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Feb 8, 2011
1st Annual Zippity Do Dah® Parade and Festival


Dear Y'all,

Oh mercy—we are on the downhill slide to the:

1st Annual Zippity Do Dah® Parade and Festival


24-27 March 2011

TONS OF INFO IN THIS LETTER and ON THE NEW WEBSITE! READ IT ALL BEFORE YOU E-MAIL ASKING ME QUESTIONS! (You KNOW how crabby I get when you ask me something I done tole you already!)

O-fficial Weekend Passes and the Bathrobe Brunch Tickets are AVAILABLE in the SPQ™ Website Store by CLICKING HERE.

(If you wait to buy Weekend Passes when you get to Jackson, they are more expensive. If you wait to buy Brunch Tickets, they are more expensive and they may NOT be available, as seating is limited. NOTE: You do NOT have to have a PayPal account to purchase Passes and Tickets. We use PayPal to process credit cards. Just click on the PayPal button and it will take you to the PayPal account for credit card processing of your order.)


Seriously, one year a group of Queens missed the WHOLE THING because they were sitting at home, WAITING FOR THEIR PASSES TO BE DELIVERED. (You pick ‘em up at in the SPQ™ Store at the Hilton-Jackson and that is all!)


Every dollar of the Blue Car Giveaway ticket sales goes to help the Chirren at Blair E. Batson Hospital! Thank you, Patty Peck Honda! Like 'em on Facebook!

Patty Peck Honda Doo Dah Day Blue Car Giveaway! 8 drawings — winners get a PRIZE AND A KEY. Yes, out-of-town, out-of-state and out-of-country Queens can buy tickets and can win! If you win a key in one of the drawings and you can’t come to the Parade, we will have a Proxy (maybe even Me Myownself) try your key on the BIG PANK TREASURE CHEST and your Proxy will pitch the Appropriately Enthusiastic Fit Upon Winning on Your Behalf. So, no worries!

ONLY 3,000 tickets will be sold! The more you buy—and the sooner you buy—the “more better” chance you have to win because there will be a drawing each week starting this week—on Friday, 11 February 2011! Winners announced on all Clear Channel Radio Stations!

Weekly “losers” stay in the drawing for additional chances to win a key. At ~ 3 pm on Saturday, 26 March 2011, the eight (8) key holders will try their keys on the BIG PANK TREASURE CHEST. One key will open it. That lucky person wins a NEW BLUE HONDA INSIGHT from PATTY PECK HONDA!

  • Sal & Mookie’s 4th Anniversary Carnival. 10:30 until 3p. Games, Activities, Space Jumps, Sno-Cones, Silent Auction, Pizza & Ice Cream Eating Contests (Win pizza & ice cream for a year!) Proceeds Benefit Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children.
  • Fondren Un-Zipped. Port-a-Potty Decorating Contest sponsored by our friends at McGraw "Gotta Go". A unique, fun, affordable opportunity to support the 1st Annual Fondren Zippity Doo Dah® Parade and Festival benefiting Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. For only $75, a business, school, team or individual can sponsor a port-a-potty. Prizes will be awarded on Saturday at the Sal & Mookie’s 4th Anniversary Carnival.

One Prize Will Be Awarded for a Port-a-Potty. Trophy will be a beautiful handcrafted glass piece created by Elizabeth Robinson and other members of the Mississippi Craftsman’s Guild.

  • Zippity Doo Dah® Parade. If you are interested in having a GOLF CART “MINI-FLOAT” in the Parade, please READ ALL the Rules/Regulations HERE and follow the instructions. FEES: $75 for the first 20 people (including Driver, 4 Spotters, and up to 15 additional Riders/Walkers) and $5 per person over 20. Minimum Crew is five: 1 Driver and 4 Spotters.

If you need to rent a golf cart, here are some folks who are Very Queen Friendly and we love them!

Ben Nelson Golf Carts: 601-664-7117

Gulf States Golf Carts: 601-853-1510

Prizes Awarded for Costumes and Mini Floats/Crews. Trophies will be beautiful handcrafted glass pieces created by Elizabeth Robinson and other members of the Mississippi Craftsman’s Guild.

JUDGING will take place IN THE LINE-UP AREA—BEFORE THE PARADE STARTS. A sign will precede winners in the Parade, telling of the Crew’s Brilliant Accomplishment so that all spectators will be aware that they are in the presence of Genius.

Prize Categories

(subject to change without notice.)

Million Queen March™ Costumes and Overall Overwhelmingness:

  • Zippity-Zoned-out-Zealots—awarded for “Y’all Are the Best Looking Thangs We Ever Saw. Really.”


