Christmas parades by land and sea, plus much more

Biloxi will have land and water Christmas parades this weekend, along with the lighting of the Town Green and a downtown arts and crafts fair.

The Children’s Christmas Walking Parade this evening at 6 kicks off the weekend. A fire truck carrying Santa and Mrs. Claus will be the main attraction of the parade, which is excepted to include 15 hay wagons carrying 350 children. The parade will begin at the Dr. Frank G. Gruich Sr. Center on Howard Avenue, travel west on Howard Avenue through the Vieux Marche, south on Reynoir Street, east on Jackson, and south on Lameuse Street to the Town Green.

Once the parade arrives at the Town Green, Santa and Mrs. Clause will hand out treats to children, and children will decorate a Christmas Tree. The Salvation Army also will be on the grounds giving out cookies and hot chocolate.

Then on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you’ll find the Christmas in the City arts and crafts festival in the downtown.  Nearly 100 vendors from Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana will line the Rue Magnolia area, selling arts, crafts, food and specialty items  Children can visit with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and $100 will be given away every hour.

Saturday evening is the centerpiece of the city’s Christmas on the Water celebration, with more than 40 brightly lit boats expected to be participate in a parade along the Biloxi waterfront.

The procession begins at 6 p.m. and proceeds from the Biloxi Lighthouse to Point Cadet. A panel of judges will rate the lights, theme, music and overall appearance of each vessel. The Christmas on the Water weekend wraps up with a post-parade fireworks show shot from a barge at Deer Island.
See the Christmas events lineup
See photos from lighthouse ceremony Thursday night
See the overall weekend preview


Detailed updates available on road work

The city’s Public Works Department is now publishing detailed monthly reports on the infrastructure work in east Biloxi, providing residents an easy-to-read status report on work in their particular neighborhood.

The reports, in map form, are based on the monthly pay requests from contractor Oscar Renda Contracting, which means they will show progress for the previous month.

“The first report is for the month of October,” said Acting City Engineer Christy Lebatard, “but Mayor Gilich has made it clear he wants us on track to have these reports the 15th of each month to show the progress from the previous month. We’re also working to make the reports even more detailed as we move forward.”

The new reports specific to the three-year east Biloxi work are in addition to overall, citywide Restore Biloxi reports compiled monthly by HNTB, the firm that is overseeing the $355 million Restore Biloxi infrastructure program.
See the Restore Biloxi page and the reports


Council OKs property sale for Hilton Garden Inn

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

This week in Community Development , the Biloxi City Council approved the sale of surplus property on Beach Boulevard to hotel developers for the construction of a Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel development will be located on the former specialty hospital property, east of the old Santa Maria Del Mar. The new structure is proposed to be 5-6 stories in height and have 100 guest rooms. The City Council also approved a zoning change application for a 96 acre tract of land on Hudson-Krohn Road for the development of a 131 lot single family residential subdivision. The market rate homes will be located on minimum 10,000 sq. ft. lots.

On Thursday, the Biloxi Planning Commission approved an application for short term rental for a single family structure located at 129 Lee Street. The house is located in a RM-20 Zoned District which allows STR as a conditional use. This recommendation will now go before the City Council for final consideration.

Also this week, the Development Review Committee reviewed site plans for the new Biloxi Junior High School to be located on Richard Drive, a new Citizens Bank to be located on Popp’s Ferry Road, a new Woody’s Roadside Restaurant to be located on Beach Boulevard at Althea, a new pet care facility on Hopkins Boulevard, and a new 12,000 sq. ft. office/retail center at Lorraine and Woolmarket Road.  Building permits were issued this week for 8 new single family houses, and plans were received for 6 more.


News and notes

Podcast: Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols discusses two hot topics before the City Council this week — East Biloxi roads and short-term rentals – and you’ll get a preview of this weekend’s Christmas events in this week’s “City Desk” podcast. To listen to the program, click here.

Streets work: For a look at the number of streets under repair and detour routes, and to see a link to MDOT traffic cameras, click here.

Tracking growth: Biloxi has seen a quarter-billion dollars in commercial development in the area south of the CSX railway since 2010, and $18 million in residential permitting for the same area in that time frame, according a compilation by the city’s Community Development Department. The numbers represent the amount of permits issued for such facets as building, electrical,  plumbing, etc. To see a map and a year-by-year breakdown, click here.

Council meeting: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m. The agenda for the meeting will be published online the Friday before the meeting.