HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg is celebrating academic excellence and athletic achievement Tuesday night with its second annual Parade of Champions.
The parade, which will honor all students who have achieved state championships in athletic or extracurricular activities, will roll through the streets of downtown Hattiesburg starting at 6 p.m.
The route will start at Sacred Heart High school and work its way down West Pine Street, Hardy Street, Main Street and McLeod Street and end at Hawkins Elementary School. Anyone wishing to celebrate is invited to line the streets and cheer as the parade goes by.
Drivers in the area at this time should be aware of the extra foot traffic and road closures.
Mayor Toby Barker said the Parade of Champions is the perfect way for the community to celebrate student and student athlete achievement in Hattiesburg schools.
"This has been an incredible year for students in Hattiesburg, and we need to celebrate their accomplishments," Barker said. "We want the community to come out and support our students because they are the future of our city.”
Hattiesburg High School’s head baseball coach, Joe Hartfield, will serve as grand marshal for the parade. Hartfield led the Tigers to a 5A state championship in 2018 and won his 400th career game in 2019.
Hattiesburg Public School District Athletic Coordinator and HHS head football coach Tony Vance said no one is more deserving of the grand marshal honor than Hartfield.
“Joe Hartfield is one of the best high school baseball coaches in Mississippi, but more than that, he is a shining example of hard work and perseverance for our players,” said Vance. “Coach Hartfield teaches young men how to win on the field and win in life, even when they are faced with difficult circumstances."