Ready to go green as in St. Patrick's Day green?
An early jump on the fun will come Saturday with the fourth annual Long Beach St. Patrick's Day Festival and Parade.
The festival will start at 10 a.m. at Harper McCaughan Town Green on Jeff Davis Avenue, and the parade at 2 p.m. at North Cleveland Avenue and East First Street downtown.
Bagpipes, Irish dancers, draft vendors, food vendors, games, live music by No Plain Jane and amusement rides will be part of the fun.
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Whitney Sartin is the 2016 colleen and Richard Bennett is the grand marshal.
Sartin was born and raised in Long Beach and is a Long Beach High School graduate. She worked as a pharmacy technician for Sartin's Discount Drugs for several years before attending Faulkner Culinary School in Gulf Shores, Ala. She is the owner of On-A-Roll Sushi, which opened in downtown Long Beach in January 2015.
Sartin is a foster parent for the Wild at Heart Wildlife Rescue Organization, where she enjoys rescuing baby squirrels. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, boating and traveling.
Bennett was born in Bay St. Louis and is a lifelong resident of the Mississippi Coast. He attended Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. He retired from DuPont after 29 years of service and is serving his ninth session in the state House of Representatives representing Gulfport, Long Beach and Pass Christian. In the House, his committee memberships include Gaming (chair), Appropriations, Education, Local and Private Legislation, Management, Medicaid, Public Utilities, Revenue & Expenditure General Bills, Tourism and the PEER Committee.
He served 10 years on the Long Beach City Council and is past president of the Long Beach School Board, on which he served for five years. He is past king of the Carnival Association of Long Beach. Bennett is married to Patricia Clark Bennett, and they have one child, Patrick, and one grandson, Sawyer.
The 2015 grand marshal was David Reeves and the colleen was Jenny Nicaud.
Saturday's parade is a prelude to March 12, when four St. Patrick's parades all roll at the same time.
Biloxi's Hibernia Marching Society, Pass Christian's Krewe of Blarney, the Waveland Civic Organization and the newest parading organization, The O'Blarney Society in Pascagoula, will hit the streets at 2 p.m. For details and maps of their parades, see Sunday's Your Life section.