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Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce preps for Downtown Jazzed Up

With beads and beignets, Mardi Gras in Brookhaven is set to be an event to remember — weather permitting.

It’s the fourth year for Downtown Jazzed Up, organized by the Brookhaven Tourism Council and the Chamber. This year’s party will be Feb. 15 from 4 until 9 p.m.

“It’s all the Mardi Gras fun, but in a family-friendly environment here in your own town,” said Katie Nations, program director of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. “Kids will leave with plenty of beads, and we’ll have some other throws and great music.”

New this year will be a Cajun Cook-Off, where businesses will form teams to cook dishes in four categories — gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice and étouffée. Small samples will be provided to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and a winner will be chosen in each category and overall by local “celebrity” judges, she said.

The cook-off will be from 4 until 6 p.m. Inflatables will be available for children as well as face painting.

Starting at 6 p.m., a second-line parade, led by a jazz band, will commence at the downtown post office on West Cherokee Street.

Second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans. The “main line” or “first line” is the main section of the parade, and the second line is anyone who wants to join in as the parade passes by.

Everyone is encouraged to participate.

“This is a walking parade,” Nations said. “We would encourage everyone to join in on the fun by decorating their bikes, golf carts and scooters, but nothing larger than a side-by-side.”

While the parade’s route is to be determined, Nations said the band will make a couple of blocks and conclude with an additional performance by the jazz band and a street party — with a performance by Four Way Stop — that will begin at 6:30 p.m.

District 39 Rep. Sally Doty will also be participating in the festivities, frying beignets and serving milk and coffee in a cafe in front of the Brookhaven Law office on Railroad Avenue.

“We will make them right there,” Doty said. “We did it last year, and it was a lot of fun.”

The only thing that could threaten the festivities is the weather, but Nations has a plan for that.

“The contingency plan on our band will be at Recess 101,” she said. “Weather permitting, it will be a great time.”

Nations said up-to-date information on the parade routes and other information can be found at visitbrookhavenms.com or by calling the Chamber at 601-833-1411.