What you need to know about the air show
Those are U.S. Navy Blue Angels you hear screeching over the skies of Biloxi this afternoon, as members of the precision flying team begin the first of two days of rehearsals before the Blues Over Biloxi air show Saturday and Sunday.
The show will be centered over Deer Island, immediately south of the Great Lawn at Harrah's Gulf Coast, but getting to the site or anywhere along the beachfront in Biloxi may be a time-consuming process, Biloxi Police Chief John Miller says.
Keep this in mind, Miller points out: U.S. 90 between the Biloxi Bay Bridge and White Avenue, when all lanes are full, eastbound and westbound, can accommodate 4,000 vehicles, and this weekend 40,000 cars a day are expected in that area on Saturday and Sunday.
"As we move that 4,000 out, another 4,000 is moving in," Miller says in a six-minute video now posted on the city social media platforms. "We can make it happen, as long as the public works with us, is tolerate, and as long as people give themselves plenty of time."
And by "plenty of time," Miller means plenty of time.
"I'm telling you now to come early," said the chief, whose department deals with a host of major events each year. "When I say 'early,' I don't mean a couple of hours before the show," Miller declared. "I mean you should arrive a good four to five hours before the show. If you're going to be on the beach, I would recommend somewhere between 5:30 and 7:30 in the morning to be in place. I expect that much traffic. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm trying to err on the side of caution."
During the morning and throughout the day each day, Biloxi Police will have officers directing traffic at major intersections. Traffic signals will be in the flashing mode when officers are directing traffic.
Best advice on traffic: If you're coming from east of the city on I-10, take Exit 50, travel south to U.S. 90 through Ocean Springs and across the Biloxi Bay Bridge. If you entering Biloxi via I-110, exit at Bayview and follow Bayview and Back Bay Boulevard eastwart to Oak Street. Turn south on Oak to U.S. 90.
Other things you need to know:
Gates at Harrah's Great Lawn open at 9 a.m. The "Blues Over Biloxi" show itself, with a host of guest air performers, begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m.
The Great Lawn, which has no admission fee, will host a number of gourmet food trucks. Outside ice chests and food are not allowed, but guests may bring lawn chairs and blankets.
The city will have signage at a number of free parking lots in east Biloxi. Some property owners may charge for parking. Harrah's, for instance, is charging $20 for those who are not members of the Rewards players club. Said Miller: "Do not park anywhere it is not designated for you to park."
The city also will have port-o-lets at public parking areas.
Traffic plan for DRIVERS: https://www.biloxi.ms.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Blues-Over-Biloxi.pdf
Traffic for BOATERS: https://www.biloxi.ms.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/airshowbox.pdf
Air show has harbors, marina buzzing
More than 100 boaters are in town for the Blues Over Biloxi air show this weekend, and more are on the way, reports Larry Sablich, who oversees the city public marinas, harbors and boat launches.
"We have them from Louisiana, Alabama and some came over from Gulfport," said Sablich, who maintains a supply of slips for transient boaters. "We've also had almost two dozen calls from people in Slidell who are planning to pull their boats over, stay in a hotel and launch the boat to watch the show from the water."
All 124 slips are full at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, but about half of the 230 slips at Point Cadet Marina are available.
Sablich's Port Division operates four public facilities where about 300 recreational and commercial boaters have their vessels. In all, the city maintains nearly 450 slips: 230 at Point Cadet Marina, 124 at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor, 54 at the commercial harbor, and 32 at the Sherman Canaan Back Bay Fishing Dock.
Said Sablich: "It's a busy time right now, and we love it."
(Source: City of Biloxi)