Lighthouse lighting ceremony is today at 5:30

A visit from a holiday grinch aside, the city ushers in the Christmas season this afternoon with the lighting of the Biloxi Lighthouse with 1960s-era decorations. 

The decorations — a dozen red-and-silver garlands streaming from the top to bottom of the lighthouse and two horizontal garlands keeping them all in place — were inspired by a Joe Moran Family photograph of the lighthouse from New Year’s Eve 1963.

“It’s nostalgic,” said Visitors Center Bill Raymond. “It reminds me of a net, which is kind of appropo for Biloxi being a fishing community.”

However, it almost wasn’t to be. The two horizontal garlands — called “swags” — were left unrolled near the lighthouse and scheduled to be installed the next day.  Said Raymond: “Someone apparently decided we didn’t need those garlands and carried them off. Fortunately, the Biloxi police made a quick arrest and the cust0m-made garland was retrieved.”

The city had decided to resume the Christmas decorating of the lighthouse last year, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moran photo. The garland was made specially to match colors from that photo.

Those attending the 5:30 ceremony this afternoon will be treated to cookies and hot chocolate, with an appearance by Santa.


Children’s parade will have a few surprises 

Expect to see a few new additions to this year’s annual Children’s Christmas Parade in downtown Biloxi, including a three-wheeled bicycle elf, singers, plenty of hay wagons and a selection of vintage fire trucks.

And, of course, you’ll see 275 children on parade when the 11-unit procession begins rolling at 6 o’clock Friday evening.

“We have great participation as far as the children are concerned,” said Sherry Bell, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director, “but what we really want to see is a line of parents and visitors along the parade route. We’re adding a few new things – the elf on a trike, for instance – to help make this parade extra special, and of course it all wraps up with the lighting of the Town Green.”

Parade will begin at Dr. Frank G. Gruich Sr. Center, 591 Howard Ave., travel west on Howard Avenue. through the Vieux Marche, turn south on Reynoir, east on Jackson, south on Lameuse St. and end at the Town Green, where the Lighting of the Green will take place.

The Town Green lighting gets underway once the children’s parade arrives. Santa will be on hand to oversee decorating and lighting of the tree. Jolly Ol’ St. Nick also will be giving away treats, and hot chocolate will be served. Handmade ornaments for the tree are welcome.
See the overall holiday lineup in Biloxi


‘Come learn with Santa’ and Excel by 5 on Saturday

The Biloxi Excel By 5 Coalition will host its annual holiday event, “Come Learn with Santa,” Saturday, Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at Lopez School, 140 St. John Ave, Biloxi.

In addition to  “Come Learn with Santa,” Biloxi Excel by 5 will be celebrating re-certification.

Children up to age 5 can participate in a variety of Christmas scheduled events:

— 9 to 11 a.m.: Pictures with Santa Claus.

— 9 to 11:30 a.m.: Children participate in a variety of Christmas activities, including making handprint keepsakes, decorating Christmas ornaments, and other age-appropriate holiday activities.

— 11:30 a.m. to noon: Read, sing, and snack with Santa Claus and his helpers.

“Come Learn with Santa” is offered to all children birth to 5 years of age free of charge and is sponsored by Biloxi Excel by 5, the City of Biloxi, Biloxi Public Schools, IP Casino Resort Spa, and Beau Rivage Resort and Casino.

Details: Susan Hunt at 228-297-6808 or; or Cheryl Bell at 228-388-7170 or