Bayou Classic parade rolls downtown Thanksgiving afternoon - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Bayou Classic parade rolls downtown Thanksgiving afternoon

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

The Bayou Classic will spice up the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday afternoon with a parade.

The procession will roll at 3:30 p.m. and will head from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the French Market.

Today's parade is just one of several events leading up to Saturday's showdown between Grambling State and Southern University.

The parade will leave from Sugar Bowl Drive and LaSalle Street onto LaSalle Street to Poydras Street.

There it will turn right on Poydras Street and head to Loyola Avenue and turn left, heading toward Canal Street.

Once at Canal Street it will turn right and head to North Peters Street where it will turn left and head to Elysian Fields Avenue, where it will end.

The in-state rivalry also brings a tourism boost.

“They've sold well over 41,000 thousand tickets so far, so the Dome should be rocking, said Mark Romig, President, and CEO of the New Orleans Marketing and Tourism Corporation.

Local hotels are near 97 percent capacity for the weekend.

"It's such a colorful expression of not only football but the music, the bands, the crowds, it's a great experience," Romig said.

For the first time in the storied series, Southern and Grambling State will enter the Bayou Classic undefeated in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Saturday’s game will also be a tiebreaker of another sort. Grambling and Southern have each won 21 Bayou Classics. The winner will move into the all-time lead in the historic series.

The winner will also earn a spot in the SWAC championship game.

Kickoff is 4 p.m. Saturday.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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