Biloxi's Black Spring Break kicks off Friday night. The weekend will be full of concerts, games, and fun. At the Coliseum Lil' Scrappy, Pastor Troy, Level, and Mario all get ready to take the stage. This concert series is the first of many events planned for this weekend, and with good weather in the forecast, businesses are expecting a big turnout. Black Spring Break starts Friday night, but businesses have been preparing for the heavy traffic all week. Hotels are filling up quickly and stores are stocking up on merchandise.
Shawn Guider of Shawn's Petit Bois Wine and Liquor says, "It is crazy. I double my staff. We'll have one on the floor, somebody bagging, somebody at the register. People are looking around and shopping. This is my third year open, so now we have repeat customers and they come in and remember you and they're very nice." Pat Pigott, co-owner of Biloxi Beach Rentals, is a Black Spring Break veteran. While he's beefing up his staff, he knows at the last minute, anything could happen.
Pigott says, "You never know from year to year. Some years are busier than other years. We'll just have to see what happens. It's just kind of a wait and see thing, but we're ready." In preparation for Black Spring Break, Biloxi Police have set up barricades at roads that come off of Highway 90 as well as at U-turns. They'll open up the blockades if roads become too dangerous. Capt. Jim Adamo with the Biloxi Police Department says, "There's going to be plenty of officers out there just to make sure that if they need to override lights and get traffic moving, they will. We'll probably have some of the areas along Highway 90 barricaded so that we can't constantly loop around and get back into traffic and cause traffic jams." Clubs, promoters, and other businesses organize the concerts and events, but Maurice Bryant has been the one getting the word out. As the event's main promoter, he's using social media and a team of promoters to get everyone excited and tell them what makes this year special.
Bryant says, "All the concerts are happening on the grounds outside. We want to keep it Spring Break-ish, so we're doing it outside this year." Since tickets can be bought day of, no one's sure just how many people will show up, but police and businesses are preparing for thousands of visitors. Those attending the event are encouraged to carpool and be attentive to security and police officers.