Christmas lights on land and water mark holiday festivities  

The Christmas season officially kicks off in Biloxi on Thursday evening with the lighting of the Biloxi Lighthouse, an event that ushers in a weekend of activities.

The public is invited to gather at the city’s signature landmark, south of the Biloxi Visitors Center, 1050 Beach Blvd, to see the cast-iron lighthouse illuminate in 1960s-era decorations.

The decorations, red-and-silver garlands streaming from the top to bottom of the 64-foot tall lighthouse and two horizontal garlands keeping them all in place, were inspired by a Joe Moran photograph of the lighthouse on New Year’s Eve 1963.

The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. and those attending will be treated to cookies and hot chocolate.  Then at 6 p.m., Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich will flip the switch and light up the Biloxi Lighthouse, signaling the Christmas festivities. 

Santa Claus will also make an appearance.

“Everyone really, really enjoys this event every year,” Historical Administrator Bill Raymond said. “We began this annual event in 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the photograph taken by Biloxi artist Joe Moran at Christmastime in 1963 and have been continuing it ever since.”

Then, on Friday, Biloxi’s signature holiday event, Christmas on the Water, will once again feature land and water parades, fireworks, arts and crafts, and Santa Claus.

Christmas on the Water actually begins on Friday with a children’s parade through downtown at 6 p.m. followed by the lighting of the Biloxi Town Green, 710 Beach Blvd., from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Then on Saturday, the downtown Rue Magnolia Art District will be filled with arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, choir performances, and more with the annual Christmas in the City event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Later Saturday night, the centerpiece of the weekend takes place, the parade of decorated boats cruising along the waterfront, followed by a fireworks show filling the east Biloxi sky.

The boat parade begins at 6 p.m. and travels along the Mississippi Sound from the Biloxi Lighthouse to Point Cadet.

Christmas on the Water, which is organized by a small group of volunteers with support from the City of Biloxi, is one of several community events that helps Biloxi usher in the holidays.
See a listing of holiday happenings
See the original Joe Moran photograph
Photo gallery: Last year’s Lighting of the Lighthouse
Photo gallery: Last year’s Christmas on the Water Children’s Walking Parade/Christmas on Town Green
Photo gallery:  Last year’s Christmas in the City
City Desk 1  Bill Raymond on the lighting of the Lighthouse
City Desk 2: Kay Miller on Christmas in the City


News and notes: Sirens, holiday safety

Siren reminder:  The Biloxi Fire Department will conduct a hurricane siren test at noon on Thursday to mark the ending of hurricane season.  The test involving the city’s network of 10 warnings sirens will last for one minute.

Be safe: Another weekend of holiday events and holiday shopping is quickly approaching. Biloxi Police Chief John Miller asks you once again to make safety a priority for yourself, your family and your property. To hear the advice from the chief himself, click here.