While much of NOLA was debating the merits and shortcomings of celebrity second lines, the tradition was being embraced across the pond. With a little help from Tulane, a second line marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and birth delighted the people of Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
Wendell Brunious and his brand band led the procession through the street’s of the Bard’s home. English school boys clad in blue blazers and pattern-appropriate ties followed. There were banners and flowers. Adding some NOLA to the mix, second liners also carried parasols, handkerchiefs, and Burnous even flashed a picture of the playwright as per tradition.
As Englishmen, are not exactly experts on Crescent City culture, there was a bit of Mardi Gras mixed in. Some participants donned Florentine style carnival masks.
In homage to a famed line from “Hamlet,” participants tossed sprigs of rosemary "for remembrance" and a funeral bier of flowers played the part of a coffin.
Local news placed the attendance in the “thousands.”
The event was staged in advance of Tulane’s upcoming “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” exhibit. The installation is a stop on national tour featuring Shakespeare’s famed “First Folio.” The book contains the first known publication of 18 plays including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It.