Cemetery tour encore is this evening

More than a thousand people turned out Sunday for the annual Old Biloxi Cemetery Tour and organizers say the turnout for the second tour, which is this evening from 5 to 7, is typically larger than the Sunday audience.

“It was great to see the interest people had on Sunday,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, who was one of the storytellers who recounted visitors with stories from the theme of this year’s tour, “Biloxi’s Colorful Past.”

Among the dozen or so period-garbed speakers and re-enactors will be Biloxi Police Chief Louis Staehling, businessesman F. Arbeau Caillavet and former Broadwater matriarch Dorothy Brown. The subject matter: prostitution, gambling, illegal alcohol and other notorious pursuits from a bygone era.

The free tour, sponsored by the city and other history-focused groups, is self-guided and visitors may visit the graveside presentations at their leisure between 5 and 7 p.m. Although the event is free, donations are accepted and help support cemetery restoration efforts.

“People have heard some of these names on the tombstones in this cemetery for years and this gives them a chance to see the story behind the story,” Gilich said. “Consider Lazaro Lopez for instance. He was such a visionary and involved in so many things, seafood, for sure, but that was only part of his influence on Biloxi.

Added Gilich: “These tours give people a chance to connect the dots, and in Biloxi, there are a lot of dots.”
Video: “The Biloxi City Cemetery and its Colorful Characters”
See the lineup for the cemetery tours