Coastal Mississippi

Visitors from Minnesota stop by Mardi Gras Museum in Biloxi

64 views – Jazell Ladner – 2023-01-10 17:52:51

is like a second Christmas most Coasties look forward to, however, some may not be fortunate enough to live close to cities that celebrate Mardi Gras.

This was Holly and Norry Waalen’s first time visiting the Coast from Minnesota. The couple thought it would be the perfect break from the cold weather they are used to.

While visiting , the Waalen’s thought Mardi Gras would be something fun to experience.

Little did they know they would be introduced to a whole new world. They were overwhelmed with how much history and…

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Twelfth Night Celebration in Biloxi Kicks Off Mardi Gras Season


by Cherie Ward, Our Mississippi Home

The turkey has been carved, the gifts have been unwrapped, and the black-eyed peas have been devoured so you know what that means—it’s time to let the good times roll.

The and the are signaling the switch of the seasons in with the annual gathering of the Twelfth Night Celebration.

The event is set for 5 pm Thursday, Jan. 5 at the Visitors Center.

The reigning royal courts of 2022 will turn off the Biloxi white Christmas lights and parade to Biloxi City Hall where at 6:30 p.m., they will turn on the purple, gold, and green lights of Carnival and raise their glasses to toast the beginning of the 115th celebration of Mardi Gras in the city of Biloxi.

Gulf Coast Carnival Association’s…

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All Things King Cake in Coastal Mississippi


We have a saying in during : “King Cake calories don’t count!” Mardi Gras is a time to indulge, and a King Cake is the absolute best way to get into the spirit of the season.

A Tasty Tradition

If you’ve never heard of King Cake, let us give you a little background. The French celebration of Mardi Gras made its way to the Gulf Coast way back in 1699

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9 Cool Things For Millennials In Biloxi – Wherever I May Roam


Once known as the “Seafood Capital of the World”, , Mississippi, offers both revival and relaxation in equal measures. Millennials will enjoy Biloxi’s varied activity offerings, laid-back feel, and food scene. Here are nine cool things millennials in Biloxi can do to get started on their vacation.


Eat A Slew Of Seafood

Biloxi has really good food….

by Taylor Hardy, Wherever I May Roam

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Sweater Weather in Coastal Mississippi


One of the best things we love about life on The Secret Coast is the mild climate that our region enjoys during the fall and winter months. There will still be plenty of beach and boating outings, but as the days become shorter there will be no shortage of cool evenings filled with great events and things to do during your vacation. On the days when you find yourself…

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Shop ‘Til You Drop in Coastal Mississippi


We get it. You’re on vacation, but you still have to satisfy your Target, , and other basic shopping needs. Never fear, has you covered. 

Here on the Secret Coast, not everything is a secret. We have plenty of shopping centers for all your shopping needs! You can find whatever you need at one of our excellent, -of-the-art shopping malls or quaint

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Holidays in Coastal Mississippi


DAY – To honor our heroic veterans, offers multiple events for the men and women who bravely fought in defense of our freedom, including the Annual Jackson County Veterans Day Program and Veterans Day Weekend at the Mississippi Aquarium! Put on your red, white, and blue then come on out to honor our veterans!

THANKSGIVING – Thanksgiving Day on the Secret Coast…

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Outdoor Activities on the Secret Coast


Gear up for the great outdoors: consistently warm weather and perpetually beautiful scenery mean outdoor adventure is a year-round option for explorers. There is nothing better than a day at the beach, and The Secret Coast is just the place to kick off your shoes, put your feet in the sand and relax awhile while enjoying the view of our gorgeous white sandy…

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Cruisin’ the Coast means big bucks for Mississippi


As the state’s largest event, Cruisin’ the Coast means big bucks for Mississippi

Hot rods, packed hotels, and a steady cash flow: Mississippi’s largest event is about to kick off on the Coast, bringing with it one of biggest annual boosts to the ’s

Cruisin’ the Coast last year generated an economic impact of just over $36 million for the entire state from out-of-town spenders, according to a study commissioned by the car show’s founders. That was after record-breaking attendance, prompted by visitors hungry for travel following a nationwide lull to from the pandemic. 

“It was the 25th anniversary and the weather was tremendous,” said Cruisin’ the Coast executive director Woody Bailey. “It was very special.” 

