Pine Belt celebrates Fat Tuesday

Pine Belt residents will let the good times roll once again as Caerus Mardi Gras event plans are in the works. In its seventh year, the parade is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, and will include a number of floats, walking groups and plenty of beads and other trinkets.

The events are sponsored in part by Keith’s Superstores and Magnolia Graphics. Parade entry fee is $125. Mardi Gras decor and beads will be available in January. Stay tuned for more information.

The theme for 2017 is simply "Mardi Gras."

“The parade has been so welcomed in our area that we feel more folks will participate if they could use décor from one year to the next, making it more affordable as well,” said Melissa Davis Saucier, parade director. “We encourage each Krewe or organization to decorate with a theme of their choosing! We encourage you to start working on those beautiful floats. It’s never too early. ”

Saucier anticipates more participation and support that every for the 2018 parade. “Mayor Barker and Chief Parker and all city departments are excited and very welcoming to the upcoming parade,” she said. “We have been receiving inquiries and float registrations since October.”

Floats, measuring 10-by-40 and that will hold up to 45 people, are available for rent.

The parade will follow its usual route along the perimeter of the University of Southern Mississippi campus. The parade will line up along the Hwy. 49 North Service Road and running alongside Hwy 49 south from Fourth Street up to Boot Country, proceeding along the service road south to Hardy Street, right on Hardy proceeding west to 38th Ave and ending at Morningside Drive.

Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to once again line Hardy Street for beads, throws and other parade fare.

The annual Mad Dash to Mardi Gras 5K, put on by the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, will be the morning of the parade as usual. The race begins at 8 a.m. at Kamper Park with registration at 7 a.m. All proceeds will benefit new sports equipment and playground equipment for the Hattiesburg Boys and Girls Club.

For more registration and sponsorship information, contact Marlene Shivers, 601.297.7787, or Karla Lefan, 602.543.3343,

For more information on the parade, contact Saucier, 601.268.2068, or follow FB page Caerus Mardi Gras.