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Mardi Gras comes downtown

A Brookhaven tourism group is bringing Mardi Gras downtown.

The creative economy committee, which is under the Brookhaven Tourism Council, plans to “Laissez les bons temps rouler” from 4 to 9 p.m. Feb. 25. That’s “Let the good times roll” for those who don’t speak Cajun.

The committee is planning its first “Downtown Jazzed Up” event which will bring that New Orleans Mardi Gras feel to historic downtown Brookhaven, said Katie Nations, who is one of the organizers on the committee.

It’s a family-friendly event to show off the recent renovations in the downtown area, she said, and will include live jazz, extended retail hours, private and public tours and restaurant specials.

Public and private tours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Armbands for private tours are $10 each and allow entrance into all of the six private locations, and access to hors d’oeuvres. Those locations on the private tours include:

• Hurst Review Services on South Railroad Avenue

• private loft apartment on West Cherokee Street

• private loft apartment on South Whitworth Avenue

• Duane Allred Financial Group on South Whitworth Avenue

• First Bank on South Whitworth Avenue

• The Inn on Whitworth on South Whitworth Avenue

The public tours are open to anyone and include:

• Lincoln County Historical Museum on South Church Street

• Mary Jane Lampton Auditorium on South Jackson Street

• First United Methodist Church on West Cherokee Street

• Military Memorial Museum on South Whitworth Avenue

• Downtown US Postal Service on West Cherokee Street

Nations said volunteers will be on hand to answer questions at each stop of either tour. The private tours are available for individuals who want to see parts of downtown Brookhaven the public doesn’t usually get to see.

“Any of these other places you can walk to any time of the day,” she said.

Tickets from the sale of the armbands will be used for the committee’s future projects. “It all goes right back into the betterment of Brookhaven,” Nations said.

The Co-Lin Jazz Band from Copiah-Lincoln Community College will perform at 6:30 p.m. on the front lawn of the Mary Jane Lampton Auditorium on South Jackson Street.

The Bayou Connection Brass Band will lead a “second line” parade along Cherokee Street at 7 p.m.

A second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans and refers to the people who follow the first line, which is the parading club and the brass band. Those who follow the band to enjoy the music are called the second line.

And that’s what organizers are hoping happens.

“We’re encouraging everyone to join in,” Nations said. “Dress festive, come downtown and have a good time.”

The parade will lead revelers to the intersection of East Cherokee Street and South Railroad Avenue next to Brookhaven and Music and Sound where The Bridge Band will be playing until 9 p.m. The band will be playing under the awning at the business. “That end of South Railroad will be closed for a street dance,” Nations said.

All children must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 21.

To purchase tickets for private tours and for more information call 601-833-1411.