It may be raining more than beads this weekend

Rain is in the weather forecast for throughout the weekend, but parade organizers say that will not stop them from rolling.

The National Weather Service predicts a 70 to 80 percent chance of rain Saturday with a possible thunderstorm and temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to the lower 60s. 

“We are rolling rain or shine,” Krewe of Neptune captain Kenny Beverin said. “And we hope as we watch the latest forecasts, the weather may get better for the parade.”

Downtown Biloxi will actually see two parades on Saturday: The Second Liners Mardi Gras Club parade is scheduled to begin parading at noon and the Krewe of Neptune, with 70 units, will begin rolling at 5:30 p.m.

Beverin says safety is paramount, and as long as no lightning is present, the Clydesdales will be part of the parade again this year, along with more than 30 floats, 15 marching bands, and dance groups. Ole Miss head football coach Matt Luke, a Gulfport product, will serve as grand marshal.

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller suggests that parade-goers plan to arrive early and remember that most roadways connecting to the parade routes will be barricaded before the parades. 

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., U.S. 90 from Bellman to Reynoir streets will be reduced to two-way traffic to accommodate the Second Liners parade and again at 5 p.m., from White Avenue to Main Street.

Said Miller: “We want everyone to come and have a great time, but we want them to have a safe time, too.”

Elsewhere this weekend: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department hosts its annual Special Needs Mardi Gras Ball and Dance at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center, the annual Gulf Coast Winter Classics Horse Show takes place at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, Chaka Khan performs at the Beau Rivage and The Australian BeeGees Show will be at the IP.
See the Second Liners parade route
See the Neptune parade route
See the Mardi Gras safety tips and traffic plan handout
Safety: Before, during and after the parade


FAA: Drone operators should be aware of regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration has asked the Biloxi Police Department to be on the lookout for unauthorized drones and question operators, especially during upcoming Mardi Gras parades or any other large events.

“Essentially what we’ve been told is that there are regulations involving the use of drones, which the FAA considers aircraft,” Police Chief John Miller said. “And they’ve notified us that it’s our responsibility to take appropriate action in the interest of public safety.”

An FAA official briefed Biloxi officers this week about drone regulations. Drones must be registered with the FAA, and the craft must bear registration numbers.

Among the other regulations: Drone operators must notify any base or airport within five miles, no flying over people, no flying over moving traffic, no flying at night, no flying beyond the operator’s line of sight and no flying above 400 feet.

Said Miller: “The FAA has notified us that they can grant waivers for some of these regulations, but when officers see a drone they will be asking for documentation. They’re taking this very seriously.”
See the FAA regulations on drones