.
“We’re here now,” Cox said, walking the final leg of the trip up Poydras Street, clinking drinks with another fan nearby. “Now we just got to win the game!” Finley, her fiance, yelled.