Fondren will present the fourth annual Zippity Doo DahÂ® Weekend March 21 and 22, honoring Vietnam Veterans and raising money for Friends of Children’s Hospital.
Activities begin with Dancing in the Streets on Duling Avenue on Friday night and conclude on Saturday with a “Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans” nighttime, patriotic parade throughout Fondren’s historic business district. The parade,sponsored by BancorpSouth, will feature the world-famous Sweet Potato QueensÂ®, lead by Jill Conner Browne.
“For Fondren to take this on, it’s an extraordinary honor,” said Jim Wiley, a Vietnam veteran who served in 1968, and is chairman of the All-American Service Veterans committee who brought this idea to Fondren’s Zippity Doo DahÂ® Weekend. Wiley said this will be a first-of-its-kind statewide effort to honor those who served in Vietnam.
Erik Hearon, a 40 year Air Force and Air National Guard veteran who rides with Mississippi’s Patriot Guard motorcycle group, will organize motorcyclists from across the state to help kick off the parade.
Fondren Renaissance executive director Jim Wilkirson said, “We are humbled by those who have served our country; they are the heroes of today. We, as a people, owe them our debt and gratitude. It is an honor to dedicate this year’s parade to their loyalty and service.”
Schedule of Events (subject to change)
Friday, March 21
SPQÂ® Big Hat Brunch presented by Sal & Mookies – Buffet style brunch with house favorites.Â Awards given by area judges for best hat and best hat group. In honor of Vietnam Veterans, prizes given for those finding “army men” hidden in the cupcakes.Â Prizes from local Fondren merchants. This is people watching at its best! 11:00am. $21 advance or $26 at door –firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bouffants in Concert presented by First Commercial Bank and UMMC – The South’s most famous party band! Located in the middle of Duling Avenue on the Ergon/Clear Channel stage this concert/dance party in the streets is free and open to the public. 6:30pm to 9:30pm. No, coolers please.
Saturday, March 22
Children’s Character Breakfast at Walker’s Drive-In presented by Cabot Lodge and Dunkin Donuts – Featuring a cast of characters and a multitude of kid’s activities,Â Everyone in attendance is treated to a Southern style pancake breakfast while having a firsthand view of the ColorMeRad 5K. 8:00am check-in — advance ticket $15 per person — available HERE.
ColorMeRadÂ® 5K – Popular fun run and walk for all ages where participants are “color bombed” each kilometer with finish line explosion of color every 20 minutes.Â Race starts at JSU/Veterans’ Memorial StadiumÂ and winds its way through Fondren historic district and area neighborhood. Watch from points along course, best along State Street or Duling Avenue. Starts at 9:00am. Last minute race registration available at Cabot Lodge Millsaps.
Fondren Artisan Market – Located on the parking deck at Fondren Corner (North State and Fondren Place), this market will feature the best in area craftsmen. From jewelry to art and clothing to boiled peanuts, there is something for everyone. Beer garden and music performances throughout the day. 9:00am to 4:00pm
Sal & Mookie’s Street Carnival — On the stadium green presented by Sal & Mookie’s and Parents & Kids Magazine. Annual event with all types of carnival fun, from games to a dunking booth and a Sweet Potato Tot pageant to pizza and ice cream eating contests, this is good old fashioned fun for the whole family. 10:00am-3:00pm – $2 arm band charge – some items extra
Fondren Jump Zone – located at our historic district churches, these bounce house jumps will delight the kids while waiting on the parade to begin.Â Located at Fondren Presbyterian, St. Luke’s UMC and the Woodland Hills Baptist/Northridge/Fondren Church complex, this fun zone will delight the youngest of ages while adults secure their spots for parade watching. Free and open to the public — 4:30pm to 6:30pm
BancorpSouth Zippity Doo DahÂ® Parade – Through the streets of Fondren. This year’s parade honors our Vietnam Veterans with a ‘Welcome Home’ Parade and features a salute to our honored vets led by members of the Patriot Honor Guard, the JSU Sonic Boom presented by Richard Schwartz & Associates and the Murrah High School Marching Band presented by Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company.Â This nighttime parade is a fun-filled family event that has something for everyone to enjoy.Â From trinkets to beads and antique cars to SPQ QueenÂ® floats. Starts at dusk (about 6:45pm). Free and open to the public.