Biloxi to host Mississippi’s National Veterans Parade and Festival

Dozens of military units, armored vehicles and marching bands will be parading from downtown Biloxi to Point Cadet Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 9, for Mississippi’s Third Annual National Veterans Parade and Festival.

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a festival at Point Cadet Plaza, where visitors will find a host of military displays, live music, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, and fried fish and hamburger plates.

During the parade, a host of military and private aircraft will fly over the parade route, and a precision skydiving unit will land on the beach just west of Casino Row.

The parade, which alternates annually between Biloxi and Gulfport, is designed to honor U.S. veterans and recipients of the Silver Star. An organizing group of military retirees and local leaders, headed by former Mississippi National Guard Adjutant General James Garner of Biloxi, has been planning the events for several months.

Grand marshal will be retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Clark Griffith, former fighter pilot and former commander of the Second Air Force, based at Keesler. The parade will be dedicated to the member of retired Air Force Col. Kirby Bernich, who served as president of the organizing group before he died earlier this year.

“This is going to be an outstanding family celebration that pays tribute to the people who have served our country and protect our way of life,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said. “The military is an important part of the community on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and in the times we live in today, it’s important that honor our veterans and those who serve in uniform today.”

The parade will form on Main Street, proceed east on the northernmost lanes of U.S. 90, turn north on Pine Street, and east on First Street to Point Cadet Plaza.

Among those scheduled to participate in the march are representative of local military installations; marching bands from Biloxi High School and Gulf Coast Community College; Junior ROTC units from high schools in Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, D’Iberville, Gautier, Gulfport, Hancock County, Harrison County and St. Martin.