MLK Celebrations End With A Bang

"Remember, Celebrate, Act: A Day On, Not A Day Off." That's was the theme for the 21st annual MLK Celebration in Biloxi.

Monday, people showed up for annual Battle of the Bands. Last year's event was called off because of Hurricane Katrina, but with the help of the community, several schools were able to put back on their dancing shoes for the one of a kind performance.

From xylophones to trombones, every instrument imaginable was pulled out for King Day battle. It's a friendly competition that, organizer James Crowell says, the schools take very seriously.

"The music that band plays is very popular with the young people and that's what they really enjoy. The bands try to out-do each other and playing those songs. And sometimes it's the same song, it's just the way they play it," says Crowell.

Another attraction to the event: the majorettes. At this year's battle, Gulfport High had one of their own showing off her moves in the stands.

"Not very many people make dance teams in SWAC from the coast. We only have about three people from the coast that made SWAC. So it feels good to come home and represent," says Ashleigh Leggett, member of the Prancing J-Settes.

With family and friends cheering her on, Gulfport High Alum turned J-Sette Ashleigh Leggett, along with the other Jackson State band members, shined in the competition.

"It's not a game. What you do you have to have pride in it," says Leggett.

Jackson State, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State and Moss Point performed at Monday's Battle of the Bands.

Organizer James Crowell says he believes about 9,000 people to come out to Yankie Stadium for the event.