New safety measures in place for Biloxi's Mardi Gras parades
BILOXI, MS (AP) - After a tragic accident at last year's parade, the City of Biloxi now says they are taking measures to make sure something like that doesn't happen again this year.
Among those changes include stricter crowd control measures, as well as the removal of any rebar.
"We're making preps for the upcoming Neptune and Gulf Coast carnival parades now," said city spokesman Vincent Creel. "One of the things not part of the crowd control measures in Biloxi this year will be the use of rebar."
The move comes after the death of 20-year old Braydon Hester, who fell from a truck and died after landing on a piece of rebar. The city had set out the rebar to help with parking for the large crowd attending the Mardi Gras parade.
Creel says the city will use thousands of barricades this year, even borrowing some from D'Iberville and Pass Christian.
"We'll have 2,300 barricades covering a three and a half mile area," said Creel. "The parade route is 2.8 miles. We'll put them up on both sides of the route. It will be either barricades or caution tape with traffic cones."
Biloxi resident Tony Moss says he enjoys attending the parades each year, especially Biloxi's, but he's glad to see the city trying to prevent another accident like the one that killed Hester.
"It's easy to overlook rebar, even if you're familiar with the area," said Moss. "People get distracted easily or someone could trip. It's good get rid of rebar."
In addition to the safety measures the city is taken, Creel said it's also a good idea for everyone to take responsibility for their own safety and remain aware of their surroundings while attending the parades.
The first parade in Biloxi kicks off Feb. 3 with the children's walking parade. Then, on Feb. 10, the Krewe of Neptune parade will fill the streets, which is followed on Feb. 13 - Fat Tuesday - with the Gulf Coast Carnival Association's parade.
Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.