Cruisin' the Coast organizers double down on health, safety despite sponsor departure

Cruisin’ the Coast organizers double down on health and safety despite sponsor departure

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - We are one month away from America’s biggest block party, Cruisin' the Coast. Despite losing a sponsor for the Biloxi Block Party, event organizers are moving forward.

The Biloxi Chamber of Commerce has announced that it will no longer be a sponsor for the Cruisin' the Coast Block Party that takes place in Biloxi each year. Even though the Chamber has cited budgetary issues as their reason for departure, Cruisin' the Coast organizers said that they are making sure to keep the safety and health of event participants as the top priority.

The first notable changes will happen at registration.

“We’re going to divide it up among Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. So we’ll spread out the crowds of people coming to register. We’re spreading out the tables, we’ll be social distancing and following all CDC and state guidelines," said Cruisin' Executive Director Woody Bailey.

Thousands of people typically litter the streets of Biloxi for the block party. Bailey said that even though masks and hand washing will be encouraged, he’s relying on the public to be accountable for their own actions.

“We can’t monitor everybody, every moment. That’s impossible to do. All we can do is try to direct them the proper way, with our signage, and try to hopefully enforce those measures," Bailey said.

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After sending the event COVID operations plan to the governor, Bailey now said he has support from the state level.

“The governor’s office has basically said proceed with your plan, but proceed so cautiously. So, that’s what we’re trying to do at this point," Bailey said.

Biloxi city leaders are also looking to the thousands of people who flock to the Gulf Coast to take their welfare into their own hands.

“What we’re going to do is make sure we keep people moving. We’re going to have less cars downtown, they’re going to be spaced out more, and we’re asking people to please remember personal responsibility. Wear that face mask,” said Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel.

“They’re a little bit older crowd. They’re invested in, and their purpose is to cruise and have a good time. I think we’re gonna give every effort to reduce those opportunities to spread this virus. It’s key to our deal," said Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich.

In his daily press conference, Gov. Tate Reeves said that as long as Cruisin' the Coast adheres to executive orders, including social distancing, mask-wearing, and crowd sizes, then the event can still go on.

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