February 5, 2010 11:28:00 AM
A celebration of the Mississippi State University baseball program kicks off in Starkville this afternoon with the fourth annual Dudy Gras Parade.
This is the fifth year for the Dudy Gras celebration, but only the fourth parade. The parade was canceled due to inclement weather during the inaugural event, so the four organizers -- Hobie Hobart, Chip Carley, Eric Halburg and Sumner Davis -- held their own celebration, parade and all, at a local bar.
The name of the event, Dudy Gras 4.5, is a reference to that first year. Organizers gave themselves "half credit" for the inaugural event, Hobart said, but the parade this year will go on rain or shine.
"Rain, sleet or snow, we''re coming through," he said.
The parade will pull out of Rick''s Cafe Americain on Highway 182 at 4:15 p.m., travel west and turn left on D.L. Conner Drive. From there, the parade will turn east on Main Street and continue down University Drive to the MSU campus. It will end behind the outfield at Dudy Noble Stadium, where the Mississippi State baseball team plays.
Hobart is inviting the public to design their own floats and join the parade. Pre-registration is not required.
"It can be a trailer or a pickup or anything," he said.
Along with the parade this afternoon, a "Fat Tuesday" celebration will take place Feb. 9th at the Veranda with live music, and the Dudy Gras/Red Cross Ball will take place Feb. 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Highway 12. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Red Cross of Oktibbeha County and the victims of the Academy Crossing Apartment fire on Dec. 28.
Tickets for the ball, which also will feature a silent auction, are $40 and can be purchased at the Red Cross office, located at 100 Felix Long Drive, Starkville.
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