Organizers gear up for Hattiesburg Mardi Gras Parade

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The 2nd Annual Caerus Mardi Gras Parade is Thursday, Jan. 31, starting at 7:00.

Last years inaugural parade was a huge success with more than 15,000 people lining the streets. This year the route has been expanded in order to accommodate an expected crowd of 25,000 or more.

The route will once again begin in the Hillcrest Residence Hall parking lot on the Southern Miss campus. It will proceed down the Highway 49 Service Road to Hardy Street and then head west to 38th Avenue where they will turn right and move on to another right at Montague. The end of the route will be at Kay James Drive.

Last year more than 60 floats participated in the parade. Organizers are say this year they expect about 75.

"About two-years-ago Ronnie Chadwell that works with Keith's SuperStores came up with the brilliant idea to bring a Mardi Gras Parade to Hattiesburg," said Melissa Davis, Parade Director. "We are way to big of a college town not to have one. So we just put the plan into action  and it just took an organization just stepping up and making it happen and the response has been overwhelming."

"Mardi Gras is about spending time with family,"said Charles Childress, Parade Director. "That's what we wanted to establish in Hattiesburg."

All roads along the parade route will be closed to traffic from 6 to 10 p.m.

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