Bailey wasn’t sure this year would be able to touch that.

“But we’re actually pretty close to being on the same track as last year,” Bailey said. 

The bulk of cars will swarm the coast Saturday, Oct. 1 for the weeklong vintage car expo. kicks off the events Sunday morning with the all-day “View the Cruise” downtown. The week’s events span several cities in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties before winding down on Oct. 9.

The number of pre-registered cars is just 17 shy of what it was last year. Cruisin’ won’t know the final count until on-site registration is over. About 9,500 cars registered by the end of the cruise week in 2021. 

So far, car owners have registered from 44 states and Canada. For the first time ever, a classic car owner from England has registered. Bailey said he has a ‘74 Thunderbird. 

Total attendance is hard to track. Most events are free. Up to 3,000 cars show up that opt not to register for the official events but just enjoy the scene, according to Bailey. 

At last year’s cruise week, the Bradley Research Group surveyed out-of-town attendees to help measure the event’s impact on both the local and state economy. Cruisin’ the Coast has the study completed every five years. 

At about $33 million, the event’s economic impact on the Coast’s three counties was up 27% since the last study in 2016. That’s more than doubled since the $15 million impact measured in 2004. 

Last year, the tax revenue generated by the event totaled more than $2.4 million statewide. About $1.2 million of that is sales tax collection in the Gulf Coast. 

Cruisin’ the Coast began in 1996 with just a few hundred cars. Casino and business leaders were looking for a way to extend the tourism season past the summer peak. 

It worked – probably better than any of the originators ever anticipated. 

This year, Jay Leno – the former talk show host and classic car lover – is doing a stand-up at the Beau Rivage during the car week. The Beau is also hosting two Beach Boys concerts to cater to Cruisin’ visitors. 

“Crusin’ the Coast is similar to a busy peak week in the summer,” said Collin Caranna, marketing director for Shaggy’s Restaurants. “The anticipation is here even before the uptick of visitors begins.” 

Shaggy’s – which has waterfront restaurants in Gulfport, , and – extends its hours to accommodate for the surge in visitors. For a week, their parking lots are packed with vintage cars. 

Despite high gas prices and inflation, director of tourism bureau Coastal Mississippi Judy Young said the local tourism industry is expecting another banner year for Cruisin’ the Coast

“Everyone seems to be really excited,” Young said. “Who doesn’t want to participate in the No. 1 car show in the country?” 

The event itself also introduces new people to the Coast as a destination – an impact that’s hard to measure with exact figures. 

 “It really is an economic engine,” said Young. “And it’s the front door to economic development because tourism is marketing the region 356 days a year.” 

About a third of the non-local attendees surveyed last year were from other parts of Mississippi followed by about a quarter from Louisiana. The next highest concentrations were from Alabama, Texas, and Florida.

The research survey also asked attendees about their satisfaction with the coast’s hospitality. It earned high marks with more than 90% saying they were either “likely” or “very likely” to return and to recommend the event to someone else. 

Gulfport resident Lisa Evans said traffic might be a bear during the car celebration, but she is still a big fan. She has chatted up car enthusiasts showing off their ‘57 Chevy Bel Airs or antique vehicles from the 30s to learn more about the thousands of dollars – and hours – folks have put into their automobiles.

She usually sets a blanket out on the beach in Gulfport and lazily watches all the classic cars go by. Evans recently wrote a book: “100 Things to Do in Before You Die.” Cruisin’ the Coast, of course, made the list. 

It’s become the quintessential Gulf Coast Mississippi event. 

“The economic impacts alone to the coast are mind blowing,” Evans said. “But when I’m trying to sell people on visiting, I start with the cool cars.” 

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

The Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum holding Film Premiere

175 views – Janae Jordan – 2022-08-08 18:00:21

Tomorrow the will premiere its new film ‘The Mardi Gras Experience.’

Experts in the film discussed the origins of Mardi Gras, history of Mardi Gras in Mississippi, the formation of the Gulf Coast Carnival Association, costume design, royalty, krewes, float making, parades, music, and Mardi Grad foods and King Cakes.

The film was produced by John Lestrade of ‘Take Two Productions’ in partnership with Stevens Media Production.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Coast National Heritage area….

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