Mardi Gras safety, traffic: What you need to know

Thousands of parade goers will be in downtown Biloxi this weekend for the annual Neptune Mardi Gras parade and just as city crews finish their preparations, the Biloxi Police Department asks paradegoers when making their plans, keep safety in mind. 

“Our role is to make sure everyone has a safe time,” Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said, “and one of the ways to do that is to provide as much information about the events themselves. We want to help visitors, residents and business owners enjoy themselves in our city, in a safe manner.”

Before the parade

— Carpool and anticipate traffic delays. Appoint a designated driver. Obey the commands of officers at intersections. Be aware that many streets will be closed and traffic will be re-routed in downtown Biloxi.

— Park only in legal parking spaces. Make sure that your parked vehicle provides ample room for passing vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Keep in mind that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles require wide berths for maneuvering streets in the older, downtown section of Biloxi.

— Do not park too close to the railroad tracks. In the past, trains have had to be halted and vehicles towed because motorists had parked too close to the train tracks.

— Do not park in the Biloxi City Cemetery north or south of the railroad tracks. No parking is allowed there.

During the parade

— Wear comfortable and layered clothing. Don’t wear loose-fitting or flashy jewelry.

— It is unlawful to cross police barricades, which line most areas of the parade route. Follow any instructions police give you. Officers from Biloxi as well as from neighboring cities and jurisdictions will be posted along the parade route.

— Remember, it is unlawful for minors — anyone under 21 years of age — to consume alcoholic beverages.

— Leave your animals at home, unless they are registered entrants in the parades. It is unlawful to bring reptiles or other animals to parades. Loud noises and crowded streets put undue stress on animals.

— Do not bring glass containers to the parade. Use plastic instead. — Place any refuse in trash cans along the parade route.

— Use portable restrooms along the parade route. A total of 60 portable restrooms have been positioned along the route. Also, you can find medical assistance at locations along the route. In the event of lost children, contact the nearest police officer. Remember what your child was wearing.

After the parade

— Do not attempt to operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of alcohol.

— Follow the directions of officers posted along the routes. Many streets will still be closed and traffic may still be re-routed immediately after the parade.

— Expect traffic delays and heavy traffic immediately after the parade.

— Drive defensively and courteously.


Mardi Gras traffic plan

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, U.S. 90 will be reduced to two-way traffic from Main Street White Avenue. The Neptune parade will roll at 5:30 p.m. traveling from Main Street and travels to Caillavet Street.  

Then on Tuesday, beginning at 11 a.m., U.S. 90 will be reduced to two-way traffic from Porter Avenue to Main Street and at noon, I-110 will be closed to southbound traffic at Division. The Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade will roll at 1 p.m. from Main Street to Porter Avenue and end on Caillavet Street.

This traffic plan is nothing new to longtime paradegoers. The city employs a number of traffic plans for special events to ensure traffic does not impede response times for emergency vehicles and that traffic moves safely.

In addition to traffic moving safely, police are asking everyone to be safe before, during and after the parades. 

Said Police Chief John Miller: “The bottom line is common courtesy and respect for others. Be careful where you park, don’t drink and drive, and, by all means, obey police officers when you encounter them directing traffic.
See the 2019 Mardi Gras traffic plan
See the Neptune parade route
See the GCCA parade route
Video: See the Krewe of Barricades