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June 1, 2018

The Petal Excel By 5 Coalition has announced a new 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.

“The Ducks Are Coming”

Bright yellow signs can be seen scattered throughout Petal in anticipation of the first Great American Duck Derby, scheduled for Saturday, July 6th and sponsored by Alfa Insurance, Steven Kelly Agency. Proceeds from the event will be used as seed money for grant applications to fund the new playground.

Numbered plastic ducks are available at area locations for “adoption” at a cost of $10 each. The numbered ducks will be released from the East Hardy Street bridge at 9:00 a.m. on the morning of July 6th. From there, the ducks will “race” towards the finish line about a quarter of a mile south, supervised by the Petal Fire Department. Ducks will enter a funnel and the first three ducks through will win cash prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250, respectively. The public is invited to gather on the sandbar near the finish line to cheer on their ducks, enjoy refreshments and view proposed renderings of the new playground.

Duck adoption papers are available from any coalition member or by stopping by one of several adoption sites in Petal including: Alfa Insurance, The Coleman Center, Petal School District Central Office, Sweet Blossom and Grand Central Outfitters. Duck adoptions can also be made online through the Petal Education Foundation’s donation page, Ducks will also be available for adoption during the June 15th Petal Farmer’s Market and the Star-Spangled Celebration on the River on July 3rd from 6 – 9 p.m. before the big fireworks extravaganza.

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

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