Lumumba: Maintain Social Distancing During Halloween; Southwest Flight Details Soon | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Lumumba: Maintain Social Distancing During Halloween; Southwest Flight Details Soon

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said Monday that people should continue to avoid large crowds during Halloween as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said Monday that people should continue to avoid large crowds during Halloween as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Families across Jackson should continue to follow pandemic safety strategies as they celebrate Halloween this weekend during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said at a press conference Monday.

"I want to encourage people to continue social distancing and taking the necessary precautions in order to ensure that we participate safely," he said. "For the churches and organizations celebrating candy giveaways, consider having drive-through events, where everyone stays safe in their cars. Please mask up and watch and sanitize hands frequently, and please avoid the large gatherings that we have consistently been asking that people avoid."

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Photo courtesy City of Jackson

The mayor invites families to the Department of Parks and Recreation's free "Spooktacular Drive-Thru Treat Bag Give-a-way" for children up to 10 years old at 3 p.m. on Oct. 31 at V.A. Legion Softball Complex, 4500 Officer Thomas Catchings Sr. Drive, "while supplies last."

"Costumes are welcome," he said. "Remember, children must be in a vehicle and wear facial coverings." People can call 601-960-0655 for more information.

More Details to Emerge in the Southwest Airlines’ Return to JMAA

Jackson Municipal Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Brown said at the press event that the airport is awaiting further details for 2021 Southwest Airlines’ return announced last week.

"We are at the stage right now with Southwest Airlines where we are waiting to hear back and discuss with their network people exactly what destinations, what routes and what schedules would be offered at what prices," he said. "So we don't have that detail to present to you today, but we look forward to having that in the coming weeks."

"I have spoken in writing to the CEO of Southwest Airlines in this effort, and I have spoken to other operatives there," he added. "They all have rejoiced at the notion of Jackson rejoining their family, and they regretted having to leave Jackson at that time (2014), but it was entirely traffic volume related. The volume was not supportive at that time."

Lumumba said the return of the airline signals that the airport is in the right hands.

"It serves as validation that the reasons why Southwest left in the first place was a business decision and not based on any (other) narrative," he said. "This is an opportunity not only for economic development, but it's an opportunity that opens up more of the world to us and opens us up to the world as well, so we are excited about that.

"Jackson not only presents an opportunity to benefit (Southwest Airlines) as a carrier but also to serve as a benefit to our residence, " he added. "We are very happy to have Southwest Airlines back, and we hope that it has an associated effect on the cost of flying out of Jackson.

Lumumba likely was referring to a contentious attempt by white Republican state legislators to take over the airport several years back.

"Please remember to take advantage of the JMAA, and I look forward to when Southwest gets here, and I look forward to cutting the ribbon again,” Lumumba added.

Email story tips to city/county reporter Kayode Crown at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @kayodecrown.

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