Bam! Huge Biloxi fireworks show to be a record-setter

Biloxi will have one of the largest fireworks shows on the Gulf of Mexico this Fourth of July, presented from what organizers call dueling barges that will be anchored at Deer Island, just off the Biloxi peninsula.

“This year’s Fourth of July fireworks will be the largest in the gulf south, from Galveston, Texas to Jacksonville, Fla.,” declared Rusty David of the Boom-Boom Committee, a volunteer group that collects money to stage the annual affair.

The show is expected to be a record setter, with a price tag of $57,000 and employing explosive shells that are 10-inches in diameter, 2 inches larger than those used in past shows. The projectiles will explode a thousand feet in the air, illuminating the sky from Point Cadet, the eastern tip of the Biloxi peninsula, to west of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

The 25-minute show — $2,280 a minute — will be set to music being played on FM 105.9, and will be fired by J & M Displays, a firm headquartered in Iowa and the committee’s fireworks provider since 1986.

“This is one of the most special days in America,” said David, who also helps organize such signature Biloxi events as Mardi Gras, Cruisin’ the Coast and Smokin’ the Sound. “We want to bring families together and show appreciation to families and the military. This will be a family celebration for all to enjoy.

“It’s extra special this year because it’s in memory of the late Tommy Munro, the longtime civic leader who started working on this in the early ’70s,” said David, who noted that a number of individuals, businesses and local governments help fund the annual fireworks show.

In fact, members of the Biloxi City Council on Tuesday, in one of the final votes in the final meeting of their four-year terms, voted unanimously to double the city’s contribution this year, from $5,000 to $10,000.

Councilmember Clark Griffith abstained from voting, because he serves as a volunteer on the Boom-Boom Committee, along with volunteers Jamey Hunt, Jerry Munro, Wayne Hengen, and Gavin Schmidt.

Said Biloxi City Councilman George Lawrence, who represents east Biloxi and suggested the city increase its funding to $10,000: “Biloxi is known as being a leader in tourism, and with something like this we’re known as having the best show on the entire Gulf of Mexico. It’s a treat for our residents and an attraction for our visitors.”