Pre-game festivities for the NFL season opener between the Saints and the Minnesota Vikings (7:30 p.m. Thur., Sept 9) include a Mardi Gras-style parade (with floats by Blaine Kern Studios) through the French Quarter and music by the Dave Matthews Band and Taylor Swift. The Krewe of NFL parade route starts at Esplanade and North Peters Street, proceeds along North Peters, merging on to Decatur and then back to North Peters, and then it feeds on to Tchoupitoulas Street and ends at Julia Street. The concert is at Jackson Square and the stage will be on the river side of Decatur Street facing the square. The parade however, is not a parade between Dumaine and Toulouse streets, says NOPD. For those blocks, it's an event being orchestrated by NBC for its pregame broadcast (6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.). The staging is expected to intersperse songs, floats passing by the Jackson Square on-camera set and segments with Bob Costas. People who wish to be close to the stage can apply for tickets to be in the "casted audience." An NFL spokesperson and the ticket website say tickets are first come, first serve. Also, access to Jackson Square will be restricted to ticket holders.