Parade celebrates Bayou Classic, Thanksgiving

New Orleans — Motorists in the Central Business District and French Quarter should expect delays this afternoon when the Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade rolls through the streets.

The parade will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at Poydras and LaSalle streets.

It will continue down Poydras Street, where it will turn left on O’Keefe Avenue and continue to Canal Street. The parade will turn right on Canal and continue to North Peters Street, where it will turn left. The parade will continue down North Peters and Decatur streets before it ends at the French Market.

Motorcycle police officers will escort the parade, and parking officers will be dispatched to look for illegally parked vehicles.

This is the second year for the Bayou Classic-Thanksgiving Day parade. The parade will have 40 units in all, including 11 floats and 12 marching bands, including the bands from Grambling and Southern.

The two universities have launched a new program, “Future of the HBCU Talent,’’ that will invite high school band and dance team to participate in the parade each year. This year’s high school band is the Jacksonville Red Devils Marching Band from Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Ark. The dance team, the Divas of Olive Branch Majorette Team, comes from Memphis, Tenn.

Santa Claus will also ride in the parade and will disembark at the French Market to pose for free photographs following the parade.