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Hattiesburg church presents king, queen, grand marshal for parade

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St. Thomas Catholic Church has named its king, queen and grand marshal for the annual Irish-Italian Festival Parade. St. Thomas Catholic Church has named its king, queen and grand marshal for the annual Irish-Italian Festival Parade.
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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The wife of a future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, a longtime chief of police at Southern Miss and a prominent church deacon at St. Thomas Catholic Church will all play prominent roles in the upcoming Irish-Italian Festival Parade. Deanna Favre, wife of retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre, has been named "colleen," or queen of the parade, which will take place on March 17.

Longtime church deacon, Ralph Torrelli, has been named king of the parade and Southern Miss Chief of Police Bob Hopkins will serve as the parade's grand marshal.

"With weather conditions favorable, we expect it to be the biggest ever, because it's actually on St. Patrick's Day and people love a festival on St. Patrick's Day," said Fr. Tommy Conway, pastor of St. Thomas Catholic Church.    

"It's a big part of our church and I just wanted to do something for St. Thomas, give back in some way," said Deanna Favre. 

"I'm honored, because I think this is an event that brings the whole community together," said Ralph Torrelli. "It's people from everywhere. We get thousands of people coming and it grows every year," Torrelli said. 

The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will take place on West 4th Street. It will start at the Oseola McCarty Residence Hall and end at Reed Green Coliseum.

The parade will be followed by a Celtic mass at 4 p.m. The actual festival will kick-off at 5 o'clock at St. Thomas Catholic Church.

This year's parade will feature about 60 floats and several bands.

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