The 77th annual Biloxi Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet gets underway Saturday morning on – of all places – the water. At 10 a.m., the Great Biloxi Schooner Race takes place in the channel between Deer Island and the Biloxi peninsula. Best viewing should be from the beachfront between the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor and Casino Row.
The Mass of the Blessing begins at 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Michael’s Church. At 5:30 p.m. at the Biloxi Community Center, you’ll find the coronation of Shrimp King Emile Louis Desporte and his queen, along with a seafood buffet and an evening of dancing.
On Sunday afternoon, the Blessing of the Fleet takes place in the Biloxi channel. You should find ample viewing on the beach between the small craft harbor and Casino Row. Keep in mind, however, that parking is allowed only in parking bays, and no parking is allowed in the center medians of U.S. 90.
For coronation ticket information and to read more about the Blessing, click here.
To see the list of weekend entertainment, as compiled by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.
Seafood poster now on sale at Visitors Center
Just in time for the Blessing: A new poster commemorating the Golden Fisherman and the Biloxi seafood industry is now available -- $5 each – at the Visitors Center on the Town Green.
The 24-by-36-inch full-color poster features the Golden Fisherman surrounded by about a thousand names of Biloxi families associated with the seafood industry and a listing of Shrimp Festival royalty dating back to 1948. The Visitors Center is open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To see a small, online version of the poster, click here.
City Council meets Monday next week
The Biloxi City Council will meet Monday to avoid scheduling conflicts with Tuesday’s municipal primary elections.
Councilmembers face an agenda of less than a dozen issues for the 6 p.m. meeting. Among the measures: approval of advertising for sale of lots in the Caillavet Street revitalization area, appointment of Wanda Hurlbert to the Biloxi Public Library board, purchase of a dual purpose canine and training ammunition for the Police Department.
Individual resolutions are unavailable this week, but you can see the agenda by clicking here.
Poll workers get briefing on upcoming primaries
Several dozen poll workers who will be staffing the municipal party primaries Tuesday gathered at City Hall this afternoon for a refresher course on regulations and guidelines governing elections, and technicians tested the electronic voting machines that will be employed at voting precincts throughout the city.
For more information on the party primaries, including ward maps and a list of candidates, click here.
Funding process underway for social service agencies
The city has mailed funding guidelines to the nearly three dozen social service agencies that Biloxi taxpayers have helped fund over the years, and agencies are being notified that the deadline to request funding applications for FY ’05-06 is June 1.
For info on the project, e-mail Federal Programs Manager Susan Pickich.
And to see how social service funding by the city has mushroomed – from $25,000 in FY ’90 to more than a million dollars in the current budget -- click here.
News and notes
Get it right: Police Chief Bruce Dunagan has a message for U.S. 90 motorists, particularly those on U.S. 90 near the Town Green: The right-hand turn lane is for right-hand turns only, and motorists traveling in the lane must turn right at the first intersection they approach. Hear more about the issue and what police are doing about it – and how you can actually “dunk a cop” this weekend – in this week’s City Desk webcast. To listen, click here.
Petit Bois drainage: Mayor A.J. Holloway is sending postcards next week to a number of residents in the Petit Bois subdivision, where a drainage improvement project is pending. To read the postcards for yourself, click here.