HATTIESBURG, MISS. (Jan. 20, 2023) – The Krewe of Saint Catherine will celebrate the Carnival season with an inaugural walking parade and block party on Friday, Feb.10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Hattiesburg. The parade will begin at the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center and stroll down Main St. before finishing with a block party on the corner of Front and Mobile St., featuring live music, food, and more.
The Krewe of Saint Catherine, founded by locals Rebecca Chandler and Ginger Lowrey, seeks to be a welcoming organization that celebrates the people and community it calls home. According to the group’s mission statement, “[Saint Catherine’s] krewe of patrons stroll in her earthly honor to parade missions of culture, community, truth, and jubilation. Inclusive membership is open to any patron of like causes. Through this body, [they] will elevate and celebrate the eccentric culture of Hattiesburg.”
“We chose Saint Catherine as our patron saint because her assorted patronage includes many people who define the culture of Hattiesburg, like scholars, lawyers, librarians, and crafters. Her symbol of the wheel also aligns perfectly with Hattiesburg’s nickname as the Hub City,” said Chandler, who also owns downtown business Hattiesburg Ballroom and Beyond.
The Saint Catherine Parade and Block Party will be the Krewe’s official introduction to the Pine Belt during the 2023 Carnival season. The roll or stroll parade will travel approximately four blocks of downtown Hattiesburg between the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center on Main St. and the corner of Front and Mobile St.
“Creating this krewe and event is an opportunity to bring Mardi Gras revelry to downtown Hattiesburg as well as to be a stage for the many creatives in our community,” Lowrey said. “I hope to see groups of all kinds parading with us, showing off their love of Hattiesburg and community while having fun at the same time. We want to welcome anyone and everyone to join in.”
Parade registration is now open through Monday, Feb. 6 for businesses and organizations who wish to participate as a sub-krewe. Parade rules and recommendations as well as the sign-up form can be found online at kreweofstcatherine.com or through the Krewe of Saint Catherine Facebook page.
Participating groups will also compete in three categories – best costume, performance, and overall, which will be reviewed by designated judges along the route. Awards will be announced at the conclusion of the parade during the block party.
Revelers will also enjoy a high-energy block party, which will begin immediately following the conclusion of the parade. Local entertainer DJ Kujho will kick off the event followed by New Orleans brass band BIG FUN. Downtown restaurants and other businesses will be open during the block party, and there will be additional food and beverage available for purchase from vendors.
“I am grateful to the many creative visionaries in Hattiesburg, like Rebecca and Ginger, who have an idea and go after it. It is individuals like them who help to draw crowds to our downtown businesses,” Andrea Saffle, executive director of the Downtown Hattiesburg Association, said. “I am excited to see Mardi Gras celebrated downtown and look forward to this event growing year after year.”
More will be announced about the parade in the coming weeks, including a spin on traditional Carnival royalty and the 2023 Krewe of Saint Catherine court.
Additional information about the Krewe of Saint Catherine or the Saint Catherine Parade and Block Party can be found at kreweofstcatherine.com. Organizations interested in participating in or sponsoring this event may email email@example.com.