Special events ordinances move forward

This week, the Biloxi City Council approved three special events ordinances pertaining to parades, rental of municipal facilities, and mobile food vending that occur with small and large events in Biloxi.

After a lengthy discussion, and the thrice tabling of the ordinances, the special events ordinances were passed. The rental of municipal facilities ordinance is now in effect and the parades and mobile food vending ordinances take effect 30 days from Tuesday, October 24, 2023.

Throughout the year, numerous events are held in Biloxi that impact roadways and create large crowds. Every week, there usually are multiple events taking place in the city, small or large, that require city resources.

The special events ordinances were created to put rules and requirements in place to give organizers expectations to follow and protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents and visitors. It also helps to ensure that city resources are not overstrained. The first step for organizers is to contact the event coordinator at the Biloxi Police Department.

“We want to make sure everyone is on the same page,” Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich said. “The special events coordinator will have the tools for events, to schedule events in the right way to not overbook or overstress the tools we have.”

— Permitting requirements are based on five tiers. The five tiers are categorized based on the number of extra personnel hours needed and the anticipated attendees. This ranges from more than 75 extra personnel hours and/or anticipated attendance for more than 1000 persons to no city services required.

— Any person or organization that wants to hold an event in Biloxi is to request a special event permit.

— Applying for a special events permit is done by filling out an application with the Special Events Coordinator, Capt. Everett.

— Applications must be completed within a timeline based on the tier the event falls under. Timelines range from 30 to 60 days prior to the event to 120 to 360 days prior to the event, depending on the anticipated attendees and the number of extra personnel hours needed.

— Completed permit applications will be provided to the Special Events Committee for recommendation of approval, conditional approval, or denial by the Mayor’s office/City Administration.

Prior to the approval of these ordinances, the city often used a parade ordinance as a guideline for events.

“We are procedurally doing the right thing to ensure safety and welcome our visitors to enjoy this safe, friendly, and beautiful city,” Mayor Gilich said after the city council meeting on Tuesday.

Those interested in holding an event in Biloxi should contact Capt. Everett at geverett@biloxi.ms.us or 228-702-3121.

The Land Development Ordinances regarding recreational vehicles, storage or parking of heavy trucks, trailers, major equipment, or mobile homes were removed from the agenda on Tuesday because of language changes resulting from the approved ordinances. The LDOs will go to the planning commission before returning to the council.
See the approved Parades ordinance
See the approved ordinance pertaining to the rental of municipal facilities
See the approved Mobile Food Vending Ordinance
See the recording of Tuesday’s City Council meeting