Plenty to do on land and on sea this weekend

You’ll find dozens of high-speed racing boats taking part in this weekend’s Smokin’ the Sound offshore races, which are more like near-shore races given the course stretches from the Isle of Capri to the Biloxi Lighthouse, only a few dozen yards from the shoreline.

Meanwhile, on shore, there’s the International Spring Festival at Our Lady of Fatima in west Biloxi, “Inherit the Wind” at Biloxi Little Theater, a hot rod show on the grounds of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the inaugural Bocce Ball Charity Tournament on the Biloxi Town Green.

On the casino front, there are shows by Cheap Trick and Bobby Vinton at the IP, and shows by Ronnie Dunn (from Brooks & Dunn) and The Fray at Hard Rock.

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

Olympians gathering at Keesler this weekend

Hundreds of Special Olympians from throughout Mississippi are now at Keesler to take part in this weekend’s Special Olympics State Summer Games.

Biloxi Police Assistant Chief Rodney McGilvary, a longtime board member of Special Olympics of Mississippi, saw the Olympic torch make its way into Keesler today precisely at noon, after law enforcers carried the torch along a route that began days ago at the north end of the state.

The torch will be used to ignite the huge Olympic flame this evening during the opening ceremony and parade of athletes at Keesler.

Athletes, chaperoned throughout the weekend by Keesler airmen, will take part in a variety of games throughout the day Saturday at Keesler.

Chief McGilvary speaks about Special Olympics in the City Desk webcast of May 5. You can find the May 5 program in the archives by clicking here.

Speaking of City Desk: Sam Bailey, the transportation director for Biloxi Public School, discusses the new traffic plan at North Bay Elementary School and issues involving school buses in this week’s City Desk webcast. To listen to the program, click here.

Council to consider new names for old highways

The Biloxi Planning Commission is recommending that the City Council change the names of a small part of old Highway 15 to Reece Bergeron Road, and the part of old Highway 67 north of the Woolmarket exit at I-10 to Joppa Shrine Boulevard or Shriners Boulevard.

The two issues are among nearly three dozen measures on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. The meeting, which will be held at City Hall, is open to the public. (For background on the street name changes, click here.)

Among the other issues scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting are approval for faƧade work to begin on eight downtown properties, a budget amendment for street repairs at Bent Oaks subdivision, and the proposed purchase of more than $100,000 in equipment for the Police Department, and $45,000 in equipment for the Parks and Recreation Department.

To see the complete agenda and available resolutions,

click here.

News and notes

Wonderland: Don’t forget Excel by 5’s “Trip to Wonderland,” with Alice and all of the other characters from “Alice in Wonderland,” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. For more information, click here.

Mayoral welcome: Mayor A.J. Holloway told an international audience this week that rebuilding the tourism infrastructure was the most important issue facing Biloxi and South Mississippi. Holloway mentioned several noteworthy attractions — Beauvoir, the Ohr-O’Keefe and Walter Anderson museums, and the pending Infinity center at Stennis — and said Biloxi had its own share of progress before showing a video re-tooled from this year’s State of the City. To see the video of progress shown to those attending the Mississippi Gulf Coast Development Summit, click here.

Calling all bikers: Actually, calling all bicyclists. Jim Farrell, Biloxi’s volunteer of the year and cycling enthusiast, has released a map of the route for Tuesday’s Biloxi Dinner Bike Route. You can see the downtown route and learn more about the month-long celebration of bike month in Biloxi by clicking here.

Swimming: It’s not too late to register for swimming lessons at the Biloxi Natatorium. Trained staffers offer courses for all ages and abilities. To find out how you or your family can participate, click here.