JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Down Syndrome Society will host the 2022 Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 1.

The event will take place at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The walk will be one of more than 250 walk events planned in cities across the country.

The Buddy Walk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to promote acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down syndrome. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

“We could not be more excited about this year’s Buddy Walk, and we look forward to celebrating our buddies, their families, and all of the supporters of CMDSS,” CMDSS Executive Director Jenny Babl said.

A drive-thru parade and packet pick-up will begin at 10:00 a.m. At 10:45 a.m., the Buddy Walk opening ceremony will begin, followed by the Walk Celebration.

This year’s event will celebrate “buddies” or individuals with Down syndrome with the theme “Buddy Walk of Fame,” where participants will walk a red carpet.

“Not only is this a landmark event for the Buddy Walk, but it also comes during the time of the grand opening of our new CMDSS Buddy Center in Ridgeland,” Babl said. “This new community center gives us even more opportunities and resources to reach Mississippians with Down syndrome and their loved ones.”

About 1,500 people are expected to attend the event. Participants can pre-register at no cost at cmdssbuddywalk.com. There will be no day-of registration.