Three-day Hiller Park festival begins this evening

More than a dozen carnival rides, a mother-daughter look-alike contest, and plenty of family activities will be on tap this weekend at Hiller Park, the spacious city park nestled off the bay in west Biloxi.

It’s all part of the Hiller Park Carnival, a three-day affair that kicks off this evening in a drive to raise money to help upgrade the park.

The carnival runs from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

A fireworks show will be held this evening and Saturday night.

Also this weekend: “Steel Magnolias” at Biloxi Little Theater; concerts by the Doobie Brothers, the Temptations and Four Tops, and James Blunt.
Learn more about the Hiller affair and see the overall weekend lineup

City shifts gears on construction of MGM Park at Beau Rivage

The City Council in a special meeting this morning decided to abandon the project manager route and hire a general contractor to oversee all facets of construction of MGM Park at Beau Rivage, the downtown baseball stadium and entertainment venue.

The move will allow the city to solicit bids from one overall contractor instead of bidding each individual phase of the project, a process that had already required the time-consuming re-bidding of work after initial bids were above projections.

“The goal here,” said Chief Administrative Officer David Nichols, “is to speed up the process and look to save money.”

The City Council voted unanimously to end the project manager contract with Yates Construction. Nichols said the overall bid package would be available for contractors as soon as two weeks.

Development report: Casinos, casinos, casinos

This week’s development report has news about the Biloxi Boardwalk casino resort project, Margaritaville, the Golden Nugget, IP, Grand Casino and the White House hotel. There also are plans for a six-unit apartment building for Back Bay Mission, a new tenant in the C-Spire building off Switzer Drive, and plans for 11 new single family homes.
Read this week’s report

News and notes

DRC agenda: Three items on the Development Review Committee agenda this week: an addition to the New Life Family Church on Popp’s Ferry Road, Harrah’s green space, and a measure concerning the Biloxi Commerce Park-Cypress Park area. To see the agenda, click here

Webcasting: Historical Administrator Bill Raymond updates the city’s month-long Preservation in May series in this week’s City Desk webcast. To listen to the 13-minute program, click here.

Traffic update:  To see the latest on street improvement projects and infrastructure work throughout the city – and to see links to a network of traffic cameras, click here.

Catch a rising star: Biloxi Indians catcher Darrell Montiforte Jr. was named the Sun Herald’s Prep Player of the Week this week. Montiforte, son of 24-year Biloxi Police veteran Darrell Montiforte Sr., was 8-for-8 this week, with four doubles, a home run, 12 RBIs and six runs scored.