Point Cadet Plaza becoming the hot spot for visiting groups

Hundreds of people in town for conventions this week discovered something that locals already knew: Point Cadet Plaza is the place to be for an outdoor event.

With its large shade-filled pavilion, breezes wafting across the Biloxi Bay, a nearby splash pad and playground for children, and convenient restrooms, it has everything. And don’t forget it’s all set against a backdrop of the gleaming Biloxi Bay Bridge.

Just this week,  Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson welcomed representatives from sheriff’s departments across the state for a shrimp boil, and the Mississippi Rural Water Association held its own  shrimp boil for a hundred visitors attending that state convention. And more events are already on the books.

In fact, among the growing number of convention bookings, the plaza is home to eight annual events, led by the Biloxi Seafood Festival and Biloxi Shrimp Festival, with dozens of smaller events throughout the year. In fact, Point Cadet already has events booked well into 2017.

“This is a show place. When people are coming across the Biloxi Bay Bridge, this is one of the first things they see, along with the Golden Nugget and Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum,” Parks and Recreation Director Cheryl Bell said. “It’s a great gateway into the city.”

The waterfront plaza is highlighted by a 10,000-square foot open-air pavilion, splash pad and playground equipment on a rubberized surface, a waterfront promenade, restrooms and benches.

“I am happy to say, many individuals and organizations are making Point Cadet Plaza their new go to place,’ Reservationist Tina Cowart said.

“The Antique Auto and Engine Club has made Point Cadet Plaza their home once again.  This was one of many who annually reserved the site before Hurricane Katrina,”  Cowart added.  “It brought a smile to my face when one of the group organizers said, ‘We want to come back, how we can make that happen?'”

The plaza is booked for the rest of the year, including for the annual Biloxi Seafood Festival and has numerous reservations for next year.

Before Katrina, Point Cadet Plaza was a huge former aircraft hangar that had been used for many community festivals, gathering and the Charles R. Hegwood Biloxi Farmers Market. Also, between 1934 and 1947, a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station was located on Biloxi’s Point Cadet.
See early images of the plaza