The University of Southern Mississippi, The Area Development Partnership (ADP) and the City of Hattiesburg will celebrate a century-old town and gown relationship Saturday, March 27 during HUBFEST, the Pine Belt’s largest springtime festival held each year in the city’s historic downtown, presented by the ADP and Hattiesburg Zoo.
The Southern Miss birthday party marking the university’s Centennial will include a rendition of the Eagle Walk parade starting at 12:15 p.m., featuring members of The Pride of Mississippi drum line, current and former Southern Miss athletes and cheerleaders. It will begin at the intersection of Market and Front Streets and travel down Main Street to Town Square Park.
Leading the parade will be Southern Miss President Martha Saunders and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul.
“With thousands of visitors from across the state and region, HUBFEST is a great opportunity to celebrate the university’s Centennial,” said Southern Miss Centennial Coordinator Jennifer Payne. “We look forward to showcasing the university and our longtime relationship with the city, surrounding communities and organizations, and we invite all our faculty, staff, students and supporters to join us.”
At 12:30 p.m. all HUBFEST stages will shut down and a birthday celebration, sponsored by Kim’s Tax Services & More, LLC, for USM will take place on The Southern Miss Stage, sponsored by Clear Channel Radio, located next to Town Square Park. The Spirit of Southern men’s A capella group will lead the crowd in a happy birthday tribute following a presentation to the city from Dr. Saunders. Complimentary Southern Miss birthday cupcakes will be provided by Tara’s Cakes.
Folllowing the birthday celebration, the Southern Miss cheerleaders will distribute temporary tattoos, Golden Eagle mascot Seymour will be on site for photos, and Southern Miss athletes will sign autographs.
Throughout the day, The Southern Miss Department of Forensic Science will provide free children’s fingerprinting and identification kits in the Children’s Village, sponsored by BancorpSouth. In addition, Southern Miss will have tables set to sell Southern Miss merchandise from the university’s Barnes and Noble bookstore.
Southern Miss’ annual Battle of the Bands competition, sponsored by the Southern Miss Activities Council, will be held in conjunction with HUBFEST and will take place from 1-3:30 p.m. on the Hattiesburg American Stage located on Walnut Street, said Southern Miss Student Activities Manager Joel Hughes, who serves on the Southern Miss committee organizing Centennial activities for HUBFEST.
“The students have been working very hard to see that the best local talent will be on hand for this event,” Hughes said.
The deadline for Battle of the Bands entry is March 24. Bands interested in participating should call Southern Miss Activities at 601.266.4403.
Later that evening, the Southern Miss Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage will present the popular Roots Reunion Live Music Radio Show from 7-9 p.m. at the Saenger Theater. Admission is free.
HUBFEST, an event organized by the Area Development Partnership will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. HUBFEST will include its traditional lineup of activities, including juried arts, crafts, activities for children, multiple entertainment acts encompassing various genres of music, a motorcycle and car exhibit, animal encounters from the Hattiesburg Zoo, food vendors and more. For more information on HUBFEST, an entertainment lineup, list of participating vendors and full list of sponsors, visit www.hubfestMS.com.
Southern Miss was founded by an act of the Mississippi legislature March 30, 1910. The university will also hold Centennial Celebration Day on the Hattiesburg campus March 30 to mark the occasion. For more information about the day’s schedule of events, as well as Centennial events scheduled throughout 2010, online visit www.usm.edu/centennial
Southern Miss will bring its Eagle Walk football game day tradition to downtown Hattiesburg for HUBFEST March 27 for a parade celebrating the university’s Centennial. (Southern Miss photo by Steve Rouse)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.