Gilich: Thanks to many for such a great air show

“I think it was universally viewed as a success,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich says of the weekend’s Blues Over Biloxi air show. “It was exciting for everyone, all of the families that went down to the beach and to Point Cadet, the tourism industry that saw an occupancy rate that will probably be in the high 90s, and for our city workers, who had a great plan and made it work.”

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller estimates that as many as 85,000 people turned out for the air show on Saturday and 65,000 were on the waterfront Sunday. Additionally, between 700 and 1,000 boaters watched from north and south of Deer Island.

“The statistics – the minimal amount of arrests and traffic tickets for such a large crowd – show that it was a hugely successful event,” Gilich declared. “And now, we’ll reap the benefits of the good experience our visitors had. You have to remember, we had people from Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and as far away as Vancleave. They’re all going to go home with great memories of this exciting event.”

When air show promoters first approached the city a year ago, Gilich liked the idea of Biloxi hosting an air show over the waterfront, and Harrah’s Gulf Coast, the Blind Tiger and a host of other sponsors helped make it happen.

Added the mayor: “We also want to thank the public. They followed the signs to the public parking. They were careful crossing the highway, and, finally, they were generally patient at the end of the air show, when we saw the heaviest traffic on our roadways.”
Video: A look back at Blues Over Biloxi
Gallery: Images from Blues Over Biloxi


Blues Over Biloxi: By the numbers

Here are some numbers from the Blues Over Biloxi weekend:

Crowd estimate: 150,000 over two days (85,000 Saturday and 65,000 Sunday).

Boats on the water: Between 700 and 1,000 Saturday, and between 500 and 700 Sunday.

Emergency medical responses by Biloxi Fire Department: 65, primarily consisted of heat-related calls.

Traffic tickets issued by Biloxi Police Department:  8, all parking.

Arrests by Biloxi Police Department:  2 (marijuana possession and disorderly conduct).

Police officers on event detail at peak times: 89. (Seventy were Biloxi Police officers, remainder were from Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, Gulfport Police, and Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.)

Firefighters on event details at peak times: 22 firefighters.

Visiting boats in city-operated harbors and marinas: 102

Barricades used: 575 eight-foot steed barricades.

Feet of rope lines:  650 rope hangers to accommodate 9,900 feet of rope.

Traffic cones: 387 cones, plus 75 No Parking signs and 50 Pedestrian Crossing signs. 


City Council faces host of issues Tuesday

Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich will be asking the Biloxi City Council on Tuesday to approve three key measures, including a pilot program to help create downtown residents and a measure that would ask the state Legislature to protect local governments across the state from sales tax revenue lost to internet sales.

The mayor also will be asking the City Council to create a coding academy, similar to successful programs in Water Valley and Jackson, that after one year would create a class of 15 to 20 high school graduates eligible for private-sector jobs that pay at least $50,000 a year.

In total, the mayor is asking the council to use the city’s existing Economic Development Security fund, money set aside from the city’s initial BP settlement, a total of $180,000 for the coding academy, incentive to create 20 downtown housing units using a $25,000 grant per unit, $25,000 downtown faƧade program, and $350,000 to help with planning for Biloxi’s waterfront at Point Cadet.  
See the City Council agenda and supporting documents


News & Notes: Weekly report, immunization fair

The week that was: Last week, the Fire Department answered 186 calls for service, including 99 medical emergencies and six fires; the Police Department handled 2,152 calls for service; the Community Development Department issued 51 building permits with a construction valuation of nearly $240,000; and the Engineering Department continued to progress on projects throughout the city.  To see the reports covering last week, click here. 

Immunization Fair:  The Biloxi Excel By 5 continues with its multi-day Immunization Fair.  On Tuesday, the fair will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Coastal Family Health Center on Division Street and on Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to noon at Lopez School. To see the flyer, click here.