Tips to help you make the most of the busy weekend

Motorists traveling to any of the big events in Biloxi this weekend — the Keesler air show and open house, the St. Patrick’s parade, or Grillin’ on the Green — should be prepared for busy roadways and sunny skies.

“We’re looking for a huge family-oriented weekend with something for everyone, literally,” said Mayor A.J. Holloway. “It’s a weekend that will celebrate traditions and relationships that we hold near and dear: our Irish heritage and everything that it stands for, our 70-year relationship with Keesler and all that it has meant to our community, to our nation and to the 2 million people who have passed through Keesler’s gates; and we’ll see dozens of people on the Town Green celebrating the American tradition of backyard barbecuing.”

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller says motorists should expect heavy traffic on major thoroughfares. Police realize that air show fans may find vantage points along the waterfront to watch the Blue Angels show, which takes place mid-afternoon Saturday and Sunday.

Motorists are asked to park in parking bays only; parking in center medians is prohibited and parking on grass or sandy medians along U.S. 90 is ill-advised. Pedestrians should be careful near U.S. 90.

Only motorists with Department of Defense ID cards will be allowed to drive onto Keesler; those attending the air show should use shuttle service from Edgewater Mall or from points along Bayview Avenue, north of the base. Boat traffic on Back Bay will be restricted during the air show.

Downtown streets should be busy, too, with the 10-to-5 Grillin’ on the Green on the Town Green, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade beginning at 2 at the Biloxi Yacht Club on U.S. 90, traveling up Lameuse Street past City Hall reviewing stands, and around MLK Boulevard before making its way to a point near Mary Mahoney’s.

“People should give themselves plenty of time to make it to their destination,” Miller said. “Be courteous. Expect a wait wherever you go because we’re going to have an awful lot of people in town. Don’t get frustrated. Have fun.”

Weather forecasters, meantime, expect early morning patchy fog to burn off by 10 o’clock on Saturday and Sunday mornings, with mostly clear skies, save for the occasional jet, and high temperatures near 80 degrees. There’s no mention of rain in the forecast for either day.

Click on links below for more information:

— Your guide to the air show and open house

— The Hibernia St. Patrick’s parade, and Grillin’ on the Green

— The overall weekend entertainment lineup

— The weekend weather forecast

Council to meet Tuesday morning, afternoon

When the Biloxi City Council meets Tuesday councilmembers will be facing two continuing issues: the re-construction of the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum and increasing the geographic size of the city.

Mayor A.J. Holloway has called a special meeting of the council for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the latest news regarding the plans to construct the museum at the former site of Tullis Manor. Progress on the project has been slowed because of the potential for unearthing historic deposits on the site.

During the afternoon meeting, councilmembers will be asked to approve a measure that updates the city’s geographic boundaries based on the recent annexation case with D’Iberville. The court, in its final ruling, tweaked Biloxi’s victory to include about an acre more on Mississippi 67 across from D’Iberville High School. D’Iberville, of course, is appealing the case.

Among the other measures on the agenda: amending the city’s tax-exemption program to give preference to developers using natural materials, and amending the so-called “pooper scooper” law to add fines to violating pet owners.

To see the complete agenda and available resolutions, click here.

News and notes

A flood of info: This week’s City Desk webcast offers a preview of this weekend’s events, and you’ll learn why flood insurance is so important — regardless of where you live. Kristin Greger, who is one of the city’s reps for the National Flood Insurance Program, explains the ins and outs of flood insurance in this week’s program. To listen, click here.

Lighthouse lights: Sharp-eyed viewers passing the Biloxi Lighthouse may have noticed that small candle-shaped lights have been placed in the four small windows that dot the 65-foot tall structure. Brian Margavich, who volunteers to give weekend tours of Biloxi’s signature landmark, had the idea to honor the four branches of U.S. armed forces. Said Historical Administrator Bill Raymond: “It’s our way of reminding people that these men and women of the armed forces are in harm’s way today.”

Lighthouse video: Ever seen the DVD about the Biloxi Lighthouse that the city had prepared before Hurricane Katrina? Mary Ann Mobley, the Biloxi native who went on to become Miss America, narrates the 12-mnute production, and you can see an online version by
clicking here.

Progress video: The city’s YouTube page now includes the nine-minute recap of progress on several city rebuilding initiatives that Mayor A.J. Holloway presented the other day at the State of the City address. To see the video, which is narrated by Mayor A.J. Holloway, click here.

Mark your calendars: Planning is well underway on Preservation in May, the annual initiative to shine a light on Biloxi’s cultural assets. Block out each Thursday in May for a lineup that will include Biloxi’s military history at the restored Guice and Glennan parks near the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor; a cemetery tour that includes insight into the shapes of grave markers over the generations, plus a chance to do tombstone “rubbings”; and a grand finale that will see the opening of the Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center.

Etc.: Architectural work on restoring the old Biloxi Library building will be conducted over the next several months, with an eye to beginning construction later this year. The site will eventually house the city’s Finance Division, which now works in the aging Annex building next to City Hall.