GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The barricades are up, banners have been hung and work crews are scooping sand off Highway 90. It's all part of the preparation work for the annual Cruisin' the Coast. Everyone is anxious for the classic cars and hot rods to arrive.
Harrison County crews remove sand off Highway 90 on Thursday morning. Sand on the road doesn't mix well with high dollar classic cars and pricey paint jobs.
"We're here every year for Crusin' the Coast, of course, with our hot rods. Enjoying the beautiful Gulf Coast," said Joe Dozier.
He will be showing off his '71 Dodge Charger with the 513 big block and 750 horsepower.
"We love it. We'll be here every year. We were here after the hurricane and come back strong. And I think it's stronger than ever. Every year it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger," he said.
Thousands of barricades are out along Highway 90. Law enforcement is preparing to deal with the one problem they know is unavoidable: The "T" word.
"Our biggest issue is always traffic. This isn't traditionally, not a rowdy crowd. They have their fun. But they're usually very well behaved. Just the sheer number of people and all the traffic is what's going to cause us all the problems," said Biloxi Police Chief John Miller.
Centennial Plaza in Gulfport is headquarters for Cruisin' the Coast. And with the event drawing near, there's plenty of preparation going on.
Brian Raspberry was busy setting up a portable kitchen and restaurant to help feed all those visitors.
"Got our grills, our fryers, our cash registers, our steam tables and all that," he explained.
"I just like serving the people. I mean, it's really one of those things where people are coming in from all over the place. And just being out here to serve food and make people happy is what we try to do," said Raspberry, who represents Gulf Coast Restaurant Group.
Chief Miller said police may have to block some of the side streets along Highway 90.That will depend on traffic, which is certain to back-up frequently.
"Avoid Highway 90 unless you want to be part of the festivities. And be prepared if you are, because it's absolutely, there's no way around it, there's going to be traffic delays," said Chief Miller.
Cruisin' officially kicks-off this Sunday. Organizers are expecting around 6,000 cars for this year's event.