Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ hosts Mardi Gras second line parade

Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ hosts Mardi Gras second line parade
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:43 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:49 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tuesday night in downtown Tyler, Mardi Gras came alive with a parade. But not just any parade, a second line parade with New Orleans music and culture.

The second line is a Louisiana tradition where parade goers fall in line behind the brass band and join in on the walk.

“It’s not a parade where you necessarily watch. It’s a parade where you see for a minute and you’re like ‘I want to do that,’ and you jump in and you go with them.” said co-owner of Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ, Nick Pencis.

The restaurant hosted the event because it has roots to Mardi Gras. Pencis says a barbeque joint previously occupied where Stanley’s stands today. A sandwich called “the shrove” was on their menu and Fat Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday.

Stanley’s used to host Mardi Gras events in the past. “But it kind of fizzled out. And last year after COVID, we decided we wanted to do it again.”

This is the second year the restaurant is hosting the second-line parade.

A New Orleans-style brass band led the parade from the square to Stanley’s on Beckham Avenue, attracting people to come down and see.

“Me actually being in the band in high school, we were both interested, me and my mom, we’re both interested and going down and go see the parade.” said parade goer Jayden Neely.

Some East Texans say they are grateful for this event as they have ties with the culture.

Parade goer Mary Alice Guidry says, “I love that, you know, we’re kind of starting to catch on to the fun and festivities of Mardi Gras here in East Texas, and it kind of makes me feel like I’m back at home a little bit.”

“I’m from southeast Texas where we have southeast Texas Mardi Gras, and this year we didn’t get to attend. After 30 years, this is probably the first one I missed and so to have this tonight was really a great thing for me.” another parade goer, Nancy Winn, said.

And as the band ended the parade in the restaurant, music came alive, making Tyler feel a little like New Orleans.

“I just love the music. I’ve gone to New Orleans a bunch and connected to this kind of music and the soul of that and it’s great to kind of just show some folks who maybe never get a chance to go and see that.” said Pencis.

Mardi Gras is celebrated the Tuesday before the religious observance of Lent begins.