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COURTESY ALABAMA SHAKES

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OLA might have Mardi Gras, but Jackson has St. Paddy’s and the Sweet Potato Queens. For two backto-back weekends each March, the city goes paradecrazy, painting the town green one Saturday (March 16 this year) and then letting the pink sequins shine a week later. Both events benefit Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.

MAL’S ST. PADDY’S PARADE

ZIPPITY DOO DAH In 2011, Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne and the Sweet Potato Queens left the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade to start their own wacky weekend.

These days, three separate parades take to the streets: the pet parade, children’s parade, and main parade featuring floats, krewes and folks flingin’ beads. After all that processing, the evening kicks off with a street dance in front of Hal & Mal’s. This year, the big headliner is the Grammy-nominated Alabama Shakes.

EVENTS

ZDD encompasses a weekend of activities including Arts, Eats and Beats; Big Hat Brunch; Color Me Rad race; and the Zippity Doo Dah parade, featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales, Sonic Boom of the South and Sweet Potato Queens from across the nation.

More than 60,000 guests take part in the festivities.

ATTENDEES

Don’t show up if you aren’t willing to be in head-to-toe green.

ATTIRE

Sequins, feathers, hot pink, tiaras and don’t forget— the higher the hair, the closer to God.

THEME

This year’s Grand Marshal is Sweet Potato Queen Aunt Faye of Texas. Faye recently celebrated her 100th birthday, inspiring the theme for the 2013 parade: “We still got a lotta zip in our doo dah.”

The theme for the 2013 Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade is “Waters, Waters Everywhere,” celebrating everyone’s favorite ponytailed local artist, Wyatt Waters, who will act as the parade’s Grand Marshal.

Fondren on Fire

J

ackson’s quirkiest neighborhood is busier than ever, and Fondrenites (and those who wish they were) have a lot to look forward to this spring. Here’s a sampling:

Zippity Doo Dah

The Queens, the Clydesdales and the commotion are back for the third year, packing more events into three days than ever before. The main event is the parade, as usual, taking to the streets of Fondren with southern pride and diva flair after a day of carnivals.

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Arts, Eats and Beats

Fondren historic district’s informal “welcome spring” party, Arts, Eats & Beats is also the official kickoff for Zippity Doo Dah. Tour the art galleries, shops and restaurants that stay open late for the big event, while listening to local musicians—including the WJTV Battle of the Bands.

Color Me Rad 5K

Start the race in crisp whites, and end up looking like you got in a fight with Rainbow Brite (a little sweaty, full of adrenaline and covered in color from head to toe). This is the way of Color Me Rad, where “color bombs” of brightly hued cornstarch wait around every corner of the Fondren route. You can register at colormerad. com through March 20—if it ain’t sold out sooner. If running isn’t your thing, you can sign up to throw color at your neighbors.

March - April 2013 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Last year, in only its second year, more than 20,000 people attended the ZDD parade.

Taste of Fondren

New Nosh

Postponed from the fall so they could do it up right, this event showcases the sweetest treats and tastiest eats Fondren restaurants have to offer. Local eateries will share their goods in Duling Hall, to raise money for arts and education programs for Fondren children, including afterschool programs at The Cedars and Boyd School. Tickets for the April 18 event are $32 each, which equals a day’s worth of art supplies and instruction for a local child.

Two new restaurants and a craft-beer pub are in the works to open in Fondren in the next few months, so after shopping, running, mingling and creating, make plans to nosh at Miso, the latest project from Grant Nooe of Grant’s Kitchen, and Café Ole, where Alex Sivira will serve up dishes from his Latin American culture. The pub, still unnamed as of press day, will be in the shopping center at the intersection of Lakeland Drive and Old Canton Road. Watch jfpdaily.com for opening details.

boomjackson.com

COURTESY SWEET POTATO QUEENS

ORIGINS

In the first parade, back in the ’80s, Malcolm White and friends dressed as characters from Tennessee Williams plays and strolled down Capitol Street.

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