Gulf Coast Carnival rolls at 1 p.m.

Gulf Coast Carnival Association, with a scheduled lineup of 112 units, rolls at 1 p.m. through downtown Biloxi on Tuesday, Mardi Gras Day, and Biloxi Police Chief John Miller has some advice for paradegoers:

“Be safe,” he says. “Be courteous. Be patient. Stay behind the barricades, and if there aren’t any barricades, stay on the sidewalk. Don’t get in the way of the floats, and report anything you see – whether it’s someone acting erratically or any dangerous situation – to a nearby police officer.”

Tens of thousands of paradegoers – 75,000 to 85,000 is the norm – are expected to line the 2.8-mile route that snakes through downtown Biloxi before making its way down U.S. 90 to the Biloxi Lighthouse and returning downtown on Howard Avenue.

The National Weather Service says there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday, and the day will be otherwise cloudy, with a high near 66.

Weather has been a factor in years past. Last year, police said as few as 50,000 attended the parade because of chilly conditions. In 2013, intermittent showers and overcast skies produced a crowd estimate of 45,000, and in 2014 police say only 35,000 paradegoers, about half the normal crowd, showed up because cold and wet conditions.

The biggest Biloxi crowd in recent years was for the Blue Angels air show, “Blues over Biloxi,” which attracted 150,000 on land and another 700 to 1,000 boaters near Deer Island over two days in July 2018.

Fat Tuesday traffic: For Carnival and traffic advisories through the city’s free text messaging service, text BILOXI to 888777.
See the parade route
Review safety tips for before, during and after parade
Gallery: Photos from GCCA 2019

Here’s when and where streets will close

The Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and should take three hours to complete the route, police estimate. Here are key elements to the traffic plan:

11:30 a.m. – Police close I-110 south at Division Street and U.S. 90 converted to two-lane traffic between Bellman Street and Gill Avenue.

12:30 p.m. – Parade route closes to traffic. Lameuse Street between Jackson and Water streets is closed for entertainment in front of City Hall.

1 p.m. – Parade begins at Esters Boulevard and Main Street, heading south on Main.

2 p.m. – Last parade unit should be north on Lameuse. Traffic lights on U.S. 90 placed in flashing mode; officers will control U.S. 90 intersections south of downtown. No northbound travel off U.S. 90 onto downtown streets, except at I-110. Any traffic attempting to enter U.S. 90 near downtown will be forced eastbound. Traffic already westbound on U.S. 90 will be allowed to remain westbound.

3:30 p.m. – Last parade unit should pass under the I-110 on U.S. 90 westbound.  No northbound traffic allowed on Caillavet Street until end of the parade.

4 p.m. – Last parade unit should be northbound on Porter Avenue. Police will determine when U.S. 90 westbound from U.S. 90 can re-open.

5 p.m. – Last parade unit should be at Esters and Caillavet, which is the end of the route.