Biloxi plans star-spangled weekend for Fourth

You’ll find huge fireworks displays, free outdoor patriotic musicals, the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, a sailboat race and big-name entertainment throughout the weekend in Biloxi and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the Fourth of July weekend.

“The Fourth has become the biggest weekend of the year,” said Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway. “It’s a great time for family events and patriotism, and I’m happy to say we have a great lineup of entertainment here in Biloxi and along the Coast. This year will be one of the best with the Fourth falling on a Friday, with a weekend full of events.”

Headlining in Biloxi will be the free “I Love America” production on the Town Green. The show, which is at 7 o’clock on July 3 and 4, is a family-oriented slice of Americana and is presented annually by Cedar Lake Christian Assembly. The show on the Fourth will be followed by the annual fireworks display, which begins at 9 p.m.

Those on the Town Green will be able to turn their seats around to view the fireworks, which is one of the largest in the Southeast. Other good viewing locations: on the beach between Casino Row and the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor or near the Biloxi Lighthouse.

A second fireworks show, part of the summer-long weekly displays on Casino Row, takes place Sunday at 9 p.m. The Seafood Industry Museum is offering fireworks excursions aboard its schooners, at $20 a person ($10 for children). Bring your own snacks and drinks. Reservations: 435-6320.

At Rice Pavilion in Gulfport, the annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo takes place July 3 to 6. The midway, with plenty of carnival rides, opens from noon to midnight each day, but the big attraction, of course, is the hundreds of freshwater and saltwater fish on display.

Among the headliners in town the Fourth of July weekend: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at Grand Casino Biloxi (July 4 and 5 at 8 p.m.), Hall and Oates at Beau Rivage (July 5 at 8 p.m.), and Tony Orlando at Imperial Palace (July 5 at 7 and 9 p.m.)

On July 5, the annual “Race for the Case” takes place on the water from Gulfport to Biloxi, with dozens of craft expected to begin the 1 p.m. race and begin arriving in Biloxi around 2:30 p.m. Among the vessels participating will be the two Biloxi schooners, the Glenn L. Swetman and Mike Sekul.

On Monday, July 7, the Air National Guard Band of the Smokey Mountains will present a brown bag lunch performance at 11 a.m. on the Biloxi Town Green. Visitors to the free concert will be given free soft drinks and water. Details: 435-6339.

For more events taking place on the Fourth of July weekend, click