Annual Gathering Celebrates Rebuilding - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Annual Gathering Celebrates Rebuilding

Some came by land, others by sea, but their destination was the same--Richard Rose's 2007 Summer Palooza Party.

"We get together once a year, and this is a special year because it's been 24 months since Katrina, and we're nearly all built back here along the river," Rose said.

The hurricane damaged all the homes in Retreat Village, a cozy neighborhood nestled in the Northwest corner of Gulfport on the Biloxi River.

"It's been a very tough time building back. As you can tell, all of our houses are elevated, and we all had somewhere between five and ten feet of water in the house," Rose said.

Summer Palooza began in 2003, but took on a new meaning after the storm.

"We had Palooza last year, of course, we had a great crowd last year, a lot of people couldn't make it. They still, they took time out from rebuilding their homes, whether they lived along the river, or lived anywhere along the coast, family and friends come from all over. They were all affected. This year, of course is even more special because they're done. They're nearly done," Rose said.

Rose said some of his neighbors opted to leave after the storm, but most stayed, and finally two years after the storm, things seem to be getting back to normal in Retreat Village.

"We've done a great job. We've worked together. We've helped each other, and we're glad to be here and we're celebrating another great day," Rose said.

By Toni Miles

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