Eastbound and down on the Town Green

Dozens of vintage Trans Ams — the kind from the 1977 movie “Smokey and the Bandit” — are gathering at the moment on the Biloxi Town Green for an event marking the 35th anniversary of the Burt Reynolds-Jackie Gleason action comedy.

Festivities began at 4 p.m. and include a car show, costume contest, live entertainment by Mike Halat, refreshments by Half Shell Oyster House, prizes, and a special showing of the comedy classic “Smokey & the Bandit” at dusk. Admission to the event is free.

Sponsors include Biloxi Main Street, the City of Biloxi, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Coors Brand Manager, David Coors, son of Pete Coors and great-grandson of Coors beer founder Adolph Coors, will be at the event.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast stop is part of the 2012 Bandit Run from Texarkana, Texas to Atlanta, Ga., the route that driver Burt Reynolds and trucker Jerry Reed drove to deliver a truckload of Coors beer. The film, which included the hit song “East Bound and Down” by Reed, also starred Sally Field.

Today’s Bandit Run originated in 2007 when Restore a Muscle Car Owner Dave Hall and Trans Am enthusiast David Hershey decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Smokey and the Bandit” by re-enacting the route driven in the movie. Subsequent runs have traversed different parts of the country.

Clip: To see a clip from the movie, click here.