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Pandemic-safe Mardi Gras planned

Yardi Gras

The magic of New Orleans Jackson Square with its painters, musicians and street performers comes to downtown Brookhaven for locals to celebrate a pandemic-safe Mardi Gras.

This year, the annual Downtown Jazzed Up features loads of socially-distanced family fun in an art walk on Whitworth and Railroad Avenues and in the railroad park and municipal parking lot from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, in Brookhaven.

Gone is the traditional fall-in parade replaced by a leisurely stroll -- a fully outdoors event highlighted by painters and other visual artists displaying their works, multiple musicians providing entertainment around the walking area, street art performances and fun and games tailored for everyone.

Restaurants will offer specials. There will be sidewalk sales. A sidewalk chalk art contest for kids will run throughout the day and Yoga in the Park will provide a way for others to shirk their stresses.

When things end downtown, visitors can join a Yardi Gras Drive Thru Parade in their vehicles on Storm Avenue, where residents will decorate their houses as stationary floats in Brookhaven's version of a phenomenon that started in New Orleans as a social media joke, but became a unique Mardi Gras parade pandemic alternative.

Event organizers are still accepting registrations for tables, easels, spaces and time slots from participating visual and musical artists, the sidewalk chalk art contest and anything else that could enhance the celebration at

The Brookhaven Regional Art Guild is sponsoring Brookhaven Downtown Jazzed Up with the Mississippi School of the Arts, Brookhaven Tourism Council and Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

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