Businesses are ready for the St. Paddy's Parade crowds - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Businesses are ready for the St. Paddy's Parade crowds

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The sounds of the 31st annual Mal's St. Paddy's Parade kicked off with the Marching MALfunction and Second Line Stomp on Friday evening. A large group walked from the King Edward Hotel to Hal and Mal's.  

While the party started early for some, businesses were busy preparing for Saturday's crowd.

After months of planning, a covered stage will be in front of Hal and Mal's along with food vendors. 

They'll have music playing most of Saturday, including headliner "Alabama Shakes." 

"We've not done a Paddy's Day this big. We're looking forward to the day. We're looking forward to the show. Everybody's super excited," said Hal and Mal's General Manager Jane Halbert Jones.

Fenian's shut down it's parking lot to prepare for its own party, with brunch and bands beginning at 9 a.m.

View a map of the route and See a complete list of events.

The pub says the St. Paddy's Parade brings in a lot of green on its busiest day of the year.

"We pretty much do about a week's worth of revenue in one day. So, for us this is like our 53rd week of the year. So, this is very important week. Especially with this construction going on. We've kind of had some down times because of intersections being blocked and stuff. So we are really putting our all our eggs in the basket on this weekend," said Fenian's General Manager T Francis.

The more than 70,000 people expected at the parade will have an estimated $6.4 million economic impact on the city.

The St. Paddy's Parade founder, Malcolm White, says the parade is unique showcase of Jackson and it's culture. He says the city has made the parade its own and it's one you will not find anywhere else, with a mix of Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day.

"It's inclusive for everyone. You don't have to be in a club. You don't have to be born into royalty or have money to join. It's the people's parade and anybody and everybody who's interested can join in," said White.

"Expect fun, good vibes, good friends, good people, just craziness to happen," explained Hal and Mal's volunteer Brandi Lee.

"It's like the one day of the year you feel like you're in a major metropolis. So everybody comes out," said Francis about the parade's popularity.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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