Parade primer: Weather, route and safety, plus photos

The Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade, boasting a lineup of more than a hundred units, will begin rolling through the streets of downtown Biloxi at 1 this afternoon. The Krewe of Neptune, with 24 floats, rolls immediately afterward, around 3 p.m.

The weather: The National Weather Service is forecasting a 70 percent chance of rain, with a few showers early, becoming a steady light rain later in the day. Temperatures are expected to be cold, with a high of 46. Winds will be north-northeast, 5 to 10 mph.

The route: To see the parade route, along with locations for portable restrooms and first-aid stations, click here.

Road closures: I-110 south of Division Street will be closing at 11 a.m. on Mardi Gras Day, and the section of U.S. 90 from east of Main Street to the Biloxi City Cemetery will be limited to two lanes of two-way traffic beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Walking parade: A prelude to Fat Tuesday

The future of Mardi Gras, the youngsters of the community, took to the streets Monday in the Children’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade. To see dozens of photos from the parade, click here.

Mardi Gras safety tips: Before, during and after the parade

The City of Biloxi encourages you to have a spirited-yet-safe time at Mardi Gras. In order to make the occasion a safe one, the Biloxi Police Department asks that you follow these suggestions, which are more than suggestions in many cases:

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. Dozens of 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.