Broad Street parade kicks off Richmond Jazz Festival

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Crowds kicked off the weekend with a New Orleans style parade down Broad Street and over to the Hippodrome Theater Friday night.

Some Richmonders got quite the workout.

"I think I lost five pounds coming down Broad Street," said Alex Erby with the St. Paul's Men's Choir.  "It was fun."

Erby says The Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans asked the choir to join them for the parade.

"We couldn't wait because it was the first time any of us have marched in a second line," said Erby.

The Richmond Jazz Festival Second Line started at 305 Brook Road and paraded through the city streets to The Hippodrome Theater for the "Homegrown at the Hipp" event.

"They just came up with the idea last week," said NBC12 VP and General Manager Kym Grinnage.  "And so, even though we had a nice crowd, next year it will be huge because this was the first time."

The Lawrence Olds Band and Marcus Johnson performed at the Hippodrome.

"So this is the build up for a big weekend," said Grinnage. "You can be in the park from 12pm until 11 o'clock at night."

Norman Burns, executive director of the Maymont Foundation, was out enjoying the festivities Friday night.

"The quality of the musicians," said Burns. "The quality of the site makes for America's best jazz festival. The fact that we have 100 acres...we can have three stages set in the historical estate itself. It's a remarkable place to do that, and I think that's what people enjoy so much...the scenery."

Organizers encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets for the festival. The park is only open to jazz festival ticket holders this weekend.

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