Runners of all styles and sizes expected for Arbor Day events

Hundreds of runners — some physically fit and some physically and mentally challenged — are expected to take part in the Arbor Day 5K Run, 1-mile health walk and quarter-mile ability challenge this weekend in downtown Biloxi.

The 5K run, a Gulf Coast Running Club event that this year marks its 23rd year, was joined last year by a disability fair on the Town Green. The 5K run will begin at 9 a.m.; and the one-mile health run/walk/roll and quarter-mile ability challenge will begin at 9:45 a.m.

“We’re expecting about 200 runners for the 5K, and I think we may have as many as 250 turn out for the quarter-mile challenge for the mentally and physically challenged,” said Parks and Recreation Director Sherry Bell. “We’re also going to have some informational booths and some fun stuff to do on the Town Green for those with disabilities.”

City Arborist Eric Nolan said nearly 350 trees — Southern Magnolia, Bald Cypress and River Birch — will be given away after the races at 10 a.m. The trees are expected to go quickly, Nolan said.

Those interested will be required to fill out an adoption form — get one by clicking here — promising to care for the tree.

For information about the Arbor Day 5K and 1-mile health walk, and the disability fair — click here.

State of the City 2011: Fastest and largest sellout ever

Biloxi Bay Chamber director Tina Ross-Seamens added another 30 seats to Monday’s State of the City luncheon, which had sold out a week ago, but the additional tickets were gone before the word could even spread.

An audience of 700 is expected to be on hand Monday at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino when Mayor A.J. Holloway presents the annual address. Seating begins at 11 a.m. and the program begins at 11:30.

“The response this year has been tremendous,” Seamens said. “We want to thank everyone for making this the largest and quickest sellout in the 21-year history of the event.”

Holloway, meantime, is planning to provide a 30-minute presentation that will outline a variety of issues and progress in Biloxi.

Said the mayor: “We’re going to be talking about three things — what we’ve done, what we’re doing and what we’re going to be doing.”

SOTC TV: Although the State of the City luncheon is a Biloxi Bay Chamber ticketed affair, the mayor’s presentation is also available by other means. Cable One will carry the address on Tuesday at noon, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Cable 13 in Biloxi, and video and text of the presentation will be made available on the city web site.

Weekend preview: Parades, music and outdoor assessories

The huge garden and patio show takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center, and five parades will roll on the Gulf Coast, including the Second Liners in east Biloxi.

Meantime, at Biloxi casinos this weekend you’ll find Taylor Hicks, the Guess Who, Nelson & Jani Lane, Chrisette Michele and a Broadway opus.

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

Biloxi Mardi Gras news and notes: Secondliners, young and otherwise

Mardi Gras for youngsters, Part 1: The city’s Parks & Recreation Department will stage the Children’s Mardi Gras Ball this evening from 6 to 8 at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center. A king and queen will be crowned, and all youngsters between ages 6 and 8 are invited to attend. To read more, click here.

Mardi Gras for youngsters, Part 2: Parents, it’s not too late to participate in the annual Children’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade, which takes place in downtown Biloxi
on Saturday, March 5. In fact, you can register your child — 12 and younger –that morning. For details on time and theme, click here.

Second Liners on Saturday: The Second Liners Mardi Gras Club will parade from Nichols Drive to Esters Boulevard, where the group will stage a Mardi Gras Block Party at Busch Park on Saturday. The parade will begin around 1 p.m.

The Mardi Gras Day route and more: You can see the parade route for Gulf Coast Carnival Association and Neptune by clicking here.

Other news and notes

State of development: Momentum is picking up in Biloxi, says Community Development Director Jerry Creel in this week’s City Desk webcast. Creel discusses the proposed Hidden Springs development in Woolmarket and a host of other pending projects. You’ll also hear news about the city’s tax exemption program for businesses, and the latest economic indicators. To listen to the 25-minute program, click here.

Biloxi baseball: The experience-laden Biloxi High School baseball squad launches its season this evening by hosting the D’Iberville Warriors in the Biloxi Classic. Read more about the team and Coach Kevin Burdine’s expectations by clicking here.

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

Swetman repairs: The city this week awarded a $127,000 contract to FMA Inc. for exterior repairs to the municipal-owned Swetman House in west Biloxi.