It’s here! Seafood Fest returns home this weekend

Between 25,000 and 30,000 people are expected to visit the Biloxi Seafood Festival this weekend, marking the return of the popular two-day event to its pre-Katrina location on Point Cadet.

The festival, which begins Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., will feature myriad seafood dishes, live entertainment, and more than a hundred arts and crafts vendors. On Saturday at midday, there’s the annual cornhole competition, and on Sunday afternoon, the gumbo championship, where festgoers can pay one price to sample all competing entries and vote for a People’s Choice winner.

But the big news is that the festival, after nine years at the Town Green, returns to Point Cadet Plaza, where the city has used federal funds to construct a waterfront park with an open-air pavilion, children’s playground, splash pad and a waterfront promenade, where the Biloxi Bay Bridge serves as a picturesque backdrop. The site is also home to the city’s Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, which opened earlier this summer and offers half-price admission this weekend.

Admission to the festival is $15 for a two-day all-access wristband, which can be purchased for $12.50 today at any branch of the Peoples Bank. At the gate, adults will pay $5 before 4 p.m. Saturday ($10 after 4 p.m.). Children under 12 are admitted for free, and military members get a $1 discount on admission.
See the entertainment lineup
See what else is on tap this weekend


City Desk webcast: Talk of spending and seafood

Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols discusses the mayor’s veto of the municipal budget, and Biloxi Chamber Director Rachael Seymour has the inside story on what you’ll see at the Biloxi Seafood Festival in this week’s City Desk webcast.
Listen to the 13-minute program


Development report: Permits OK’d for St. Michael’s, other projects

By Jerry Creel, Community Development Director

This week in economic development, our department issued building permits for the new Saint Michael’s Parish Life Center, renovations for the VIP area at the Beau Rivage’, exterior repairs to the Beauvoir Manor, construction of the new Lighthouse Park Pavilion, and the new City of Biloxi Public Works Maintenance Building and Vehicle Shop.

Also, we have completed the plans review for the expansion and improvements to the Biloxi Regional Hospital Outpatient area, and for the new conference area at the Boomtown Casino. So Far, this week, we have issued 53 building permits with a total construction valuation of $7 million dollars.


Fireman’s Day Parade set for Sept. 20

The Biloxi Fireman’s Day Parade, a tradition that once was more popular than the city’s Mardi Gras parades, will roll through downtown Biloxi on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 20.

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said fire departments from across south Mississippi are expected to be represented in the  11 a.m. parade, which begins on Lameuse Street near the  Biloxi Town Green, travels northward to MLK Boulevard, to Howard Avenue and ends at the Biloxi Fire Museum, on Howard Avenue a block east of Porter Avenue.

After the parade, a reception will be held at the fire museum, where free tours also will be available.

“The Fireman’s Day Parade has a lot of history, just as much as the Biloxi Fire Department,” said Boney, an aficionado of fire department history and one of the driving forces behind the fire museum, which is actually named West End Hose Co. No. 3 Fire Museum.

“The fire stations across the city were community gathering places, the centers of each neighborhood,” Boney said. “They were voting precincts, they were usually near schools, and some of them even had meeting rooms for wedding receptions and other family gatherings. Today, the city offers places like the Biloxi Visitors Centers or the Civic Center, but the fire departments are still important parts of the neighborhood.

“And that’s what this parade is all about – a celebration of our history, and the men and women that many look at as our hometown heroes.

“We’re hoping to see a good turnout, for people to bring out the families and see a collection of new and antique fire trucks, and make a fun day of it.”
See the fire museum online
Visit the Biloxi Fire Department Facebook page


Council to face budget, finance issues

Members of the Biloxi City Council will face more than two dozen measures when they meet Tuesday afternoon.

Among the issues: Mayor A.J. Holloway’s proposed budget compromise, an agreement to partner with Harrison County and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art for an East Biloxi Senior Center, and establishing a $7 million line of credit to cover payment delays with FEMA and MEMA-funded projects.
See the City Council agenda and supporting documents


News and notes

Traffic update: See the latest report on roadwork throughout the city in the Public Works Department’s Traffic Update, posted each weekday morning on the city web site. To see it now, click here.

Katie does Biloxi: It’s short of “going viral,” but a video of Katie Couric’s tour of Biloxi days after Katrina has been seen by thousands and shared three dozen times on Facebook.  To see it for yourself, click here.

Like it now:  Fast-breaking news and traffic updates are usually passed along through the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Visit the city’s Facebook page by clicking here, and click Like once you’re there. You can also follow the city on Twitter at @CityofBiloxi.

Casino Hopper: Coast Transit today announced its improved Casino Hopper schedule. To see the schedule, click here.