Spring Break weekend has arrived

Spring Break weekend is here and tens of thousands of visitors are expected in town cruising in cars and on foot along west beach for events in and around the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.

Police, who had originally planned to limit traffic on U.S. 90 to two lanes beginning at noon today, say the traffic continues to flow without the need top implement the city’s Spring Break traffic plan. “We’ve said all along that this would be a fluid plan,” Police John Miller said this afternoon, “and we see no reason to inconvenience people but once we see traffic becoming an issue, and we believe we will, we’ll implement the plan, which will be one lane eastbound and one lane westbound from I-110 to Cowan Road.”

Added the chief: “Right now, the way things are going, I’m hoping we can hold off until after 5 o’clock to give people a chance to get off work and get home.”

Once the plan is implemented, the left lanes of U.S. 90 would be reserved for emergency vehicles.

The city’s Community Development Department saw a spike in temporary vendors permits — 68 have now been issued, but the Mississippi Lodging Association says occupancy, which had been reported at 90 percent for the Coast’s 15,400 hotel rooms, is now down to 75 to 80 percent because of threatening weather or declined credit cards.

Although skies are clear and winds are breezy, local emergency managers continue to warn of pending inclement weather. A flash flood watch has been issued for late tonight through late Saturday night. Showers and thunderstorms likely Saturday morning, increasing to a 100 percent chance by Saturday night. Some thunderstorms may be severe.

The Coast Coliseum will be Spring Break headquarters with events scheduled throughout the weekend.  Gates to the west beach venue will be open all day Friday, with a parking fee beginning at 4 p.m. At 9 p.m., the Coliseum will host “The Official Black Beach Weekend Kickoff Party.” Admission ranges from $25 to $55, plus tax and fees.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Coliseum will host the Fifth Annual Spring Break Car & Bike Show, with free admission. A $20 per vehicle parking fee will be charged.  A disc jockey will entertain, and food and merchandise booths will be set up on the Coliseum grounds. The activities throughout the day preface a concert that evening. Coliseum doors open at 5 p.m. for the Lil Wayne-headlined concert, which begins at 7 p.m. and is expected to end about 12:30 a.m.  Also, those scheduled to perform during the show, titled Gulf Coast Spring Fest 2K18, are Yo Gotti, Rick Ross, 2Chainz, Jeezy, and Moneybagg Yo. After the concert, the Gulf Coast Spring Fest After Party will be held from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. at the Coliseum.

Then on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Coliseum hosts Rehab day party with free admission, live performances and boiled crawfish and shrimp platters. Parking is $20 on Sunday.

Traffic volumes are expected to be heavy during the events and well past event times.  

“We want everyone to have a great time,” Miller said.  “Our goal is to keep traffic moving and not let it get gridlock. We are going to try to stop that happening this year. We also have to maintain access for emergency responders. And to do that, we have to have a traffic plan.”

Elsewhere this weekend: Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department will hold registration on Saturday for Woolmarket sites for its Summer Playground Program, B.E.Fit hosts a community Biloxi beach cleanup Sunday morning, and over at the casinos, Ron White performs at the Beau Rivage, the Temptations and the Four Tops and Bush will be at the IP, and Queensryche will at the Hard Rock. 
See more about the Spring Break traffic plan
See the complete weather forecast
See the latest Spring Break Vendors List
See the Biloxi Community Calendar
See a complete weekend lineup