Christmas on the Water organizers getting ready for big weekend

Organizers of Biloxi’s Christmas on the Water celebration are making last-minute preparations today as the event draws closer to its Friday kickoff. More than 200 children are expected to participate in the children’s parade through downtown Biloxi Friday night, says parade organizer Sarah Rider. Parents with last-minute registrants can sign up just before the 6 p.m. parade at its starting point, at Howard Avenue and the I-110 loop.

There is no registration fee and free throws are given to Biloxi children. More than 10 hay wagons will be available for children. Additionally, Rider said, the Biloxi High and Mercy Cross marching bands will perform, along with several youth groups.

Boat captains or boat owners interested in participating in the boat parade on Saturday evening are scheduled to gather tonight at 7 at the President Casino show bar. More than 50 boats were registered as of this afternoon and between 70 to 80 craft were expected to be in the parade, which travels from the Broadwater Marina to Point Cadet Saturday beginning at 5:45 p.m.

Cost for boat owners is $25 if they wish to participate in judging, which covers several categories.

You can be a part of the boat parade

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions Association is once again sponsoring the Ship Island excursion craft the Capt. Pete for those wishing to be in the Christmas in the Water boat parade.

Fee is $40 per person, which includes hors d’oeuvres, soft drinks, coffee and hot chocolate. A cash bar also will be available.

The Capt. Pete leaves the Gulfport harbor at 4 p.m. Saturday, so participants should arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. The boat will return to the harbor about 9:30 p.m., after the parade and fireworks show.

Tickets are available at Bodine Pottery in Long Beach (863-4734), the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau (896-6699, ext. 210) or Heavenly Ham in Ocean Springs (875-5828).