SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The Fourth of July weekend on the coast means a whole lot of prep work. The coast will be full of things to do, and leading up to the big holiday will be a busy time for many. Some organizers have been prepping for months.
Cleanup crews are hard at work readying the beaches and the highway. Event organizers are making sure everything's squared away.
Construction teams are busy assembling everything it takes to make a great holiday weekend on the coast. One of the most elaborate constructions is going up on Harrah's Great Lawn as the casino prepares for what will possibly be its biggest event yet.
"To have an act like Toby Keith starting off our Fourth of July weekend here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It's truly going to be epic," said Kennedy Smith, Vice President of Harrah's Gulf Coast.
The setup can be daunting. Preps for the concert started in February. The Great Lawn normally sits as green space across the highway from Harrah's, and it takes a lot to go from a ten and a half-acre field to a concert venue.
"We've got to build it from the ground up. Anywhere from ice to electricity to lighting. So, it's a large scale festival," said Smith.
Thousands are expected at the concert and at beaches all throughout the coast this weekend. Vendors are putting out extra beach chairs and umbrellas.
Other events are also preparing, like the 69th annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo.
"Anticipating large crowds. We're doing our setup slightly different this year," said Mark Wright, the weigh master for the rodeo.
Wright is expecting around 20,000 people to come to this coast tradition. Anglers will take their shot at a portion of $45,000 in cash and prizes. He said the setup takes almost a week from start to finish.
Like the other events along the coast, the progress will soon give way to thousands and thousands of visitors enjoying the holiday weekend.
To find out more about these and other events happening across the coast this holiday weekend, please visit our new Gulf Coast Weekend website.