memorial march

Saturday, June 3, 5PM
– Featuring Turbo Street Funk

The traditional New Orleans funeral march is a celebration of life. Our March is a memorial to our past volunteers. Live music gives tribute to a loved one. This traditional musical sendoff symbolizes life’s journey and lifts the spirits.

A typical Dixieland Jazz funeral begins with a march by family, friends, and neighbors, led by a jazz band. This is called the “First Line”. Onlookers are most welcome to join in to celebrate the lives of the deceased. Those who follow the First Line just to enjoy the music are called the “Second Line”. In their freestyle dance, they often twirl a parasol or wave a handkerchief or hand fan in the air which can be very energetic. We will have a limited supply of parasols & hand fans on loan.

Our march begins from the Festival Main Stage and proceeds west along Broadway to First Street.  Throughout the outbound march, the band plays somber songs and hymns. A change in the tempo of the ceremony takes place after the departure of the funeral car and the March changing to an eastbound direction, signifying members have said their good byes to their loved one. After this the music becomes more upbeat, often starting with a hymn or spiritual number played in a swinging fashion, then going into popular New Orleans favorites, while returning to the Festival Main Stage.

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