Blackledge named 2024 Jester

Published 11:23 am Sunday, February 4, 2024

There was a full house Saturday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center for the third annual Jester’s Ball, where David Blackledge became the first man to be given the honor.

“Welcome to what has formerly been known as just the women’s club,” Vicksburg Convention Center Director Erin Powell Southard said. “We are glad to have you as our first gentlemen jester. Great round of applause for all of our nominees. This has been the funnest group. We just thank all of you for participating.”

Southard said a special thanks also goes out to all of the workers and volunteers who make the Jester’s Ball possible.

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“It wasn’t just me and my team,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of volunteers that have come to help.”

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. also thanked those in attendance for making the ball a success.

“I want to thank Erin for what she put on,” Flaggs said. “I’d like to take the opportunity to welcome all of the participants this year. We want you to know this: All of you are wonderful because you are participating.”

Now in its third year, the Jester’s Ball began in 2022, when Launo Moore took home the title. Moore was followed in 2023 by Jester Joyce Blue. Both former Jesters were on hand to welcome Blackledge into the club Saturday night.

Southard said Jester nominees were chosen based on their community involvement and their tireless efforts to be champions for Vicksburg. This year’s nominees included: Blackledge, Amanda Harris, Walter Osborne, Debbie Haworth Peacock, Charles Pendleton, Christine “Chris” Rials and Larry Walker.

An online poll was made available for the public to vote on the winner of this year’s title of Jester.