Two-day Biloxi Lighthouse celebration begins later today

The Most Rev. Roger T. Morin, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi, will join Mayor A.J. Holloway and state and federal emergency managers later this afternoon for a public ceremony to formally re-dedicate and re-light the Biloxi Lighthouse.

And the public will get its first chance to see the inside of the restored landmark when free tours take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tonight’s observance will be a 45-minute homage to the 162-year-old icon, which has become a symbol of Biloxi’s and the state’s recovery and rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Katrina.

Among those scheduled to participate in the 5:45 p.m. ceremony are MEMA Director Mike Womack; singer Ronny Broussard, who will perform the “Star Spangled Banner”; local singer-songwriter Steve Cason, who will perform his opus “The Biloxi Lighthouse”; and architect Leigh Jaunsen of Dale & Associates, who will give an overview of the challenges in restoring the 162-year-old structure.

The ceremony will be staged in the parking area south of U.S. 90 at the Biloxi Lighthouse.

No tours of the lighthouse will be available this evening, but free tours will be offered Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Here’s the program:

This evening, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

—Ronny Broussard sings National Anthem.

—Bishop Roger Morin delivers opening prayer

—Comments from Mike Womack, executive director of MEMA.

—Comments from Baxter Mann, Deputy Environmental Liaison Officer, who works with Environmental and Historic Preservation section of FEMA.

—Comments from architect Leigh Jaunsen of Dale & Associates, the firm that oversaw restoration.

—Local singer-songwriter Steve Cason performs his original song, “The Biloxi Lighthouse.”

—Comments from Mayor A.J. Holloway

—Mayor leads countdown. Lighthouse beacon comes on and structure itself is illuminated.

—Ceremony ends.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free public tours of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

Main Street Biloxi will be selling commemorative Biloxi Lighthouse T-shirts both days to mark the occasion.

Online photos: To see recent photos of the restored Biloxi Lighthouse, under cloudy and clear skies, click here. To see photos of the Lighthouse through the years, click here.

Weekend preview: Just horsing around

The Mississippi Coast Coliseum in BIloxi will host a professional rodeo this weekend, while you’ll find the Arbor Day 5K run and disability fair on the Biloxi Town Green, Blondie at the Hard Rock, and “Grease” being staged at the Biloxi Junior High School auditorium.

For details on these events and a host of others, courtesy of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau,
click here.

Council to consider Back Bay zoning, Ohr-O’Keefe funding

The Biloxi City Council on Tuesday will consider a measure that would re-zone five acres of land on Back Bay Boulevard to accommodate unspecified hospitality or gaming development, and two measures to provide funding to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art.

The three measures are among more than two dozen issues on the agenda for the council’s 1:30 meeting Tuesday afternoon in the auditorium of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Municipal Building.

To see the complete agenda, click here.

News and notes

Traffic update To see the status of roadwork throughout the city, as outlined in the report compiled by the Public Works Department each weekday, click here.

Fanfare: MPB Radio gave a statewide tip of the hat to the Biloxi Lighthouse this afternoon, with a dedication of the opus “Fanfare to the Common Man.” Biloxian Bob Carroll, a former City Councilman and fan of Mississppi Public Broadcasting Radio, successfully pitched the idea to the statewide radio network in honor of the Lighthouse re-lighting this afternoon.