BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The ground work is being laid now for one of the Coast's biggest tourism events of the year coming up next month.
"It started in 2000 and was called Black Spring Break. It's been called Biloxi Black Beach Weekend and Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break," said Biloxi Black Beach Weekend organizer Maurice Bryant.
Now the event is called Biloxi Black Beach Weekend. It will be highlighted with concerts at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on April 8 and 9, and conclude on April 10. Bryant said although the name may suggest it's just for African Americans, he'd like to see everyone take part.
Matt McDonnell with the Coast Coliseum told WLOX ticket sales for the Saturday concert are on pace to match last year's 9,000 tickets sold, while hotels are expected to be full for the weekend. Also, at Slap Ya Mamma's Barbecue, Manager Lloyd Quinn sees Biloxi Black Beach Weekend as the trigger to his busiest season of the year.
"We see that as pretty much like the beginning of the big tourism season for us," said Quinn.
Along with the event planned at the Coliseum, others will be taking place that aren't affiliated with Bryant.
"There's promoters that are promoting different events," said Bryant. "There's enough visitors to go around to go to all the events that are happening."
At Lloyd Quinn's restaurant he's getting ready for the crowds to come.
"We know spring break's coming," said Quinn. "We don't know who's coming we're just trying to prepare for everybody to come."
About 25,000 people attended last year's Biloxi Black Beach Weekend. To learn more follow the link: http://www.biloxiblackbeach.com/