The do’s and don’ts of a second line parade

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — One of New Orleans’ most beloved traditions is the second line!  Can you tell the difference between a good one and a not so good one?

News with a Twist’s Kenny Lopez went to Wink Design and Events to get a lesson in second lines!

“The second lines started for jazz funerals here in New Orleans.  They are rooted deep in our history.  The tradition has really blown up.  They are getting national and worldwide attention,”  Christina Chapuis, Marketing and Business Development Manager for Wink, said.

There’s absolutely no doubt that the number one thing you need for a good second line is a good brass band like the Free Agents Brass Band.

“There are about a dozen brass bands that do second lines in New Orleans.  Your best bet is to look online on YouTube and social media to find the one that’s right for you,”  Chapuis said.

In addition to a brass band, a good second line needs parasol’s, handkerchiefs, and beads.

There are a few other “do’s and don’ts” for a top-notch second line.

“Do not interrupt the band whenever they’re playing.  Let them do their thing, but don’t interrupt them,”  Kim Tran, Owner and Creative Director of Wink, said.

“Do hire a grand marshal.  They’ll be in charge of getting the party started and getting the guests involved, Hien Nguyen, Owner and Creative Director of Wink, said.

A second-line parade can start indoors, but it’s a must to take it to the streets.  This way, others can enjoy, join in, and remember another rule of second lines is the more people the better the second line.

Ellis Joseph is the Band Leader for Free Agents Brass Band.  He said, “The major ‘do’ is to have money on time and pay us before the gig starts.  A major ‘don’t’ is, don’t touch our instruments, while we’re playing.”

Day or night or on a Monday or a Saturday — you can always find time to second line!

Most brass bands are paid a flat rate for a 30-minute second-line performance.  The rates vary from band to band depending on experience.

Wink Design & Events specializes in weddings, corporate, nonprofit and social events.

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