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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Dudy Gras set for today

    With baseball season beginning
    in two weeks, fans will
    celebrate today with Dudy Gras
    3.5, a parade celebrating the
    start of the Mississippi State
    baseball season while throwing
    in a bit of Mardi Gras flair.
    Parade co-founder Hobie
    Hobart said this is the fourth
    year he and partner Chip
    Carley have held the event. The
    two tried to have the first Dudy
    Gras celebration four years ago,
    but bad weather forced the men
    to move the party indoors to
    Mugshots Bar & Grill, contributing
    to the .5 in its name.
    “We got sleeted and snowed
    out about four years ago when
    we first wanted to do this,”
    Hobart said. “We had to move
    inside so we only gave ourselves
    half credit on that one.”
    The idea of Dudy Gras was
    started when Hobart, Carley
    and other friends were brainstorming
    for ideas to help further
    market the baseball team.
    Given the fact that baseball
    season coincides with the season
    of Mardi Gras, Dudy Gras
    was born.
    Hobart said the group felt
    like Mississippi State was an
    ideal school for an event such
    as this based on the prestige
    of the program and the overall
    passion of its fans.
    “MSU baseball and Left
    Field Lounge are MSU’s greatest
    assets, yet there is zero marketing,”
    he said. “We hold the
    single [game] attendance record
    and that just says a lot about
    MSU and our team.”
    Over the years, the parade
    has gotten bigger and has
    received much more exposure.
    The parade has sparked a lot
    of interest around the area with
    more people wanting to walk
    in the parade as well as make
    floats.
    Sponsors around the area
    have shown continuous support
    for this event, and donations
    have risen each year the
    parade has been held, Carley
    said. The co-founders said
    they believe the formula they
    use can breed great success,
    much like Malcom White’s St.
    Patrick’s Day Parade in Jackson,
    which is now the second biggest
    St. Patrick’s Day Parade in
    the country.
    The parade itself serves as
    more than just a celebration for
    baseball season. All proceeds
    earned from the event go to the
    baseball program.
    The parade also helps serve
    as a recruiting tool for the program
    as the Bulldogs are able to
    offer a truly unique event to its
    players and fans.
    This year’s Dudy Gras will
    be the first one held under new
    head coach John Cohen. The
    new coaching staff will only
    make this year’s Dudy Gras even
    more exciting, Carley said.
    “The staff Cohen has brought
    in here is phenomenal and they
    ooze energy,” he said. “I have
    no doubt in my mind when
    he says he’s going to win a
    national championship that he
    will get it done.”
    Cohen said he was the first
    choice to hold the title of grand
    marshall in the parade, but
    he will be on the field with
    his squad practicing during the
    festivities. However, Cohen
    said he and his staff will be
    speaking to parade participants
    and on-lookers after practice
    has concluded.
    Parade organizers will be
    holding a pre-parade party at
    Rick’s today beginning at 3
    p.m with the parade starting
    at 4 p.m.
    From Rick’s Cafe, the parade
    will travel down Highway 182
    East before making its way
    down Main Street. The parade
    will make its way from there
    straight to the MSU campus
    and will conclude at Dudy-
    Noble Field.

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Dudy Gras set for today