JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The festivities that turn the city green will return to the streets of Jackson in 2020!
The annual parade, which brings an estimated $10 million dollars to Jackson and benefits the Mississippi Children’s Hospital, was struggling to continue without the much needed financial assistance.
It’s possible through an agreement between parade founder Malcolm White, Visit Jackson, the City of Jackson and Downtown Partners helping with the expenses of keeping the 36-year-old tradition afloat.
White was thinking of cancelling the event, which brings tens of thousands to the city, because of security concerns involving the outdated barricades and the high cost of insurance.
Now his plan is to rent new barricades to prevent crowds from entering the street.
“You have to have an impenetrable barricade system that is interlocked, can not be toppled over and there are no gaps from beginning to end. This is a wall on both sides of the parade,” said White.
According to the parade organizer, the barricade rentals will cost $30,000. Visit Jackson will provide $15,000 of it.
“This is, again, a treasured event for Jackson, Mississippi, the state of Mississippi, and we just got John Gomez, Downtown Jackson Partners, the City of Jackson, Visit Jackson together, worked with Malcolm and decided this first year make it work,” said Visit Jackson President and CEO Rickey Thigpen. “We’re gonna put a plan together for the future to make sure this parade continues."
Insurance costs $15,000 for the event and White said they have raised $45,000 which will cover the insurance and barricade rentals.
Twelve thousand feet of barricades, 1,500 units, will be rented to secure the entire parade route.
Jill Conner Browne and the Sweet Potato Queens will return, leading the parade with the crowd sweep to raise funds for the Mississippi Children's Hospital.
The theme is “Here’s Looking at Rude Kid” and it will kick off March 28th.