Firefighters events, parade planned Saturday

Dozens of firefighting vehicles and firefighters will parade from one end of the downtown to the other on Saturday for a revival of what used to be known as the Biloxi Fireman’s Day Parade.

Now known as the Biloxi Firefighters Parade, the event will include a Saturday morning children’s fishing rodeo, a display of firefighting vehicles at Point Cadet Plaza, and a 2 p.m. parade from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Municipal Building on MLK Boulevard to the fire museum at the western end of Howard Avenue.

Grand marshal of the parade will be Jesse Arbogast, the Ocean Springs youth who was attacked by a shark in Pensacola a couple of years ago. Abrogast’s first public appearance after the attack was at the fire museum, which is known as the West End Hose Co. No. 3 Fire Museum and Education Center.

Arbogast is the nephew of Biloxi Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Boney.

Also in the parade will be the new Miss Flame, the revival of a competition for young women that dates back to the fire department’s volunteer days.

The entire event is being organized by volunteers from the fire museum and sponsored by the city. For more information about entering the parade, contact Nancy K. Boney at 435-6363 or 365-6363.

In recent years, the city had been staging its firefighters parade in conjunction with Fire Prevention Month in October, but Biloxi’s parade has been sidetracked in recent years by the threat of hurricanes and 9-11.

“We felt that it was important to get it back on track,” said Battalion Chief Boney. “We want it to be as big an event as it was decades ago, and we also wanted to revive some of the old customs, like the Miss Flame contest, and get it back to the original date in September. We’re looking forward to this event growing bigger each year and involving more fire departments and more of the public.”

Here’s a schedule of events for this year:

Friday, Sept. 19

Miss Flame Awards Ceremony

Saturday, Sept. 20

7 to 9:30 a.m.: Kids Fishing Rodeo, near the JL Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium at Marina Point.

8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Static Display, demonstrations, fishing rodeo awards and games at Point Cadet Plaza

1:30 p.m.: Parade begins forming on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, east of Main Street

2 p.m.: Parade rolls through downtown Biloxi, ending at the West End Hose Co.No. 3 Fire Museum, where an open house will be held, with music and a reception hosted by Beau Rivage Resort and Casino.

To learn more about the fire museum, click here.

You can also hear more about the parade and special events, in the
city’s weekly webcast, which was taped this morning. To listen, click here.