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The Petal Excel By 5 Coalition continues to raise money for a community development project that will benefit the youngest members of “The Friendly City”. According to Valerie Wilson of the Petal Chamber of Commerce and member of the coalition’s economic development subcommittee, a proposed Infant/Toddler Playground is planned for Hinton Park. “The playground, which will be located close to the existing playground, will cater to children ages 6 months to 3 years old,” said Wilson.


The City of Petal is offering support for the project with the donation of space in the park and a commitment to maintain the facility. “The playground itself will be paid for with donations, grants and fundraisers,” according to Leahne Lightsey, coalition member and fundraising coordinator for the project.

On Sept. 19th, the 2nd Annual Great American Duck Derby will be held on the Leaf River. Nearly 3,000 ducks will "race" down the river from the East Hardy Street bridge in Petal to the sandbar where, with the assistance of the Petal Fire Department, the top three ducks will cross the finish line. First place winner will receive $2,000 cash, 2nd place will win $1,000 cash and third place will win $500. Petal Excel By 5 wishes to thank it's sponsors, Steven Kelly, Alfa Insurance, Carter's Jewelry of Petal and Realty Executives - Mark Graham Properties for underwriting this year's event. Thanks also to the Petal Police Department for their assistance with the launch from the bridge, the Petal Excel By 5 coalition members who are selling "duck adoption papers" and to everyone who is supporting this great cause. Over $14,000 was raised in 2019 as seed money to apply for grants to fund the project.

Several businesses will be selling duck adoptions from now until September 18th.  The participating businesses include: Grand Central Outfitters, Petal School District Central Office, The Coleman Center for Families and Children, Mimi’s Playhouse, the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce Office. Just look for the yellow inflated duck or sign in front of the businesses.  For more information contact Leahne Lightsey at 601-545-3002 or email at Online adoptions can be made here: or by visiting


Be sure to follow Petal Excel By 5 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! #petalexcelby5 #duckderby

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