This year’s fireworks show: Intense and colorful

The sky over Biloxi will be painted red, white and blue and every color of a rainbow in what presenters says will be one of the most intense Fourth of July fireworks shows on the entire Gulf Coast.

The 20-minute show, which begins Sunday at 9 p.m., will be shot from a barge positioned directly south of the Biloxi Yacht Club, with the best viewing from Oak Street to Main Street. The Biloxi show will be prefaced by a fireworks show in nearby Ocean Springs, which runs from 8:40 to 9 p.m.

“The Fourth of July weekend is usually the biggest weekend of the biggest month of the year, and we’re expecting nothing different this year,” said Mayor A.J. Holloway. “All of our beaches are open, our seafood restaurants are serving the best and freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere, and you’ll find some of the best entertainment right here in Biloxi and on the Gulf Coast.”

Among the events taking place this weekend: the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo in nearby Gulfport, the Our Lady of the Gulf Crab Festival in Bay St. Louis, Little Big Town performing at the Hard Rock, the Molly Ringwalds on stage at the IP, and the original cast of Broadway’s “Jersey Boys” in concert at the Beau Rivage. (To see the complete schedule, click here.)

The fireworks, of course, are the centerpiece of any Fourth of July celebration, and Biloxi’s offer several twists this year.

“It’s going to be bigger and better than last year, and last year’s show was quite spectacular,” said David Spear of J&M Displays, a company that has been involved with the Biloxi show for 25 years. “You’ll see extremely vivid colors, a good dark purple, which is difficult to make; gold and silver; lots of red, white and blue; and, this year, good pastel colors, which are kind of unique.”

The location of the display — over the water on east Biloxi, directly south of the Biloxi Yacht Club — also provides presenters many options.

“Being out there over the water, we have a lot of room,” Spear said. “We can do things like a weeping willow, which uses shells that go up and explode, and cascade down as a bunch of stars that are long-burning and look just like a weeping willow.”

This year’s show also will feature the equivalent of a 21-gun salute in honor of the late Tommy Munro, a longtime Biloxi civic leader who for years played a key role each year in organizing the fireworks show.

“Toward the end, just before the finale breaks loose, we’ll have seven barrages of three fireworks,” Spear said. “It’s going to be progressively larger, with the last one massive.

“Then, get out of the way, because the finale breaks loose. We’ll paint the entire sky.”

Storm-drain thieves causing grate problems

Workers in the city’s Public Works Department have been forced to make temporary repairs at nearly two dozen locations where thieves have made off with storm-drain grates.

Public Works Director Richard Sullivan says it’s a hazardous and costly issue, and Biloxi Police are asking motorists and residents for help.

Read more about the problem by clicking here.

Oil spill news and notes

On the job: The city has received proposals from four firms wanting to help in its oil-spill remediation efforts. City staffers will evaluate the firms based on experience, location and resources before asking the Unified Command and BP for approval and funding to move forward.

Claims help: Several non-profits will host an Oil Spill Resources and Claims Fair on Thursday, July 8 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. To print a flier with more information — in English and Vietnamese — click here.