While the City of Hattiesburg is gearing up for perhaps its biggest party of the year, the Hub City's finest are preparing to make it a safe, family friendly event. Hattiesburg Police and officers from other agencies will be out in large numbers Thursday night lining the streets during the 2nd annual Caerus Mardi Gras Parade.
More than 20,000 people are expected to attend.
Police say you can help make it an enjoyable experience by keeping a watchful eye on small children and leaving valuables at home.
Police will also take extra precautions this year to keep revelers from getting too close to floats.
"We are going to have barricades where the parade route will turn off of Service Drive onto Hardy Street," said Jon Traxler with the Hattiesburg Police Dept. "We'll have barricades there, so that the vehicles can make a wide turn, as well as at 38th (Avenue) and Hardy and at Montague (Avenue) and 38th. Also, we ask that on Hardy Street, pedestrians stay from the median south, basically in the eastbound lanes of Hardy Street, so that the traffic can go down the westbound lanes. If you stand on the north side of Hardy Street, do not get out in the streets, stay on the curbs. On 38th Avenue, we ask that people stay on the shoulders of the street and not to get out in the street, as the vehicles will be traveling up 38th, down the middle of the roadway. On Montague, the same thing," he said.
Traxler said it's also a good idea to bring a flashlight along for your walk back to your car.