Campbell University’s Sound of the Sandhills marching band will perform in the popular Krewe of Poseidon Parade in Slidell, Louisiana, as part of the New Orleans suburb’s Mardi Gras festivities on Jan. 27.
The family-friendly evening parade draws more than 30,000 people annually and features 800-plus riders on 25 floats, in addition to several marching bands and other surprises. According to Dr. Dwayne Wilson, director of bands and instrumental studies, the parade — the equivalent of five Raleigh Christmas Parades — will be the largest event Campbell’s band has marched in since forming in 2018.
“It’s an outstanding opportunity and experience for our students to perform in the area where America’s music — jazz — was born,” said Wilson, who called Director of Marching Bands Dr. Michael Phillips “the catalyst” behind Campbell’s inclusion in the Krewe of Poseidon Parade. “Not only will students experience the rich musical history of New Orleans, they will also experience the great Cajun and Creole food and culture. Dr. Phillips has arranged for the ultimate New Orleans experience.”
Carnival season in south Louisiana runs from Jan. 6 to Mardi Gras, which falls on Feb. 13 this year, marking the beginning of Lent. Louisiana is home to hundreds of parades throughout the season, culminating with day-long celebrations on Fat Tuesday. Slidell is one of New Orleans’ largest suburbs, located about 30 miles north across Lake Pontchartrain.
Joining Campbell and several other performers will be Southern University’s world famous “Human Jukebox” Marching Band, considered one of the top marching bands in the world.
The parade will only be part of the overall experience for Campbell’s students. They’ll stay in downtown New Orleans, and one of the group activities planned will be a steamboat cruise on the Mississippi River.