NEW ORLEANS (KXAN) — Longhorn fans are flocking to New Orleans for Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl, hoping for a better outcome than the last time the University of Texas at Austin did battle in the Big Easy.
The streets of the Crescent City are a bit more burnt orange than usual, as thousands of Texans and Texas fans made their way to shops and restaurants. The line at the New Orleans staple Cafe Du Monde was deep onto the sidewalk, even in the pouring rain.
“It’s worth the wait, definitely,” Julie Kerstetter said. She’s in town with her husband, Devin, to cheer on her son, a sophomore offensive lineman.
Her grandson is also on the team, and her daughter and son-in-law waited with them for beignets. This is a dream come true for the Texas players, Julian Urquidez said, many of whom have been Longhorns their whole lives.
“We are where we belong,” Julian Urquidez said, “and it’s burnt orange all day in New Orleans.”
To Chuck Harris, executive director of Texas Exes, it’s fundamental: “Longhorns show up.” Harris arrived in town Monday along with 150 alumni. The group chartered a plane from Austin and on arrival, hopped onto tour buses. They showed up to the team hotel in style, escorted by police motorcycles blaring their sirens.
That’s nothing compared to the noise Harris says they’ll be making Tuesday.
“I can guarantee it’ll be at least half, or 70 percent of that stadium will be burnt orange tomorrow,” he said.
The Longhorn Band and cheerleaders made their debuts Monday as well during two fan-centric events in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
The Sugar Bowl Parade, featuring both teams’ bands and local brass ensembles, made its way down Decatur Street in the early afternoon, pushed up an hour due to the weather.
“Longhorn Band, best in the nation,” Gary Mohel said after he watched the band and Bevo’s trailer disappear. The Taylor man made his way to New Orleans, he said, for one reason, “to watch Texas win the Sugar Bowl.”
“Last time we were here was 1995. It didn’t turn out well, so this year’s going to be better.”
The band headed into the Fan Zone after the parade, a fenced-off area along the parade route, and held a short pep rally for the Longhorn fans.
The band wrapped up the performance, as is tradition, with “The Eyes of Texas,” before packing up and preparing for Tuesday’s game.
In a town famous for throwing a good party, everyone in burnt orange just hopes there’s something to celebrate once the clock runs out.