  1. Batson Bluebird — awarded for “Heppin’ the Chirren by Being So Cute—Seriously, We Can’t Take Our Eyes Offa You.”
  1. Fondren Fabulous Funk — awarded for “Outstanding Funkiness in a Float.”
  1. Super Satisfactual & Plenny O’Sunshine — awarded for “Delightful Level of Wretched Excess Overall.”


Hotels. If you need a room, the Hilton-Jackson (the host hotel) is full but often has cancellations. Here’s the drill: (1) Call 601-957-2800, (2) speak ONLY to BILLIE BURNS. Do not say the word “reservation” until you are speaking directly to him or there is absolutely no hope of getting a room!

Do NOT call Hilton International. SPQ’s have the hotel blocked. They will tell you the hotel is full. They will be of no use to you should there be a cancellation.

There are two other wonderful Queen Friendly hotels in the Hilton’s immediate neighborhood. (Walking distance & they work with the Hilton to arrange shuttle service when possible):

Cabot Lodge North: 601-957-0757

Marriott Courtyard: 601-956-9991

(Tell either that you want the SWEET POTATO QUEENS® rate for the weekend.)



Check out Fondren!

There are links on there to All Things Fondren so you can get a better idea of JUST HOW MUCH FUN we’re gonna have. This is a little village, right in the middle of Jackson—with dozens of locally-owned restaurants and stores—totally cool and all within easy walking distance of each other. 


 (Click above for additional details)

Thursday from noon until…?

  • Comcast Come On In Welcome Party — lobby of the Hilton, featuring Mississippi’s finest singers and songwriters—be comfy—relax and enjoy and get your Groove goin’. (If you see Martha jean and she doesn't have her GROOVE with her, help her fint it or loan her some of yours. Martha Jean is EVERYBODY’S Responsibility. Just so you know. No shirking.)
  • Huntingtons Grille — opens early, 3p.

Thursday Night

  • Fondren Fancies the Queens — the Neighborhood welcomes us all to our New Home. Dress as Queenly As You Wish—we’re gonna be shopping and checking out restaurants—lotsa walking—so comfy shoes!
  • Queens Art Qrawl for All — Fondren art galleries and artists' studios.
  •  Scavenger Hunt — (details TBA) starts and runs until Saturday. BIG PRIZE with stuff from all participating merchants—so get your card punched! SPQ™ buses run 4-8ish.
  • Hot Time at Huntingtons Grille — 6-10p. Chef Luis Bruno serves us a FINE Caribbean Feast. Cucho and Las Papitos will have us dancin' and squealin' "ARI-I-I-I-IBA" a lot! Informal Salsa lessons. Reservations recommended. Call: 601-957-1515. $45.


  • Big Hat Luncheon at Sal & Mookie’s. Now what would you reckon we’ll be wearing to THAT? YES! BIG HATS. Then we’ll be fooling around in Fondren some more so comfy shoes again! SPQ™ buses run 10:30a to 4p.
  • The Everyday Gourmet Party. Whatever you had on earlier is fine—Marlana and her girls just love us—we don’t have to impress them! SPQ™ buses run 2 to 5p
  • SPQ Ball. The dress will include everything from t-shirts and jeans to full-on Regalia—suit yourself but we will be DAINCIN’ a LOT—so you know about the shoes, right? Music by the World Famous Bouffants from Memphis! THE BEST PARTY BAND ON THE PLANET!


There’s a full day of Stuff so get yourselfs up outta that bed and come on down.



(SPQ™ buses run 8a to 10p)

  • The MARKET in Fondren. 8a to 4p. Head to Fondren—dozens of artists and members of the Mississippi Craftsman’s Guild—amazing handmade items for sale.
  • Sal & Mookie’s 4th Annual Carnival. 10:30a to 3p. Besides tons of stuff for kids to do, there will also be ADULT JUMPING THINGS and I do looove to get in those things, don’t you? There will be a TOILET PAPER TOSS, etc.—what more can I say?


  • You want to be at the Clear Channel Entertainment Stage at NOON for the Pizza & Ice Cream Eating Contests. They do have adult divisions and great prizes for winners. I’m thinking I may win the ice cream competition, I’m just sayin’.
  • Right after that, the winner of the Fondren Un-Zipped Port-A-Potty Decorating Contest will be announced.
  • And at ~3 P.M. the FINAL DRAWING for the Patty Peck Honda Doo Dah Day Blue Car Giveaway!
  • Browne's Fine Art in Fondren is having a Totally Queenly Party for us from 3-6 and guess who’s playing? The Earth Angels! We sooo love them! Huge Fun!
  • Parading Queens watch your time! You'll need to allow enough time to prepare for the Zippity Doo Dah® Parade and the Million Queen March™. Mini Float Line Up is at 4p ; Marchers Line Up at 5:30p. Judging for Costumes and Mini-Floats occurs in Line-up. Parade Rolls at DUSK!


