Streets along the parade route will close beginning at 9:30 a.m. and may not open again until around 3 p.m.
"We're going to have police officers out there that will be in uniform," said Lt. Jon Traxler of the Hattiesburg Police Dept. "We'll also have un-uniformed officers that will be in plain clothes in the crowds as well, watching for any type of potential dangers that may be arising while the crowds are out there," he said.
"We've gotten entries coming up from the Coast," said Lance Sanderford, parade captain. "We're finally getting recognized as one of the larger parades and not just a small, hometown parade. It's really growing into something really commercially viable for other people," he said.
Organizers are also hosting a first-ever, Mardi Gras Ball next week. It will take place Feb. 12 from 7-11 p.m. at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.It will benefit the Children's Center for Communication and Development.