Biloxi unveils ‘Passport to History’ at White House Fountain

May is National Preservation Month, and in celebration of Biloxi’s rich cultural and architectural history the City of Biloxi, Biloxi Main Street District, Biloxi Bay and Biloxi chambers of commerce have organized the Third Annual Preservation in May Celebration.

This year’s theme is Passport to History. The month-long celebration includes a series of five events that commemorate the restoration of Biloxi landmarks, our maritime heritage, and a milestone for our schools as well as honoring individuals and groups for their efforts in historic preservation.

New this year, attendees will receive a “passport” which will be stamped at each event. Everyone who receives at least three stamps and attends the final event will receive a free gift.

“We’re very pleased with the diverse line-up of events for this year’s program,” said Bill Raymond, Executive Planner/Historic Administrator for the City of Biloxi, “They all celebrate milestones in our community’s recovery and showcase the history of our schools and the maritime history.”

Thursday, May 6: The celebration begins on May 6 with the rededication of the White House Fountain, which just underwent a $114,000 restoration. As part of the ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m., the public will be invited to toss a coin in the fountain and make a wish. After the ceremony there will be a reception sponsored by Beau Rivage Casino Resort. Parking is available at the Biloxi Elks Lodge just east of the fountain at 1178 Beach Boulevard.

Thursday, May 13, The celebration continues at the schooner pier. Learn about plans for the new Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum and take an evening ride with the “Hermit of Deer Island” aboard a Biloxi Schooner. Schooner trips will be at 5:00 and 6:30 pm with a program and reception at 6:00 pm. Seating for the schooner rides is limited. Reservations can be made by calling 228-435-6339.

Monday, May 17: The public is invited to the 150th Anniversary of the Biloxi Public School District. The event will take place in the Biloxi Junior High Auditorium on Father Ryan Avenue at 5:30 pm. After the program there will be a reception sponsored by Chartwells.

Thursday, May 20: At 5:30 p.m., the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art welcomes the public to tour the reconstructed Pleasant Reed House and take a sneak peek at the new Frank Gehry designed museum. Refreshments will be served as visitors learn about the legacy of Pleasant Reed and the incomparable George Ohr. The first three buildings of the new campus are scheduled to open in November.

May 28: The finale of this month-long celebration, the Re-dedication of the Magnolia Hotel and 2010 Preservation Awards Presentation will take place on May 28 at 5:30 p.m. Join the City and its partners as we recognize the efforts of individuals and groups in preserving our community’s architectural and cultural heritage. The event will include a ribbon cutting for the Magnolia Hotel, which has been painstakingly restored. A reception sponsored by the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino will cap-off the evening.

For more information, contact Bill Raymond at braymond or 435-6280.