City honors Beauvoir organizer as finale approaches

More than 13,000 people, more than half of them from out-of-town, have attended the inaugural Christmas at Beauvoir since it opened in November, and the new holiday tradition will wrap up Sunday evening by helping to usher in the next celebration on the community calendar, Mardi Gras.

Mayor A.J. Holloway commended organizer Andi Rushton Oustalet during today’s City Council meeting, proclaiming Sunday, the final day of the Beauvoir holiday affair, as “Andi Oustalet and Christmas at Beauvoir Day.”

Said the proclamation: “Christmas at Beauvoir promotes the community’s history and sense of place, reminds visitors and locals about the significance of Beauvoir, and the celebration creates a new, bonafide addition to the fourth quarter of the year.”

The mayor noted that Oustalet conceived the idea earlier this year, devised a plan, and then set about raising money and building support, scheduled entertainment, and has greeted visitors at the entrance to Christmas at Beauvoir for nearly all 46 nights of the celebration.

The celebration has attracted 13,000 visitors to Beauvoir, including 4,000 visitors who had a multi-day stay in the community, and 3,700 who visited for the day.

Oustalet, meantime, noted that Beauvoir would include live entertainment Thursday through Sunday nights, and would have no admission fee on Sunday. Instead, the reigning king and queen of Gulf Coast Carnival would extinguish the Christmas lights at the west Biloxi landmark and then ride a carnival float down U.S. 90 to the Magnolia Hotel, the downtown site of the Mardi Gras Museum, which opens later this year.

Said city Historical Administrator Bill Raymond: “This event Sunday night demonstrates a passing of the torch, from the Christmas season to the Carnival season, and we hope that people turn out at both sites – at 5 p.m. at Beauvoir, and once the lights go out there at 6 o’clock, venture downtown to get a sneak preview of the Mardi Gras Museum.”

Council passes response to Gulfport’s annexation request

The City Council voted today to partially honor Gulfport’s request that Biloxi back away from its proposed annexation of area north of city — if Gulfport and Harrison County leaders agreed to a couple conditions.

The measure passed by councilmembers, which provided a recap of annexation issues to date, called Gulfport’s offer “disingenuous,” and promised that Biloxi would withdraw its annexation case – except for the vacant area known as Pitcher Point – if Gulfport and Harrison County agree not to object to Biloxi’s annexation of the Pitcher Point properties and that Gulfport agree not to pursue annexation of any areas east of the Biloxi River for 15 years.

See images from the meeting and the annexation document

Photos: To see dozens of photos from today’s meeting, click here.

The annexation measure: To read the measure the Biloxi City Council passed today regarding the pending annexation case, click here.