Spirit of Louisiana Jazz Funeral and Second Line coming to City Park on May 25


When Norman Dixon, Jr. received a phone call requesting that he serve as an authenticity advisor for the upcoming Spirit of Louisiana Jazz Funeral and Second Line, his voice cracked with emotion as he responded. The president of Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association learned that the event is being held in memory of those who passed during the pandemic when funerals were restricted, and in honor of the many people who were instrumental toward the COVID-19 and hurricane recovery efforts during that time. It will be held Saturday, May 25, 4 pm amidst the moss-draped oaks of New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds.

“I lost my brother during Covid, and our family has not yet had an opportunity to grieve,” he said. “We need this. You have no idea how many people need this closure.”

For nearly 50 years, Dixon has been part of YMO, which was established in 1884. The organization is considered the grandfather of the many Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs now serving New Orleans, and its members remain dedicated to preserving the rich cultural tradition and passing that heritage on to future generations. Dixon was tasked with ensuring that the upcoming event remains an authentic representation of the tradition.

The Spirit of Louisiana Jazz Funeral and Second Line is free and open to the public. Featured New Orleans culture bearers include Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association, Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolia Mardi Gras Indians and TBC Brass Band.

The jazz funeral will allow those grieving losses to walk in the procession, carrying mementos or wearing t-shirts in memory of their loved ones if desired. The second line welcomes pandemic and hurricane recovery workers including law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS, government employees, waste management, community and faith-based organizations, and utility linemen—especially those who traveled from out of state to assist in hurricane recovery efforts. The event also honors the media for their coverage of all the challenges wrought by COVID-19 and complicated by the catastrophic hurricanes.

The public is encouraged to attend the event to express gratitude to recovery workers and may join in the procession if desired. Attendees should enter City Park Festival Grounds at the Reunion Shelter located at 4 Frederich’s Avenue. The procession will begin at 4 pm and proceed on the one-mile walking trail circling the Festival Grounds, with an anticipated end time of 5:30 pm. Parking within City Park is limited, and Friedrich’s Avenue will be closed to traffic prior to and through the event. Public transportation is encouraged, available via New Orleans RTA bus line, the Canal-City Park streetcar line, by bicycle, taxi or private car services.

The Spirit of Louisiana Jazz Funeral and Second Line is presented by the Krewe of Black & Gold, a 501(c)(3) organization founded exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to honor the rich culture and traditions of New Orleans. The event is presented in partnership with the New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund, with a Community Partnership Grant from New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation and the support of New Orleans Entertainment Coalition.

While the event is free and open to the public, a limited number of Krewe and Black & Gold Founding Memberships and corporate sponsorships are available for those who wish to support the efforts to bring this event to the community and to express gratitude for the many recovery workers. Additional information is available at the organization’s website,