Mal's St. Paddy's Parade preparations - - Jackson, MS

Mal's St. Paddy's Parade preparations

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's one of the largest St. Paddy's parades in the country and it happens right here in Jackson. Organizers say preparations are in full swing for this years Mal's St. Paddy's Parade. The parade will roll through the streets of Jackson Saturday.

It's one of Mississippi's top attractions, known as the green Mardi Gras. And while, it's one of the largest of it's kind in the nation, Jackson police say beware.

JPD says that they will have a high visibility throughout the entire parade route. Plus, Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance says he wants everyone to have a great time, but he says people should watch their language and their liquor intake.

"It seems to be just a little bit bigger and better every single yea," said parade organizer Charley Abraham. "We figured last year it was somewhere in the 50 to 60 thousand range. And we expect, if the weather is nice, we expect it to be that again."

As crowds begin to flood downtown Jackson, people won't be going to their normal spot. This year, because of construction going on Capitol Street, there is a new route.

"It starts on the corner of Court and State Street," said Abraham. "And then it goes north on State, turns left on Pearl, left on Lamar Street and left again on Court street and it will end where it started."

The parade, which honors UMC's Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital, creates mega dollars for the city. Abraham says millions of dollars are spent in the metro city.

"We've been told that it's somewhere in the two million a year impact," said Abraham. "We always do this event on the third Saturday in March and that of course always is the end of spring break. College kids will take the first part of the week and go to Florida or somewhere south and as they are headed back towards their universities they will stop here and spend Friday and Saturday in Jackson. We know that puts a lot of money in to the economy here."

The parade rolls at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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