28th Annual Mal's St. Paddy's Parade - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

28th Annual Mal's St. Paddy's Parade

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A 30 foot tall inflatable Kermit The Frog led the way as the green grand marshal at the 28th annual Mal's St. Paddy's Parade.  The parade's founder, an unrecognizable Malcolm White dressed like Sesame Street's Ernie, followed behind.

"This looks like a parade to me. I'm so glad Bert Case thought of this," White joked.

From there it was a sea of green. "I've lived here for two years and it's the greatest city I've ever been in," said Jenine Jankovitz walking along a float.

"It's pretty crowded," said eight year old Gracie Thornton in the crowd.

The parade route was packed. Tens of thousands of people line State and Capitol Streets and screamed for beads. Some traveled for many miles just to see Jackson's unique event.

"We're from Natchez. We decided to come up and join you for a change," said one parade goer.

"Mount Olive, Mississippi.  It's my first time," said Juanita Magee. 

This year the Sweet Potato Queens followed the parade in costumes of every shape, size and color.  "Fun, just fun.  You don't have to do anything to make yourself happy," said 86 year old SPQ Mary Ann Vernon.

Last year Joanie and Jeff Ellis were married on the parade route.  This year they returned.

"I am the luckiest woman in the world, I'm convinced.  Being here on our anniversary is so special.  Jackson is so special and we're just proud to be here," said Joanie.  "And it's great being married to a Sweet Potato Queen," Jeff chimed in.

Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne waved to the crowd to close out the parade.  The proceeds from the parade and surrounding events go to the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital. 

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