  • Remember, this is the FIRST EVER NIGHT-TIME ZIPPITY DOO DAH® PARADE so you will want to have LIGHTS on your outfits! You can find tons of battery-operated lights at this site:  www.save-on-crafts.com. I don’t know them personally—but we’ve ordered a boatload of stuff from ‘em and been happy with it so I’m passing on the info, that’s all. They’re not my relatives or anything and we don’t assume ANY responsibility for anything you get from them or that happens to you from using their stuff. This is NOT an endorsement of them or their products. Same goes for the golf cart folks above.
  • PARADE TIME!!! At DUSK—be in the line up area by 5:30p for judging! Streets will be blocked off at 7p and Straggling Pedestrians will be chased down by the Queenly Magnolia Roller Vixens and flogged with Nerf bats!
  • The Grandest Grand Marshall in the History of the EN-tire World, Living or Dead will be leading us off: The ACTUAL Doctor Blair E. Batson, for whom the Children’s Hospital is named! How cool is THAT?!

Remember: the SPQ™ WANNABE CHAPTER that has raised the most money for Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children before the Parade—WILL BE RIDING ON OUR FLOAT WITH US in the Parade! To find out more, CLICK HERE.

We will be sparkling like a big, giant sack of diamonds on our GLORIOUS FLOAT sponsored by our very Queenly Friends at BancorpSouth, the ONLY bank we ever REALLY loved! 

After we dazzle all of Fondren with our well-lit fabulosity (except for our feet, which will have on Sensible Shoes), we will head back to the Hilton for the…


  • Bud Light Pearls & PJ’s Party—and yes, we reeeeally do wear pajamas and big joory—and again with the comfy shoes! Featuring dancing music by These Days with Jewels Bass.
  • Pepsi Krazy Karoke! Showcase your own Stunning Vocal Talents. Krazy Karaoke has lights, smoke, and all manner of special effects to “enhance” (disguise) your “singing!”
  • Big A** Crown, Cruise and Cheese! Raffle. I have Larry Vrba making another stunning new crown—very large, of course; the fabulous folks at McGehee Cruise and Travel are providing a fantastic CRUISE and Cabot Creamery Cooperative is donating a Big A** Cheese Basket. You can cruise around, wearing your Big A**Crown, eating Vermont cheese—ascending unto Heaven itself couldn’t be too much better! Batson folks will be selling raffle tickets at the Hilton until Saturday night. The winning ticket will be drawn at Bud Lite Pearls & PJ’s™ Party at 10:30p in the BALLROOM at the HILTON. You know you have to be IN THE ROOM and you have to GO ABSOLUTELY INSANE WITH JOY if we draw your ticket—or we tear it up and draw another one. Everybody in the room LOST but YOU—you gotta act REAL happy so it doesn’t make everybody else want to thump you! 

Sunday Morning

Bathrobe Brunch. Yes, we really do wear our bathrobes and they feel sooo good! This is the absolute sweetest time of the whole weekend—please don’t miss it! The food is fabulous and the music by Lelon Thompson and Jamie Ward is divine. HRH Jill speaks a bit. Ticket required. $29 with online advance reservation, $39 if purchased at the Hilton. Limited seating – book early.

Security/Safety Issues

As always, from 2p on Friday, 25 March 2011 until NOON on Sunday, 27 March 2011—the Hilton will be locked down. To enter the property, you must have either a Hilton room key or BE WEARING your Weekend Pass, which will be in the form of a wristband and yes, I know you hate those but it can’t be helped and no, you can’t carry it in your pocket. If everybody was honest, it wouldn’t be necessary but there you have it.

To be in the Million Queen March™—you must be wearing your Weekend Pass bracelet. 


CLICK HERE FOR FAQ’s ABOUT Zippity Doo Dah® Parade


            A:  Most important for every event & ALL weekend: COMFY SHOES.

            A: Click HERE for SPQ™ Parade Page and click HERE for ZDD™ Parade Site.


A:  Only one answer to that: COME ON and let me know when you’re getting here. I will meet you at the Hilton and introduce you to your MUCH-NEEDED NEW BEST FRIENDS and you will not be lonely (or alone!) for 5 minutes. You will have so much fun, you will not believe it and you will not miss your wimp bag home-friends for a SECOND!

  1. CAN MY CHILDREN BE IN THE PARADE? YES, if they are part of a Float Crew. See Float Rules and Regulations for these guidelines. We are Family Friendly.

Totally new time—totally new place and lots of new things to do!  Time to get our Bluebirds ON!  See you SOOON!

Write to me anytime at hrhjill@sweetpotatoqueens.com —with funny stories, GOOD OBITUARIES, and/or Questions about Life Itsownself—I'm often wrong, but NEVER IN DOUBT!

Continue Being Particular—

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