Police say Black Spring Break runs relatively smooth - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Police say Black Spring Break runs relatively smooth

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By late Sunday afternoon, the crowds had thinned out along the beach front of Highway 90 in Biloxi. Those who came for Black Spring Break were trying to soak up their last bit of sun before heading home.

For many, the event was like an extended family reunion, bringing out college students as well as families and friends. James Johnson, who spent the final hours of this weekend's event with family from Laurel, Mississippi, said it was worth the wait.

"From what I've seen, it was beautiful," Johnson said. "There wasn't a lot of harassment, or anything like that. I've just seen a lot of everybody being patient, because you had a lot going on.  You had the Crawfish Festival, you had the Tea Party event and you had Black Spring Break, that's a lot of people in one area.  You got to be able to control it, and they did it and they did a good job."

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller said the number of incidents was low considering the number of people attending the event. The Chief estimates police made about 85 arrests and towed about 50 cars.

"The influx came really fast when it came, and the resources that we had in place, we utilized everything that we had," Miller said. "I'm really happy of the attitude of most of the young people that were here.  I'm really happy the way they were and how respectful they were.  The majority seemed to understand why we were here and why we were keeping things in order."

Those who came pointed out the sizable police presence. Most, however, say it was worth the trip.

"It was a lot of cops and you couldn't make a u-turn, but we had a good time, and we even went to church today, so we're blessed and highly favored, and I want to let my pastor know I went to church," said Felisha Magee from Tylertown.

Among some of the groups who came out was the Miles Per Hour Motorcycle club.

"It was nice. We came down to support the Down South Burners [another motorcycle club] on its anniversary weekend," Dwight Payton said. "There were chapters from all over the state.  We just got together, unified as one, one big family having a lot of fun and networking."

For many who came, Black Spring Break's return to the coast was one they'll be talking about for days to come.

"I'm going home and anybody who missed it, I'm going to tell them they missed it. Cause I had a good time," said Misty McLeod of Laurel.

The Chief acknowledged traffic did create tie-ups along Highway 90, especially Saturday evening.  He addressed, one of the concerns most frequently asked, why motorists were unable to turn left and head north off of Highway 90.

"A lot of the time when they turn north they go down into a neighborhood or whatever and they realize they can't get out.  They get to Pass Road and when they can't figure out where they're at, especially those from out of town, they make their way right back on to Highway 90.  Then, you have more cars coming back onto 90 and traffic slows traffic down.  There were probably some who were caught up in that mix and inconvenienced, and I really apologize for that."

Police said they talked with event promoters about working together ahead of time to make the event run even better next year. 

As for coast businesses, the story was mixed.  WLOX talked to a couple of businesses off Highway 90.  Managers at Wendy's said sales increased by more than 2,000 orders on Saturday. While others, like Mug Shots Bar and Grill in the Edgewater Village, said business was a little slow at times.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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