Rain threat aside, air show remains on schedule

The National Weather Service says there’s an 80 percent chance of rain Saturday, mainly after 1 p.m., right about the time the Thunder over the Sound air show is scheduled to begin over the Biloxi Beach, but as of right now, the air show remains on schedule.

Any changes in the air show schedule will be transmitted through the city’s B-Alert texting service. To sign up for the free service, text BILOXI to 888777.

The free air show will begin at 8:30 Saturday and Sunday morning on the Keesler Air Force Base flight line, and then move to the beachfront on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. The show, which features more than a dozen flying acts, will be headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who are expected to be in the air at 3:30 each day.

Police are planning to implement the U.S. 90 traffic plan beginning Saturday and Sunday mornings. The lefthand lanes will be reserved for shuttle buses and emergency traffic; the public will use the righthand lanes.

Those planning to get close-up views of the dozen or so planes on display at Keesler must park at one of the five satellite parking areas on the Biloxi peninsula and use the free continuous shuttle service, which transports passengers to the flight line. Only those with Department of Defense-issued IDs can drive onto the base, and only two gates will be open: Meadows Avenue and Pass Road.

“The air show team is watching the weather closely,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said this afternoon from his City Hall office, as Thunderbirds screeched overhead outside, rehearsing for the shows this weekend.

“Obviously, safety of the pilots and our visitors will be the No. 1 concern, but we’re hopeful that we can get two days of great shows in. We had 150,000 people in town last year for the Blue Angels, and we’re expecting similar crowds for this weekend.

“The final call will not be made until Saturday, to be honest, but as of right now, all things are go.”

Besides the 80 percent chance of rainfall, the National Weather Service says the fast-moving system of inclement weather could produce rainfall amounts of a quarter and half inch and strong winds.

On Sunday, the weather service predicts a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms before 1 p.m.
See air show map
Video: See the satellite parking sites
Video: Get a preview from the Thunderbirds themselves
City Desk: Hear about the air show and more
See the air show traffic plan for U.S. 90
See air show website


News & notes: Weekend preview, council agenda, Lighthouse cam

Weekend preview: Thunder over the Sound will dominate the weekend, but a few other events also are taking place. To see the weekend lineup, click here.

Council agenda: The issue of short-term rentals is on the agenda for the City Council meeting next week. The council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall. To see the agenda and supporting documents, click here.

Lighthouse cam: To see a live view from inside the Biloxi Lighthouse, click here.