Once a year, the Southern University Jaguars from Baton Rouge, LA and the Grambling State University Tigers from Grambling, LA battle it out in the New Orleans Superdome to earn annual bragging rights. But that’s not where this tradition gets exciting. The annual Bayou Classic is like a family reunion. Alumni, fans, supporters, and spectators come from all over the world for a weekend chocked full of family entertainment. This means as long as the kiddos have had their first set of shots, they are likely to come. It does require some planning, so here are a few tips to make it enjoyable.
First Things First:
You will need a clear bag. Diaper bags, backpacks, etc. are not excused for the kids. So find a cute clear bag and pack it like you have no access to a store, because once inside YOU WILL NOT. Keep in mind the bathrooms will be packed and busy so if you have an infant, you may have to change them across your lap. Yes, you may bring the baby’s formula/milk.
The kids will get cold:
Ok, let’s talk about “Mom, I’m cold.” Just assume they will be cold and bring a light jacket or even a small blanket. (Just put it in the clear bag)
They will get bored:
It doesn’t matter how much action is taking place they will get bored. Remember this is a televised game so in addition to regular game delays, timeouts, etc., there will be TV timeouts.
It will be loud:
If your kiddo is sensitive to loud noises, bring headphones. In Black College football, halftime is an entire show! Many people come just to hear the Human Jukebox and the World Fame Tiger Marching Band battle it out in the stands and at halftime. Halftime is game time!
You will need money:
Between snacks and vendors, you will need money … I suggest bringing cash. Especially for the vendors just outside of Champions Square.
Plan to go early and leave early:
Traffic will be a nightmare … walking is MUCH faster to move around the city. It’s much better to leave for the game early and enjoy some of the pre-game entertainment. This rivalry is likely to go to the last second on the clock; however, if you have small children, you will want to exit the dome before the post-game celebrations.
When the sun sets it’s time to go in:
Let’s face it … New Orleans is NOT a child-friendly city at night. Nighttime is a great time to have the kiddos back in the room or if you’re driving back to Baton Rouge … go home. If you’re lucky and brought a sitter with you … order room service, get the kids ready for movie night, and head out to meet all of your fellow alumni and friends.
After all, Bayou Classic isn’t just a game, it’s an HBCU Family Reunion. Whether you are rooting for the Jags or the Tigers, have fun and stay safe. As for me, it’s Geaux (Grambling) Tigers!