43rd Annual Bayou Classic will feature a Career and College Expo, a Biz Tech Challenge, Family Day, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Greek Show & Battle of the Bands anchored by Fan Fest and The Big Game on Saturday

by Tribune Staff

The 2016 Bayou Classic offers a week of events expected to attract more than 200,000 fans to the New Orleans area with an economic impact of more than $50 million.

The Classic will kick off 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the Superdome with the mayor’s press conference that will feature local Boy Scouts leading the presentation of the flag and the pledge of allegiance. In fact, local Boy Scouts will be highlighted prominently throughout the weekend, earning merit badges for their participation in Bayou Classic activities, including organizing children’s activities during Fan Fest in Champion Square prior to the historic football game between the Southern University Jaguars and the Grambling University Tigers. The scouts will also be posted at select gates at the Superdome, selling game day programs on Saturday, Nov. 26.

The Boy Scouts will also get to visit the digital booth, meet with game referees, and see the half-time show, while learning about digital technology, music technology and sportsmanship.

“This partnership allows the Boy Scots of America to expose young African-American boys to a university pipeline in a very unique way,” says Boy Scouts of America Southeast Louisiana Council Chief Operating Officer Terrence Hamilton. “Not only the scouts attending the game, but through working on several merit badges, they are also experiencing the game from a business perspective.

For their efforts during Bayou Classic, local Boy Scouts will earn several merit badges, including salesmanship, digital animation, sportsmanship, music and digital technology. The scouts will also receive a limited edition Bayou Classic patch.

As usual, the quintessential HBCU classic will feature a number of events to the delight of fans, students, alumni, visitors and locals. And the partnership with local Boy Scouts is just one of the ways the annual Bayou Classic has solidified its role as more than just a football game.

The 2016 Bayou Classic Career and College Expo takes place From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave. The Expo will feature more than 30 corporations and universities, allowing job seekers to apply and interview for positions on the spot. Students searching for internships and graduate programs will also be able to make valuable connections at the event.

The Bayou Classic Biz Tech Challenge will give students from six historically Black colleges and universities the opportunity to create technology that helps small businesses recover in the event of a natural disaster. The Challenge will feature 68 students competing on 19 teams. Finalists will present their technology and a comprehensive business plan at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, during the Career and College Expo at the Hyatt. The winning team will be chosen by a panel of expert judges and will receive a $10,000 cash prize during the game half-time show on Nov. 26.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is excited about what the challenge could mean for the state of Louisiana, particularly as communities devastated by recent floods continue their rebound.

“The Biz Tech Challenge is a terrific opportunity for our students to showcase how their innovative ideas can help improve communities devastated by natural disaster,” says Gov. Edwards. “It is especially time as Louisianans work to rebuild after the historic floods in March and August of this year. This is yet another example of how the Bayou Classic continues to give back to our state and its citizens.”

Other events during Bayou Classic week will include Family Unity Day on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at Joe Brown Park. This event is free and open to the public and will feature Old School in the Park by Cumulus Media.

And the Bayou Classic is also stepping up its technology game this year. For the first time in its 43 year history, the Bayou Classic has released a mobile app for iPhone and android users. The app, which is available for download now, allows fans to get current Bayou Classic/HBCU news and information, provides access to the full schedule of events, including the directions and the ability to request an Uber directly from the app, and offers a fan voting section so that fans can weigh in on their choices for Greek Show winner and game MVP.
The annual Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24. The legendary Greek Show & Battle of the Bands will be held from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, at the Superdome, with an after party presented by Cumulus Media at Harrah’s Casino.

On Saturday, Nov. 26, Fan Fest will precede the game. Fan Fest will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Champion Square, followed by the game at 4 p.m. at the Superdome.

Last year, nearly 30,000 fans attended the Greek Show and Battle of the Bands and almost 63,000 filled the Superdome for the game that was also viewed by 5.5 million people on the NBC Sports Network. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people attended Fan Fest while 80,000 lined city streets to catch the parade.

For more information on events during the 43rd annual Bayou Classic or to purchase tickets, visit www.mybayouclassic.com.

The New Orleans Tribune

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