Once all the divisions had “come out the door”, the parade began to move. But second-lines are unusual parades. Parades in other cities usually move down major thoroughfares, but second-lines often keep to backstreets. And while most parades are rather formal affairs, the second-line is more a party in motion. The dancers called “second-liners” are behind the various bands of each division, such as the Hot 8 Brass Band or the Young Pinstripes, but they’re also on the sidewalks alongside, and even the porches. People move from participants to observers, and then back to participants again. And the whole time, people are walking up beside you offering to sell cold drinks, cold beers, even New Orleans-style snowballs. And while a second-line is about four hours of marching under the hot sun, you hardly notice because of the constant bass-and-snare drum groove from the band in front of you. They’re the ones who have reason to be hot and tired, and they seem to be having more fun than any of us. 

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