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Southdowns residents prepare for Friday's parade

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BATON ROUGE - Residents in Southdowns spent Thursday afternoon finishing preparations ahead of Friday's parade.

"We just put down fresh grass," homeowner Marsha Raymond said. "So this year we're putting up these stakes right here."

Raymond and her husband have lived along the route since before the 31-year-old parade came to be. Every year, they look forward to the floats.

"It's fun because my kids and their kids come," Raymond said.

Homeowners aren't the only ones feeling the last-minute rush. Local party stores are seeing an increase in business.

"People are buying hundreds of dollars worth of throws to throw to people that they have no idea who they are," Nelson Maddox, owner of Parties Start Here, said."

Pallets of every type of bead imaginable are flying off the shelves.

"We will have a huge day the rest of today and all day tomorrow," Maddox said.

The weather looks to play a factor in tomorrow's parade. The forecast isn't stopping parade founder, William Gladney, from getting ready.

"When you're putting a parade on there are 101 things to worry about," Gladney said. "In the end, it always comes down to the weather."

Gladney and other krewe members spent Thursday night putting finishing touches on their float, hoping the weather doesn't interfere.

"We don't count on being knocked out our 31st year," Gladney said.

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