Enjoy the local flavor of the holidays this weekend

It’s here: Biloxi’s annual Christmas on the Water weekend.

This evening at 6, the annual Children’s Christmas Parade in downtown Biloxi begins rolling. Get a spot in front of City Hall and plan to see a small parade that will boast big numbers: nearly 300 children, a three-wheeled bicycle elf, singers, plenty of hay wagons and a selection of vintage fire trucks.

The parade will make its way to the Town Green, at the foot of Lameuse Street, where, once the dozen or so units arrive, you’ll see the lighting of the magical Christmas lights. Santa will be on hand to oversee decorating and lighting of the Town Green Christmas tree, as well as giving away treats and hot chocolate. Handmade ornaments for the tree are welcome.

Then, on Saturday it’s another day of events.

Throughout the downtown area you’ll find the daylong, 10th annual Christmas in the City outdoor arts and crafts fair. This 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. event will feature dozens of vendors, choirs, bands and dancers, pictures with Santa, and pusharatas, the special Biloxi treats from the Slavonian Lodge Ladies Auxiliary.

On Saturday night it’s the centerpiece of the weekend, the Christmas on the Water boat parade.  The process of brightly lit vessels of all shapes and sizes begins at 6 p.m. in the channel south of the Biloxi Lighthouse, just off the beachfront, and travels from the Biloxi Lighthouse to Point Cadet.

And, finally, dress for the occasion: Christmas on the Water shirts are available at the Biloxi Visitors Center, which is on U.S. 90 at Porter Avenue, or at the Main Street office, in the Bond Grant House on Howard Avenue.
See the overall weekend lineup


Coming up: An Excel-lent Christmas, Christmas at Hiller

Next weekend, get ready for “Come learn with Santa,” the free, educational and hands-on party hosted by Excel by 5, on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Family Resource Center inside Lopez School. And for Hiller Parks fans, there’s Christmas at Hiller, a daylong affair with Christmas offering arts and crafts, a stage of live entertainment, nominally priced food and drinks and a children’s area.
See the city’s Christmas lineup


Webcasting: Holiday fare, city finances, trees and taxis

You’ll get the inside story on the city’s holiday events, plus Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols has the latest on the issues involving city finances, progress on the establishment of a tree committee, and the ongoing brouhaha over the regulation of vehicles for hire in this week’s City Desk webcast.
Listen to the program


Planning group to hold hearing on role of tree committee

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

This week in economic development, the city council voted to approve a charge to the community development staff
to conduct a public hearing before the planning commission for the purpose of seeking public input on the establishment of a tree advisory committee. The recommended proposal would consider the establishment of a seven member committee that would be made up of one representative from each of the seven city wards to provide comments to the Director of Community Development concerning new projects that require the removal of more than five specimen trees. If approved, the Committee would appoint one member to serve as a non-voting liaison representative to the Development Review Committee. The public hearing will be held in January 2015.

At the planning commission meeting yesterday, the commission again took up the discussion of establishing a design overlay district for the properties located on Beach Boulevard between Hopkins Boulevard and Benachi Avenue. A planning commission workshop will be scheduled to discuss the necessity, and to establish the design standards for the district. The commission has already voted to deny the recommendation to change the properties in this area to CB Community Business. This planning commission vote will now go before the city council for final consideration.


News and notes

DRC agenda: One case on the Development Review Commission agenda next week: a daiquiri bar proposed for 850 Beach Blvd., across from the Beau Rivage. To see the agenda, click here.

Council meeting:  The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 1:30 at City Hall.

It’s historic: More than four-dozen streets in Biloxi are currently undergoing major infrastructure improvement work. What’s even more amazing is that more is on the way. To see the current lineup of work, as reported in the Public Works Department’s online Traffic Update, click here. To see a video, status report and info about the overall Restore Biloxi infrastructure project, click here.