Coast prepares for Spring Break 2011

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Preparations are underway for the upcoming "Spring Break" weekend which begins in just two days. Work crews spent the day assembling stages at the Coast Coliseum and installing orange fencing along Highway 90.

The promoter is expecting up to 50,000 visitors over the three day event.

Outdoor stages were set-up today outside the coliseum, along with another stage inside the convention center.

"Spring Break Mississippi Gulf Coast" is all the buzz on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and You Tube, all of which feature messages and videos about the event.

While some may question that prediction of 50,000 visitors expected everyone we talked with wants to be ready.

Edgewater Mall workers install orange fencing along Highway 90.

With thousands of visitors expected to travel the beach front roadway this weekend, the barrier fencing is designed to keep vehicles off the green space.

"It's just strictly to protect the property, protect our irrigation systems. We understand we're a centrally located area. Folks like to come here; they like to park here. It's easy to find. It's easy to get in and out of. We just have to protect the property a little bit. Our best hope is a lot of spring breakers come, they shop in Edgewater Mall; they dine in Edgewater Mall; they have a safe and happy enjoyable time," said mall marketing manager, Michelle Rogers.

Rogers says the barricades at the mall are for law enforcement's use. Police will again set-up their command post in the mall's west parking lot.

Work crews at the coliseum unload and assemble outdoor stages for the "Spring Break" event. Across the parking lot, carnival rides are going up.

Even though the coast crawfish festival doesn't kick off until April 14th, some of the rides from the upcoming festival have arrived early. They're begin set up now so that crowds with this weekend's spring break can also enjoy the attractions.

Law enforcement has a plan for the expected busy weekend. Biloxi's police chief says the main concern is simple.

"Traffic, right now it's traffic. Last year, most were well behaved. We hope for that again this year. But traffic was the big concern last year, and I'm sure it will be this year also," said the police chief.

That's why the barricades are already in place along Highway 90. Chief Miller says police have a multi-stage traffic plan ready.

"Anything from closing down the turn bays and not allowing people to turn around on 90, so they would actually have to go further down to turn around, to actual "all out venting" if we have to do that," he said.

The chief says he is pleased that the "Spring Break" promoter is working closely this year with law enforcement and others.

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