Cruisin’ crowds bigger than ever, says police chief

“It seems that there are more people here earlier than ever before,” Biloxi Police Chief John Miller says of this year’s Cruisin’ the Coast and the number of RVs and onlookers gathering each day along U.S. 90.

Miller and his officers with the Biloxi Police Department say Cruisin’, with expectations of as many as 7,300 registered cruisers and thousands more in makeshift RV camps lining U.S. 90, has been without incident since cruisers began showing up over the weekend. The eight-day event officially kicked off Sunday and has its huge Downtown Biloxi Block Party Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“We just want everyone to have a great time, which is what they came here for. And remember: Expect traffic delays, expect heavy traffic, and slow-moving traffic. We’ll be doing our best to keep traffic moving.”

Police announced last week that Keesler’s White Avenue gate will be closed and Keesler traffic will use alternate gates Wednesday morning until 10:30 as cruisers will use White Avenue and Irish Hill en route to downtown Biloxi.

Said Miller: “We’ll have officers posted at White Avenue, and on Irish Hill at Gill and Porter to help keep traffic moving as cars will be making their way from White Avenue, onto Irish Hill and to Howard to the Vieux Marche.”

Police and organizers of the Downtown Block Party expect more than a thousand vehicles, which will be displayed on Lameuse Street and on two lanes of MLK Boulevard. Lameuse Street will be closed for most of the day.

The 8 a.m.-to-2 p.m. block party, which made its first showing in downtown Biloxi in 2002, will feature two stages of entertainment, with the DD Thunder Band and Elvis tribute artist Garry Wesley performing on the Town Green stage. A stage is also set up across from City Hall.

The big challenge for police working the block party each year is to hope that Cruisers remember that all Biloxi downtown streets are scheduled to re-open at 2 p.m.

“Every year,” Miller said, “we have a couple of Cruisers who leave their cars and go into the casino, and we have to try to track them down.”


News and notes

City Council tonight: The Biloxi City Council, which holds its first-of-the-month meeting in the evening to allow more citizens to attend, meets this evening at 6 at City Hall. To see the agenda for the meeting, click here.

All the Way Holloway: The last time Ole Miss was 5-0 was when three-year-letterman A.J. Holloway was part of the team. To see photographs of the halfback that football fans at Biloxi and Ole Miss knew as “All the Way Holloway,” click here.

Traffic update: To see who road construction is impacting traffic thr0ughout the city, click here.

Stadium cam:  To see the status of construction at MGM Park, the $36 million downtown baseball stadium and entertainment venue, click here.