The 2016 Bayou Classic festivities kick off!

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - The 2016 Bayou Classic has arrived! Fans of Grambling State University and Southern University are beginning to fill the city to participate in the week-long festivities. The week will culminate with a tiebreaking battle on the gridiron between two of Louisiana's most esteemed Historically Black Colleges and Universities, both of whom are undefeated in SWAC play.

The festivities begin with the Mayor's Bayou Classic Kick-Off Press Conference on Tuesday, November 22 at 10 a.m. on the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Notable guests will include Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, representatives from New Orleans' hospitality industry and the presidents and coaches of both universities. The limited edition Bayou Classic Boy Scouts merit badge will be unveiled for the first time.

Old School 106.7, Power 102.9 and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission are bringing live music, food and fun for the whole family to Joe W. Brown Memorial Park on Wednesday, November 23rd from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. for the return of Old School in the Park, an official Bayou Classic event that is free and open to the public.

Thursday marks the highly anticipated Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade presented in partnership with the French Market Corporation. The Bayou Classic Parade, departing from the Superdome at 3:30 p.m. is the only time that fans can witness the legendary Grambling State University Marching Tigers and Southern University's Human Jukebox march together in the same parade. Top out-of-state marching bands from Kansas City and Hattiesburg, Mississippi will march in the parade along with eight of the top high school marching bands from New Orleans. Riding in the parade as a special guest, will be seven-year-old comedian/impersonator CeCe Price from Bogalusa, LA.

"The addition of the out-of-state marching bands from Kansas City and Hattiesburg demonstrate the prestige of marching alongside two of the country's most coveted marching bands," says Dottie Belletto, CEO of the New Orleans Convention Company, Inc., the event management company of the Bayou Classic.

Friday is a big day for Bayou Classic with events that promote education, employment, technology and entertainment. The Career and College Expo featuring the IBM Cyber Café and the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge will take place in the Hyatt Regency beginning at 10 a.m. Jobseekers and those looking to further their education are welcome to attend and talk with the over 30 employers and institutions of higher education present.

Following the Career and College Expo, 68 students from all six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Louisiana will compete in the Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge to create a piece of technology that assists in the economic recovery of small businesses affected by natural disaster. Presented by NexusLA, the finalists will present their technology along with a comprehensive business plan at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 2 p.m. The invite only Coaches Luncheon recognizing former and current MVP players and Welcome Reception also take place on Friday.

Friday evening marks the ever exciting 2016 Greek Show presented by McDonald's and the Battle of the Bands presented by The United States Marine Corps. Fans can enjoy show stopping performances from some of the best step teams in Louisiana followed by the most anticipated event surrounding the Bayou Classic - the Battle of the Bands. A limited number of pre-sale tickets are available online for $20 and on the day of the event, tickets can be purchased for $25.

The party continues at Metropolitan Nightclub for the Official Battle of the Bands After Party & WILD'N OUT Karaoke Event hosted by Nick Cannon and brought to you by Cumulus Media, HereWeGo ENT, Big Stan ENT & Ncredible ENT. Doors open for the 21+ event at 10 p.m. and tickets start at $10.

The festivities on Saturday begin at 8 a.m. with the Doc Griggs '2X Around the Dome' Family Fitness Fun Walk at Champions Square. The theme of this free event is "Get Checked, Get Fit, Get Moving™" to demonstrate to that exercise can be fun while highlighting the importance of health, fitness and wellness through a variety of exercises such as Zumba, Hula Hooping, Roller Skating and more!

Before the big game, fans can enjoy Fan Fest presented by Cox Louisiana with entertainment provided by iHeart Radio. The fun, family-friendly festival from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. is free and open to the public. Live musical performances include Master P, Romeo, Ray J, Young Greatness and more!

At 4 p.m. the 43rd Annual Bayou Classic will kick-off inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tickets for the game and electrifying halftime show are still available for purchase through Ticketmaster. The weeklong celebration of tradition and unity ends on Sunday with an inspirational Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues New Orleans at 10 a.m.

For more information you can download the official Bayou Classic Mobile App, follow Bayou Classic on social media or visit us online at http://www.mybayouclassic.com.

Full Schedule of Events:

TUESDAY

2016 BAYOU CLASSIC PRESS CONFERENCE

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mercedes Benz-Superdome 1500 Sugarbowl Drive NOLA 70112

Gate A | Ground Level

10 a.m.

WEDNESDAY

OLDSCHOOL 106.7&POWER 102.9 Presents OLDSCHOOL IN THE PARK

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Joe Brown Park 5601 Read Blvd. NOLA 70127

11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

THURSDAY

Thanksgiving Day Parade in Partnership with the French Market Corporation

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Mercedes Benz-Superdome to the French Market

Parade will begin at 3:30 p.m.

FRIDAY

Career and College Expo featuring the IBM Cyber Café

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hyatt Regency New Orleans 601 Loyola Avenue NOLA 70113

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

2016 Coaches Luncheon (Invitation Only)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hyatt Regency New Orleans 601 Loyola Avenue NOLA 70113

12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hyatt Regency New Orleans 601 Loyola Avenue NOLA 70113

2 p.m.

2016 Welcome Reception (Invitation Only)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Mercedes Benz-Superdome 1500 Sugarbowl Drive NOLA 70112

Doors Open at 5 p.m.

2016 Greek Show Presented by McDonald's

Friday, November 25, 2016

Mercedes Benz-Superdome 1500 Sugarbowl Drive NOLA 70112

Doors Open at 5 p.m. | Show starts at 6 p.m.

2016 Battle of the Bands Presented by The United States Marine Corps

Friday, November 25, 2016

Mercedes Benz-Superdome 1500 Sugarbowl Drive NOLA 70112

Show starts at 6 p.m.

The Official Battle of the Bands After Party & WILD'N OUT Karaoke Event

Hosted by: NICK CANNON brought to you by Cumulus Media, HereWeGo ENT, Big Stan ENT & Ncredible ENT

Friday, November 25, 2016

Metropolitan Nightclub 310 Andrew Higgins NOLA 70130

Doors open at 10 p.m.

SATURDAY

Doc Griggs 2X Around the Dome at Champions Square

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Champions Square Lasalle St, NOLA 70112

8:00A

FanFestival Presented by Cox Communications in partnership with iHeart Media

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Champions Square Lasalle St, NOLA 70112

11:30A - 3:30P

The 43rd Annual Bayou Classic

Grambling State University Tigers vs. Southern University Jaguars

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mercedes Benz-Superdome 1500 Sugarbowl Drive NOLA 70112

KICK-OFF at 4:00P

The Official Bayou Classic After Party

Saturday, November 25, 2016

Metropolitan Nightclub 310 Andrew Higgins NOLA 70130

Doors open at 11:00P

SUNDAY

2016 Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues

Sunday, November 27, 2016

225 Decatur Street NOLA 70130

10:00A

About Bayou Classic:

The legendary game between Grambling State University and Southern University approaches its 43rd year this November and with viewership over 5.5 million in 2015 on the NBC Sports Network, the Bayou Classic has proven to be a steadfast beacon of legacy and tradition that extends beyond the HBCU community. Over 200,000 fans from across the nation journey to New Orleans during Thanksgiving weekend to witness the electrifying football game between Grambling State and Southern, while eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated halftime show featuring two of the greatest marching bands in the nation. For more information, visit http://www.mybayouclassic.com