Parade and gumbo fest back for Mardi Gras

Published 11:00 am Friday, February 28, 2014

Music provided by brass and marching bands will mingle with the cries of “Throw me something mister!” and the aroma of gumbo simmering in the pot in downtown Vicksburg Saturday as the city’s Mardi Gras parade rolls Saturday afternoon followed by the Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off.
The parade rolls at 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation’s third annual Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off at 5 in front of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center on Crawford Street.
Christi Kilroy, former executive director of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will reign as queen for Downtown Vicksburg’s 13th annual parade, which starts on Belmont Street and continues north on Washington Street to Jackson Street. A total of 4,200 people attended last year’s parade, more than the 3,000 who watched it in 2012.
“We have 33 entries this year,” said Kim Hopkins, Vicksburg Main Street executive director. “That includes floats, bands marching groups, four-wheelers and motorcycle groups.”
She said one float will feature the Bad Monkey Brass Band, an eight-piece band composed of musicians from the Vicksburg area and Louisiana. She said awards will be given the top entries for best in business, best nonprofit, most original entry, most enthusiastic, best in show and best throws.
Hopkins said city workers will begin placing barricades along Washington Street at 11 a.m. starting on the south end of the street near Belmont and going north to Grove St. Intersections along the parade route will be blocked starting at 3 p.m. In case of bad weather, the parade will be moved to Sunday afternoon.
This year’s Carnaval will feature a street party and 20 teams competing for bragging rights as the city’s top gumbo cooks. Nancy Bell, president of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, said Crawford Street will closed between Cherry and Adams streets for the event, adding the cooks will line one side of the street in front of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.
Legal Tender with DeAnna Nicole will perform in the center’s auditorium, while the street party will be entertained by zydeco music. Children’s games will be in center’s courtyard.
Admission for the Carnaval is $10 for adults and includes gumbo and a beverage ticket, and $5 for children which includes unlimited children’s activities.
King cake will be available for sale at a concession stand along with hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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