“It was a great day to be in Biloxi,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said this afternoon from the balcony of City Hall, a half hour after the last float of the St. Patrick’s parade had passed, and as the Blue Angels precision flying team continued to roar overhead.
“I mean, think of all of the things we’ve had going on today,” Holloway declared. “We started off the day with a 5K run in downtown Biloxi, we’ve had record crowds on the Town Green for Grillin’ on the Green, Hibernia put on a great parade, there was a car show on Point Cadet, we’ve got about 100,000 people out at Keesler for the open house, and thousands more were watching the air show from the beach or on the water.
“It’s just a great day for Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Police Chief John Miller said as many as 30,000 people were in the city for the St. Pat’s parade and Grillin’ on the Green. He said only 14 arrests and five traffic accidents were reported through 6 p.m.
“On a normal day those are low numbers,” Miller said, “and with 130,000 or more people in town, those are remarkably low. I think it was mainly a day for families.”
Holloway said he also was impressed with the patience of the motorists he had encountered.
“We had advised people on Friday to expect delays and slow-moving traffic because of the crowds we expected,” the mayor said. “Keesler had forecast 100,000 people over two days, but it sounds like we’ve done that in just the first day. And, just think, there’s another air show tomorrow.
“I thank all of our visitors for visiting Biloxi today, I thank everyone who was so patient and courteous in the slow-moving traffic, and I thank God that we had such a beautiful day.”
Keesler schedule: To see your guide to the open house and air show,