Spring Palooza a success

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SPRING FUN: Above, a child wins a minnow race by blowing air at the fish through a straw.  Jeremy Pittari | Picayune Item

SPRING FUN: Above, a child wins a minnow race by blowing air at the fish through a straw.
Jeremy Pittari | Picayune Item

It looks like the Spring Palooza, which was hosted by Picayune Main Street this past weekend, will become an annual event.

Reba Beebe, promotional chair for Picayune Main Street, said the event was such a success that Picayune Main Street and co-contributors, the Greater Picayune Arts Council and The Senior Center of South Pearl River County, are already making plans to hold the event again next year.

This was the first year Picayune Main Street held the event and despite the weather in the earlier part of the day, Beebe thought the event had a good turnout and was a success.

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The Spring Palooza included a silly hat parade, jambalaya cook-off, Paw di Gras and Pals parade, minnow races, putt-putt and other games for children.

Sho-Nuff BBQ and Catering placed first and Fat Boyz Cycles placed second in the jambalaya cook-off. Alert Safety and Training LLC was voted Friendliest Team at the cook-off.

“We had a great time and enjoyed it and hopefully we will have more people participate next year,” Beebe said.

The Greater Picayune Arts Council sponsored the children’s games, including the minnow race and silly hat parade.

Donna Aguiliard, treasurer and corresponding secretary of Greater Picayune Arts Council, said the minnow race was a big success and the council looks forward to participating next year.

“We have made our critiques and are ready to make it better for next year,” Aguiliard said.

Beebe said Picayune Main Street started hosting a spring event in 2005 when the city asked them to come up with something that would promote the Picayune municipal airport.

Picayune Main Street came up with the idea for an egg drop, which used to draw large crowds. Beebe said over the years, participation dropped so this year Main Street wanted to come up with an event that would highlight downtown Picayune.

Beebe said after Gov. Phil Bryant declared 2014 as “The Year of Creative Economy” and encouraged the state to highlight its cultural heritage and diversity, Picayune Main Street decided to create events and games that promote the local culture.

For example, Beebe said the Eliza Jane Frog Lemonade for sale at the event was an acknowledgement of Eliza Jane Poitevent Holbrook Nicholson, the woman accredited with naming Picayune.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to our culture and our assets,” Beebe said.

The Senior Center of South Pearl River County, who was one of the contributors, hosted the third annual Paw di Gras and Pals parade.

“The dogs that entered had a good time and we hope next year we hope this can be bigger and better,” said Darlene Adams, executive director of the senior center.