Hiller Park, Edgewater Mall expect huge crowds

The heavy rainfall forecast for Halloween night is expected to actually attract more trick or treaters to two Halloween events, organizers say.

Tonight’s Halloween in Hiller is actually expanding to two softball fields at Hiller Park instead of one to accommodate the expected 3,000 people and to help the flow of visitors.  On Saturday night, Edgewater Mall is expecting thousands of trick or treaters to escape the rain by trick or treating inside the mall.

The Hiller Park event, sponsored by the city and the Councilmember Dixie Newman-led Friends of Hiller Park, runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and begins with a costume contest for ages up to 11. Visitors also will find hayrides and fire truck rides, children’s games and inflatables, and the showing of the movie “Hotel Transylvania” at dusk. Food will be available for a minimal fee.

“Last year, we had people lined up from the Barbara Ferrill softball fields to the tennis courts about two football fields away,” said Cheryl Bell, the city’s Parks and Recreation director. “This year, we’ll have nearly 50 booths giving out treats, with the children’s games on one field and we’ll have the movie on the other field.”

Minimally-priced concessions will be available, along with a $2 photo booth, with all proceeds to the Hiller Park restoration fund.

Said Bell: “With the weather forecast looking the way it does for Saturday, we think they’ll all be coming out.”


Edgewater Mall: Weather-proof trick or treating

Edgewater Mall has given away as many as 1,500 treat bags each Halloween, but this year mall managers think they’ll have even more people at their indoor trick or treating because of the rainy forecast for Saturday night.

The mall hosts its annual trick or treating Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. where the mall’s 107 merchants will turn some of the million-square feet of retail into a huge, weather-proof playground of costumed characters.

And, mall Marketing Manager Michelle Rogers says, it’s not just about the kids.

“It’s always fun to watch how involved the parents get,” Rogers says. “A lot of parents come in costumes related to their kids, whether it’s a super hero or cowboy or whatever.

“It’s also amazing to see how generally organized it is, despite the chaotic environment. Everybody just seems to know to line up and go to each merchant and let them toss in candy. It snakes around the inside of the mall, and, of course, we have a lot of special treats at our guest services desk. We want people to leave here with special memories.”

To make sure of that, the mall even sponsors a photo booth offering free photos of the costumed trick or treaters. Says Rogers: “Three years ago we decided to do something extra and we have a Big Top photo booth so you can leave with concrete memories of your special occasion here at Edgewater Mall.”


Seafood Museum hosts ‘Halloween Night at the Museum’

The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum will host “Halloween Night at the Museum” tonight from 7 to 11 p.m., featuring music by Ruffwater, a smorgasbord of “horror’derves, witches brew with an open bar, a costume contest and giveaways.

The event is $30 per person or $50 per couple and is open to adults only. Make your reservations now: 228-435-6320.
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DRC reviews proposed 78-room La Quinta

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

This week in community development, the Development Review Committee was presented with the preliminary site plan for the proposed La Quinta Hotel to be located at the northwest corner of Beach Boulevard and Hopkins. The new hotel will be four stories in height and will have 78 rooms. Also at DRC, the committee reviewed a proposed expansion of the Big Play Family Fun Center at Beach Boulevard and Veterans. The new structure will include the addition of a bowling alley, expanded arcade, laser tag, and a restaurant/bar.

At the November 5 Planning Commission Meeting, the commission will conduct public hearings to consider a text amendment for a short term rental overlay district. The proposed district would be located on the peninsula east of Caillavet Street. At the same meeting, the commission will consider an application for the vacation of Camille Street in the downtown district. The proposed vacation is necessary for the construction of a new luxury hotel.

Remodeling plans were received this week for total upgrades to the lobby and 499 guest rooms at Harrah’s Casino. The overall $14 million dollar project will involve $4 million in permitted renovations. Building permits were issued this week for 4 new single family houses, and plans were received for 6 more.


City hosts special-needs kickball series

The Parks and Recreation Department is continuing its punt on the kickball sport by hosting a Special Needs Kickball series.

Games are open to youths and adults with mental or physical disabilities and are played every Tuesday through mid-December from 6-8 p.m. at the Barbara Ferrill Softball Fields in Hiller Park.

Individuals may register on Tuesdays prior to each game at the park’s softball fields located at 1940 Edgers Road. Admission is free and uniforms are provided.

Stated Parks and Recreation Director Cheryl Bell, “We already have 40 players registered and are welcoming more to sign up and join us on Tuesday nights.”

For more information about Special Needs Kickball, call the Parks and Recreation office at 228-388-7170.
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News and notes

Weekend preview: For a look at ths lineup of entertaining diversions taking place this weekend, click here.

Podcasting: Infrastructure work in east Biloxi takes the spotlight again this week in the City Desk podcast. You’ll also get a preview of Halloween events. To listen to the program, click here

City Council meetings: The Biloxi City Council will have two meetings on Tuesday: a 3 p.m. meeting to discuss infrastructure work in east Biloxi, and a 6 p.m. meeting where the council faces an agenda of a dozen issues. To see the agendas for both meetings, click here.