Twelfth Night gathering to usher in Carnival season

The Gulf Coast will officially change from the holiday season to Carnival season on Friday with the celebration of Twelfth Night beginning with a 5 p.m. gathering at the Biloxi Visitors Center, followed by a parade to the Mardi Gras Museum.

“The Biloxi Visitors Center is where we began the holiday season, with the lighting of the decorations at the Biloxi Lighthouse,” said Visitors Center Manager Bill Raymond, “and this will be where we also will end the holiday season as we usher in the Carnival season.” 

The occasion also serves as a reminder of the religious significance of Carnival, often lost on the tens of thousands of revelers at Mardi Gras parades. Twelfth Night, the 12th day from Christmas, is the night before the Epiphany, the day when the three wise men visited the infant Jesus, foretelling the revelation of God the Son being born as a human.

The Twelfth Night gathering, sponsored by the City of Biloxi, Biloxi Mardi Gras Museum, Gulf Coast Carnival Association, and the Krewes of Neptune and Les Cavaliers, will begin at 5 p.m. at the Visitors Center, 1050 Beach Blvd., and at 6 p.m., the reigning leaders of Carnival will be presented to extinguish the Christmas lights at the Biloxi Lighthouse.

The entourage will then board a Mardi Gras float 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. 
See photos from Twelfth Night, 2017
See photos from Twelfth Night, 2016


News and notes: Bus-train review; Lighthouse update; sirens

Bus-train tragedy redux:  Chiefs Joe Boney of the Biloxi Fire Department and John Miller of the Biloxi Police Department answered questions over the weekend about the tragic bus-train collision in March, one of the major stories of 2017, on WLOX over the weekend. To see the eight-minute segment from “WLOX News This Week,” click here.

Lighthouse parking and pier update: The improvements to the Lighthouse Pier parking area are scheduled to be completed by Feb. 1 under a contract amendment Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich is asking the City Council to approve this evening. Contractor Twin L Construction, whose work was interrupted by Hurricane Nate, is expected to finish landscaping, install decorative beachside bollards and new asphalt, and have the new parking area striped ahead of the Feb. 1 deadline for the $135,000 tidelands-funded project. Meantime, Christy LeBatard, head of the city’s Engineering Department, said her staff meets with FEMA on Friday to “get the ball rolling on repairs to the Lighthouse Pier, which the city aims to have completed in time for summer.”

Tornado sirens:  The Biloxi Fire Department will test the tornado sirens at noon on Wednesday.  The test will be a minute long.