Blessing of the Fleet bows this weekend

The annual Blessing of the Fleet and Shrimp Festival takes place this weekend and the annual observance will include the return of the fais-do-do Saturday on the Biloxi Town Green.

The fais-do-do, a French term loosely translated as street dance, fell off the Shrimp Fest lineup more than a decade ago, but organizers of the Blessing are resurrecting it this year.
“The form it’s taken now is good music all day long, a variety of arts and crafts, and 15 different food booths,” said Father Greg Barras of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, one of the sponsors of the Blessing weekend. “The festival committee wanted to resurrect the fais-do-do this year because there’s been some expanded interest, and we think it’s going to be a great weekend.”

The centerpiece of the weekend, of course, will be the blessing itself, where vessels are expected to parade in the Biloxi Channel from the Biloxi Lighthouse to the Isle of Capri to receive a blessing from the Most Rev. Thomas J. Rodi, leader of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi and Archdiocese of Mobile.

Barras was unsure of the number of vessels expected. “That’s a good question,” he said. “As much as I’ve heard the woes about the price of fuel and uncertainty about the harvest this season, I’ve also heard they’re going to come out and participate. We’re hopeful.”

Saturday’s lineupo also includes the Great Biloxi Schooner Race and the Mass of the Blessing at St. Michael’s.

For details about the weekend’s blessed events, including the entertainment lineup and history of the event, click here.

Elsewhere this weekend: For a preview of the weekend’s entertainment lineup, courtesy of listings from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.

News and notes

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council meets Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 at City Hall. To see the agenda for the meeting, along with available resolutions, click here.

Chiefs in town: Police chiefs from across Mississippi have been in Biloxi this week for the annual chiefs of police convention.

Beach Boulevard work: Beach Boulevard service drives at Kuhn and Meaut streets will remain closed for several more days as crews continue storm drain installations. To see other traffic advisories announced today by the Public Works Department, click here.

Webcasting: Hurricane season preparation is among the topics in an encore edition of the “City Desk” webcast originally taped April 29. To listen to the 25-minute program, click here. The city’s annual Storm & Flood Preparedness guide is now in production, but you can see the 2007 edition online by clicking here.