Hurricane Survivors Rediscover Lunch Time Treat

A mellow, spring-time serenade, surrounded by lush plants and beautiful blooms, provided the perfect backdrop for a relaxing lunch on the Biloxi Town Green Friday.

"The green grass, the plants, the shoo fly being built, the memorial already there, the azaleas blooming. These are all good reasons to be out here," said Main Street Biloxi President Dennis Burke.

The Brown Bag Lunch is a tradition Main Street Biloxi is determined to carry on. Members say people need a break from their Katrina troubles.

"I lost my job. I lost my home," said Shelly Jones of Biloxi. "It brings the community back together and it helps show that we're coming back."

"I have a lot more free time," said Ann Kavanaugh. "It took a long time to get here. To work through losing your job, and to be able to enjoy not having one."

Before the storm, John and Patty Caranna never considered lunch under the oaks. When asked why the couple came this time, Patty Caranna answered, "For the live entertainment. That's one of the things we missed most since the hurricane."

The trees don't offer as much shade now, and Katrina's destruction still lingers, but there's plenty of optimism in the air.

"This is Biloxi and we're getting it back, slowly but surely," said Kavanaugh. "This is a step in the right direction."

Main Street Biloxi also hosted the free event to encourage more people to support downtown restaurants.