Plenty of parading between now and Fat Tuesday

Weather permitting, as many as nine parades will roll on the Coast this weekend, leading up to Fat Tuesday, when tens of thousands will gather along streets in downtown Biloxi for the city’s huge Mardi Gras Day parade.

And public safety leaders in Biloxi are asking the parade-goers to have a spirited-yet-safe celebration.

“We have a great family-oriented Mardi Gras here in Biloxi,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said, “and we’re hoping for great weather, another great turnout, and, most importantly a safe Mardi Gras.”

Biloxi Police ask that those planning to attend the downtown Biloxi parade — a 1 p.m. procession organized by the Gulf Coast Carnival Association — arrive well before noon because traffic will be heavy into the city, and police will begin closing many downtown streets shortly after noon.

Biloxi’s parades will actually begin Monday with the children’s walking parade, which begins at 11 a.m. at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Lameuse Street and proceeds several blocks south on Lameuse Street to the Biloxi Town Green. For details on this parade,

The Mardi Gras Day parade, which also will feature floats from the Krewe of Neptune, begins at 1 p.m. To see the route, click here.

To see Mardi Gras safety tips, click here.

To get an idea of the city’s Mardi Gras preparations along the parade route, click here.

To see Mardi Gras parade maps for along the Gulf Coast, as compiled by the Sun Herald, click here.

Also this weekend: You’ll find concerts by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, and the Doobie Brothers at Hard Rock; shows by Ronnie McDowell & The Jordanaires, and George Lopez at IP.

To read details on these events and others, courtesy of listings from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.

News and notes

Great balls of fire: The nighttime sky near the Biloxi Sports Complex was aglow this week as Biloxi firefighters underwent training to improve their ability to deal with propane and natural gas fires. To learn more about the training and to see a gallery of three-dozen dramatic photos taken by Fire Chief David Roberts, click here.

City Desk webcast: On Monday, Mayor A.J. Holloway promised a year of ribbon cuttings and building dedications, and days later he and City Councilmembers were touring the new Kroc Center in east Biloxi and cutting a ribbon on the new Dusti Bonge Foundation headquarters in downtown Biloxi. Hear a recap of the mayor’s State of the City address and other news in this week’s City Desk webcast. To listen to the 25-minute program, click here.

Blue Angels: Keesler is making plans for Angels Over the Bay Air Show and Open House, a Blue Angels-headlined event that will mark Keesler’s 70th anniversary. It all takes place at Keesler and over the skies of Biloxi on March 19-20. To read more, click here.

Traffic update: To see the latest on road work in and around the city, click here.