Mardi Gras: Safety tips for before, during and after

The City of Biloxi encourages you to have a spirited-yet-safe time at Mardi Gras. In order to make the occasion a safe one, the Biloxi Police Department asks that you follow these suggestions, which are more than suggestions in many cases:

Before the parade

— Carpool and anticipate traffic delays. Appoint a designated driver. Obey the commands of officers at intersections. Be aware that many streets will be closed and traffic will be re-routed in downtown Biloxi.

— Park only in legal parking spaces. Make sure that your parked vehicle provides ample room for passing vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Keep in mind that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles require wide berths for maneuvering streets in the older, downtown section of Biloxi.

— Do not park too close to the railroad tracks. In the past, trains have had to be halted and vehicles towed because motorists had parked too close to the train tracks.

— Do not park in the Biloxi City Cemetery north or south of the railroad tracks. No parking is allowed there.


During the parade

— Wear comfortable and layered clothing. Don’t wear loose-fitting or flashy jewelry.

— It is unlawful to cross police barricades, which line most areas of the parade route. Follow any instructions police give you. Officers from Biloxi as well as from neighboring cities and jurisdictions will be posted along the parade route.

— Remember, it is unlawful for minors — anyone under 21 years of age — to consume alcoholic beverages.

— Leave your animals at home, unless they are registered entrants in the parades. It is unlawful to bring reptiles or other animals to parades. Loud noises and crowded streets put undue stress on animals.

— Do not bring glass containers to the parade. Use plastic instead.

— Place any refuse in trash cans along the parade route.

— Use portable restrooms along the parade route. A total of 60 portable restrooms have been positioned along the route. Also, you can find medical assistance at locations along the route.

In the event of lost children, contact the nearest police officer. Remember what your child was wearing.


After the parade

— Do not attempt to operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of alcohol.

— Follow the directions of officers posted along the routes. Many streets will still be closed and traffic may still be re-routed immediately after the parade.

— Expect traffic delays and heavy traffic immediately after the parade.

— Drive defensively and courteously.


Mardi Gras by the numbers

Drive the city’s 2.7-mile parade route today and here’s what you’ll see, according to Joey Miller, the Mardi Gras ramrod in the city’s Public Works Department:

– 1,386 steel barricades

– 150 rolls of 100-foot-long fencing

– 7,000 feet of caution tape

– 220 orange traffic barrels

– 150 wooden barricades

– 40 K-rails (the official name of those plastic traffic barricades)

Tomorrow, of course, add more than 50,000 people to the mix.

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