The New Summer Tradition

also known as Black Girls Party in a Cemetery?

by Asia Armour

New and Exciting summer events are coming to Cleveland. The Karamu House introduces us to their inaugural Second Line Parade and Sneaker Ball. For those of you that don’t know exactly what a Second Line Parade Sneaker Ball is, it is a New Orleans black funeral tradition.

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There is a brass band that plays the funeral music while following the casket. Once the person has been buried they then play upbeat music and the mourners dance and celebrate the life of the deceased.

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They eat and are merry, wearing all white and their sneakers. I have never seen an event like this in Cleveland. It was so different and I loved it! My family is from Louisiana so I already knew what kind of party it was going to be…a good one!

The ball took place at Lakeview cemetery the large cemetery that runs down from Cleveland Heights to the beginning of East Cleveland.The Second-line parade was awesome there was a brass band, people dressed in their all-white and sneakers dancing marching around the Lakeview.

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We then arrive at a white tent which is where the actual party started. First of all, let me talk about the food! New Orleans style cooking! It was sooooo good I think I went back at least three times mind it was buffet style so you could honestly come back as many times as you wanted.

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Loved that! And the bar was open because it was included in the ticket, can you say Winning, LOL. The food was so flavorful they served catfish sliders, shrimp creole wild rice, salmon, pasta and a bunch of other foods. I mostly ate catfish, pasta, and rice but it was all delicious.

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There was seating around the tent so that if you wanted to sit you could but if you wanted to dance you could do that as well. There were raffles with some great prizes and the BAND was all OF THAT. People danced all night mingling and laughing. I had such a good time. I ran into a bunch of people I knew but also got the chance to meet some friendly folks as well.

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The dress code was all white and tennis shoes pretty much everyone followed the dress code. I was pretty excited to find something all-white to wear because it is very rare that I get the chance to wear all white to anything. But I found this super cute dress from this boutique in Richmond Heights called Star Fashions. She got me all the way together, my dress was super cute and got so many compliments. So that was fun too.

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Also, a super plus was not having to wear heels all night pretending I wasn’t dying from the pain and agony. That’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a cemetery. I can’t wait for the next one and to see what The Karamu House has planned for us next.


Want to see more of the Second Line Parade & Sneaker Ball? Head over to our photos