Thousands witness Biloxi MLK parade, Battle of the Bands

Thousands of paradegoers lined the streets of downtown Biloxi Monday to witness the city’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, and a crowd of about 12,000 packed into Yankie Stadium afterward for the annual Battle of the Bands.

The downtown Biloxi celebration capped an MLK weekend that included a Coastwide celebration on Sunday at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

Biloxi’s parade, which began rolling down Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at 11:30 a.m., featured the state’s three premier college marching bands — Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State — and high school bands from Biloxi, Moss Point and Williamson, Ala.

The parade ended inside Yankie Stadium, where State Rep. Chuck Espy of Clarksdale and local leaders, including Mayor A.J. Holloway, addressed the audience.

The biggest attraction, however, is the Battle of the Bands, where the three collegiate and three high school bands performed from the visiting stands at Yankie Stadium. Thousands watched from the home stands while others milled on the field itself.

Jackson State’s marching band, The Sonic Boom of the South, won the collegiate Battle of the Bands, while Williamson High School won the high school competition.

To view photos from the parade and Yankie Stadium event in the city’s online Photo Gallery, click here.