Holloway thanks paradegoers for safe celebration

City work crews were on downtown streets early Wednesday morning picking up tons of debris left over from Biloxi’s three parades on Fat Tuesday, and Mayor A.J. Holloway said he was thankful that the city enjoyed a safe and relatively trouble-free celebration.

“We had great weather, well-organized parades and the crowd was spirited but well behaved overall,” said Holloway, who watched the parades from City Hall, where he toasted float-riding royalty from Gulf Coast Carnival Association and the Krewe of Neptune.

Police estimated the crowd was as many as 75,000 people. Sixty-two adults and 21 juveniles were arrested, mostly for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness or underage drinking.

The majority of the cleanup was completed by mid-afternoon, but a section of bleachers will remain at City Hall for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The city’s growing use of barricades is helping make Mardi Gras safer, Holloway said. A thousand eight-foot metal barricades were used this year, including barricades borrowed from the cities of Pass Christian and d’Iberville, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, and the Coast Coliseum. Also in use Mardi Gras Day were 165 10-foot wooden barricades, 8,000 feet of temporary fencing and 15,000 feet of caution tape.

Said Holloway: “Everything went well this year, and that’s due in no small part to the cooperation of the paradegoers. For that, I say thank you.”