Krewes work on floats for Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade hits Jackson

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The count down is on, the Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade is just hours away. Sunday krewes like Verde Do Krewe worked on floats that will be a part of Jackson's big street party.

For three months, 60 people helped create the river boat with moving paddle wheel and working smoke stack. A live band will be aboard what could be the largest float in the parade.

The annual event is an Irish celebration with a Mardi Gras feel, and there are only 50 coveted spots for floats on the parade route. Verde Do Krewe has participated for 14 years.

Most of the work is completed on the gambling boat, which is 35 feet long, 12 feet wide and 13 feet high. Don Taylor is captain of the krewe. He was joined Sunday by new krewe member Victor Carmody.

For the past 20 years Carmody headed Carmody's Court Street Krewe and won awards for his float entries.

"I'm a lawyer nine months out of the year. Three months out of the year they let me build a float. It's not just a party atmosphere. I've got a whole bunch of new friends. I was the 44th person chosen for this krewe," said Carmody.

Choreographer Tammy Bouchillon, artist Shannon Valentine and two year krewe member Lindsey Williams were at their secret location sprucing up the river boat.

"When you turn off Court Street onto State Street you see these 75,000 people and you feel like for 10 minutes you feel like a rock star and it's fun. We really like to see the kids on the route and give them special things," said Taylor.

More than 1,000 man hours are invested in the float.

"It's the funnest event of the year for Jackson, and it's for a good cause. The money we raise is gonna go to Blair E. Batson and it's all about making life better for them," said Bouchillon.

This year's theme is Waters, Waters Everywhere. Local artist Wyatt Waters will serve as parade grand marshal. The parade begins Saturday at 1 p.m. and starts at the corner of State St. and Court St. in Downtown Jackson. The parade will make its way up to Capitol St. past the Old Capital Museum and then on to South Lamar St. where it makes it's way back to Court St. View a map of the route.

Festivities will kick off Friday night at 5 p.m. with the Marching MALfunction & Second Line Stomp at The King Edward on Capitol Street. See a complete list of events.

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