I suppose it’s better late than never, so here goes about Zippity Doo Dah 2012 (ZDD). This is the 2nd year of this event- the event used to take place during the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day parade in Jackson. Now Jackson has 2 weekends of parades- so March is just a big fun month!
When I arrived in town on Thursday, I immediately saw a pile of women from last year- we all hugged and did the “Ahh! You’re here! What’s been going on?” thing. After unloading my car and taking my stuff to my room- I had to sit in the AC for a bit- it was HOT. Then I went and met up with some of the women- we stood around, talked, and made plans for dinner that night. 18 of us piled into Burger and Blues (a great little place to eat- good hamburgers, sweet potato fries, and and fun atmosphere.) Bless our server’s heart, he did not quit that night after setting 18 women wearing crowns and/or boas. We were a slightly loud crowd, but we were having fun and reuniting after a year of being apart. After eating till our heart was content (and everyone had a full belly) it was back to the Hilton for a night of bands and music. Several different bands played that night- and it was a blast hanging out with friends I see once a year and meeting new ladies!
Friday the first event of the day is called Big Hat Luncheon. And yes, we wear BIG Hats. The past couple of years it’s been held at Sal and Mookies- this great place to eat in Fondren. Pizza, pasta, great drinks and desserts-it’s got something for everybody. It’s non-smoking, has a great patio and a good staff. Eating there and hanging out with friends was a great way to start the Friday. After lunch, most of us went walking around Fondren (it’s small enough you can walk, but big enough that there is much to do!) Most stores were having sales, the weather was nice, and it was just a good day to play outside. After playing in Fondren for sometime- I went to Everyday Gourmet to pick up my Gail Pittman bird (yes, the Gail Piitman that does the dishes- well she designs a bird to sell for Zippity Doo Dah, as well). After that, went back to the hotel to see what was going on and begin to get ready for the night events- The Sweet Potato Queen Ball. After spending some of the afternoon getting made up with false eyelashes and glitter eyes (Thanks to Jen and Jodi!) I went to my room to put my sparkly dress and electric blue wig on- and then I headed to the ball. There was live music- good live music! And it’s always nice to see everyone so dressed up in their outfits- wigs, crowns, sparkly dresses- you name it, it could be there.
Saturday morning, back in Fondren, at Duling Hall- Jill Conner Browne signed her newest book, Fat is the new 30. Cathead Vodka helped sponsor the book signing- there was biscuits, bacon and screw drivers or bloody mary drinks to enjoy. Also Randall Wallace ( We Were Soldiers) was there. He comes most years, if he can make it, from what I understand- I missed seeing him the year before; but he was so kind to pose for a picture with me this year.
After a delightful morning of yummy food, meeting Hollywood royalty and getting my book signed- it time for some more shopping and then decorating our float for the parade. Once the work was over, though, the ladies in my group headed to eat at Que Sera Sera- and then some of us went back to hotel to start getting ready (it takes a long time to get in those dresses and get wigs, false eyelashes and crowns looking right- BUT, it is so fun!). The parade line-up began at 6, so we did not have much time to waste.
The parade is just something a person has to see to even believe. Tons of women, dressed up in various outfits, laughing and having a great time. People stopping us to take pictures. Beads flying through the air. Waving to friends. Seeing kids excited. And knowing that while you are having a good time, by doing this, the money you help raise is going to Blair E. Batson for the sick children who are there. After the parade is over, and the car has been given away- begin heading back to the cars and we see the Sweet Potato Queen Float. And they let us take a picture on the float. So cross that off the bucket list, folks- I have a pic of myself on the float, in the big chair. It’s a good night.
The last event of Saturday is the Pearls and PJ’s party. And you guessed it- everyone shows up in Pearls and PJ’s. There is live music, food, and the giveaway of the big crown. It’s fun and fabulous- and a chance to relax while having fun because you are not in the costumes.
Sunday morning dawns bright and early for Bathrobe Brunch- shrimp and grits, pig candy, and other yummy breakfast foods. This is where we are reminded that play is good for the soul, and gather to say goodbye to new and old friends. Bathrobe Brunch is the more serious of the events- it’s a quiet reflection of why and how play is good for you, a reminder that life, if you don’t squeeze some fun into it, is boring.
The weekend is a fun weekend, filled with interesting ladies and great memories to be made!