Zippity Doo Dah® organizers say a new record has been set. Parade committee lead and Fondren Renaissance Executive Director Jim Wilkirson said by phone that the crowd estimates coming in show that 15-20,000 people enjoyed the nighttime parade. “Overwhelmed”, he says of the sheer numbers Fondren saw on Saturday for the event that featured the Sweet Potato Queens®, the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Sonic Boom. Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital will benefit from funds raised through raffles, carnivals, auctions and private donations and a final number is being tallied by organizers this week. “It truly was a BIG weekend for Fondren”.
With an increased crowd came another increase: the amount of debris. “It’s an unfortunate side effect”, Wilkirson tells us, “but we ARE dealing with it today”. He says that while crews picked up trash on Friday and Saturday mornings, the influx of parade goers left extra clutter that has to be removed. “Between private, hired entities and the City of Jackson, trash and barricade removal should be complete by the end of today”. Wilkirson says he appreciates the patience of the community and their willingness to host an event that was all for a good cause. “We couldn’t have done this without you”.
We can’t say we speak for all of Fondren, but we’ll try. And what we want to say should come as no surprise. You know as well as we do what a funky little ‘city within a city’ we have here. It is Jackson’s hippest neighborhood ™. This past weekend’s Zippity Doo Dah® festivities illustrated that loud and clear. Where else could you have found the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, one of THE most recognized ‘brand marks’ in all the world, AND a group of ladies (and some men) who call themselves queens of a tasty orange potato? And then there was the Mississippi Mass Choir, crammed on to a tiny stage, emanating anything but a tiny sound. There were stores who rolled out the proverbial pink carpet to welcome visitors from, literally, across the globe. And, there were games and prizes and a contest where only the strong survived (we’re, of course, talking about the Sal & Mookies pizza eating contest.) We mention all of these things to say it was a diverse and wonderful weekend. And we mean that in so many ways.
All throughout the weekend, we found young and old, black and white, gay and straight and rich and poor – all sharing a street corner to hear The Bouffants and the Delta Mountain Boys. We witnessed countless occasions of random acts of kindness: a spectator who answered the call from the stage to run an errand or make sure something was done. People pitched in – and in major ways. YOU gave, and gave generously, to help the children of Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. We can’t wait to share a final total with you, but we can already say it is a gift from the heart that we will present to these children and their families very soon – on your behalf. As THE Sweet Potato Queen herself would tell you, it was “all for the chirren” and the weekend began and ended with that in mind. Whether you bought raffle tickets for a ride on the Clydesdale wagon (congrats Kresty and Nancy!) or took a chance on winning a Patty Peck Honda Civic (yay, Judy!), you spent your hard earned dollars to make Batson a better place. But you did more than that. Continue reading “An Open Letter of Thanks to You” »
Good with Perry
As for the adult division, for the last three years, Jamie Evans has crushed the competition. he has downed a full 18″ cheese pizza in varying times from about 4 minutes to eight and a half. Jamie was a no show this year, so it opened up the field. Of the starters, only 3 remained at the 20 minute mark and they battled to the end. Continue reading “2012 Sal & Mookie’s Announces Eating Contest Winners” »
Wow! What a weekend in Fondren! We promised we’d end with a boom – and we did! A boom – and a ba-da boom! JSU’s Sonic Boom and Her Royal Highness, Jill Conner Browne, THE Sweet Potato Queen! Photos are up: check them out – and LIKE US while you’re there! (You do not have to be on Facebook to view our albums).
PAINT was crowned the winner of the Porta Potty decorating contest, SoFo won the float award and The Mahogany Dream Queens took best krewe. And congrats to Judy Deleat of Forest, the Patty Peck Honda Doo Dah™ Blue Car Giveaway winner. Judy just won a brand new Honda Civic!
Billy won the kids’ pizza eating contest and Chris won the preteen/teen version while Donovan Perry took the adult title. Perry wins $900 in Sal & Mookie’s gift certificates.
For photos from Saturday, click here.
For photos from Friday night, click here.
For photos from Friday’s Big Hat Brunch, click here.
For photos from Thursday’s Arts Eats & Beats, click here.
Jill Conner Browne’s book signing, Sal & Mookie’s carnival, The Mississippi Mass Choir and more. Check out photos from today!
It’s the big day – and we’ll have photos later. But for now, here’s the map and merchant specials for Zippity Doo Dah®!
Map and Schedule
Merchant Events and Specials