Hattiesburg Jaycees host 71st annual Christmas parade

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:52 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Thursday evening, people flooded downtown Hattiesburg to kick off the Christmas season in the Hub City. The afternoon began with a parade and ended with the tree lighting.

Churches, local businesses, friends and families gathered to be a part of the 71st Jaycees Christmas parade in Hattiesburg.

Nate Harris, Associate Pastor at Central Baptist Church, was excited to ride on a float that looked like a living room decorated for Christmas with his family.

“This year at Central is ‘Home for the Holidays,’ and just giving people a home for the holidays at Central Baptist. Our pastor, Pastor Andrews and his wife and my four beautiful daughters will be up there during the parade just spreading the Christmas cheer,” he says.

The parade was back in full force after being canceled for two years because of the pandemic. Everyone shared the excitement of being back together to celebrate a hub city tradition.

Dr. Alicia Fortenberry and her staff from Southern Pines Animal Clinic were also excited to be a part of the fun.

“He’s excited we’ve got some candy to share,” Fortenberry says, holding her son with her. “We’re excited to share some joy and some candy.”

The Hardy Street Boyz emceed the parade from a table in Veterans Park. Hattiesburg Police Chief Peggy Sealy held the honor of Parade Grand Marshall.

Floats ranged from trucks to trailers to cars. Everyone was just happy to participate in the tradition.

“Christmas for me and for us is just family and friends and fellowship with everybody and just spending time with those that we love the most,” says Sarah Dyess, a Blood Donor Recruitment Representative from Vitalant.

It all ended at Town Square Park for the tree lighting.

The Thursday night festivities are just the beginning of the holiday season in the Hub City. This weekend, downtown businesses will host a block party and market for a festive First Saturday.

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