BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade is the biggest Mardi Gras party on Fat Tuesday in South Mississippi.
Getting tens of thousands of people safely in and out of downtown Biloxi on Fat Tuesday takes a lot of planning. The parade is less than a week away, and the city's parade preparations are nearly complete.
This year police will begin closing roads at least 30 minutes earlier than in past years.
Before large double deck floats, marching bands and other clubs parade through beautiful and historic downtown Biloxi, officials are getting ready for the thousands of revelers who will pack the streets.
"The entire Biloxi Police Department will be out there, and we've asked for assistance from several of the surrounding agencies, as they're always so gracious to provide us some additional man power," Captain Jim Adamo said.
Adamo says police will begin shutting down roads at11 a.m. Tuesday morning.
"We'll start with the I-110 closing southbound at the Division Street exit. Once the I-110 is shut down, we'll go ahead and shut down the north side of westbound traffic on Highway 90 between Porter and Main Street."
What are normally the eastbound lanes of Highway 90 will be used for two way traffic during the parade. Public works crews have already put out cones, signs and barricades to keep traffic moving in the right direction.
Adamo says traffic and parking are always the biggest issues and advise people to be prepared.
"Be prepared to be caught in some traffic as people drive all over the place. You're going to find areas to park, but it's going to be difficult. So come early and be prepared to wait."
Safety is top priority, and Adamo says police will be on hand to direct traffic and respond to emergencies as they happen.