Twelfth Night: ‘It will be beautiful, and just a little chilly’

Temperatures are expected to be hovering around 40 degrees for this evening’s Twelfth Night festivities at the Biloxi Visitors Center and Biloxi Mardi Gras Museum, but Andi Oustalet, one of the founders of the event, says a little chilly weather won’t keep celebrants away.

“It’s going to be a beautiful night, maybe just a little chilly,” she said, “But everyone on the Mississippi Gulf Coast wants to celebrate Mardi Gras and they won’t be scared away by a slight chill in the air.”

The gathering, to mark the official transition from the Christmas holidays to Carnival season, begins at 5 p.m. at the Visitors Center, 1050 Beach Blvd., and at 6 p.m., the reigning leaders of Carnival will be present to extinguish the Christmas lights at the Biloxi Lighthouse.

The entourage will then board a trio of Mardi Gras floats and parade to the Mardi Gras Museum at 119 Rue Magnolia, where, at 6:30 p.m., the lights at the Mardi Gras Museum will be illuminated, signaling the beginning of Carnival season. A host of free hors d’oeuvres – gumbo, King Cakes and more – will be served on the lawn of the museum.

Oustalet, whose husband, well-known auto dealer and civic leader Butch Oustalet, served as King of Carnival in 2011 and whose daughter Kimberly Rushton Wilson was Queen Ixolib last year, conceived the idea of the Twelfth Night event six years ago.

“I felt it was a good transition from one season to the next and to teach everyone when Mardi Gras actually begins,” said Oustalet. “I also wanted to call attention to the significance of the origin of Carnival, which begins the twelfth night after Christmas, hence the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas.'”

Oustalet said she’s been pleased with the growth of the event, especially with rulers of two Carnival groups – Neptune and Les Cavaliers – joining reigning Gulf Coast Carnival Association royalty in leading the affair this year.

“This is exactly what we wanted to happen,” Oustalet said. “We wanted it to grow kind of slow, to make sure the city could handle another parade this early in the year, we wanted to see more groups involved, and we wanted to see it continue to grow. That’s what’s happening, and people can see it for themselves this evening.”
City Desk: Hear about Twelfth Night and more


News and notes: Weekend preview, council, traffic and trash 

Weekend preview:This year’s First Friday series will take place tonight from 5 to 8 in the downtown arts district, with live entertainment, prize giveaways and a showcase of Almost Circle’s latest exhibit, titled “Major Arcana.” It’s the work of Charlie Mabry, the ceramics director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art.  Elsewhere this weekend: B.B. King’s Blues Band featuring Tito Jackson will perform at the IP Casino Resort. To see the weekend lineup, click here

City Council:  The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council will take place Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 1:30 p.m.  To learn more about the seven members of the City Council, click here.

Traffic update:  To see the latest traffic advisories and road closures, click here.

About the trash, garbage and recycling: Don’t forget, pickups for garbage, trash and recycling this week are taking place a day later than their normal schedule because of the New Year’s Day holiday on Monday.