Harrison County

Experience downtown Biloxi as it was in the 1950s

The look of Howard Avenue in Biloxi in the 1950s when it was a thriving downtown will be recalled during the first Preservation in May event on Thursday.
The look of Howard Avenue in Biloxi in the 1950s when it was a thriving downtown will be recalled during the first Preservation in May event on Thursday.

This year’s Preservation in May is a walk through historic neighborhoods and back in time to Old Biloxi.

The five-week program begins on Thursday and ends June 1 with the 100-year anniversary celebration of St. Michael Church — known for its scalloped roof and stained glass windows — in East Biloxi.

Along the way participants can experience downtown Biloxi in the 1950s, taste fresh Gulf seafood and attend a picnic in the park.

“It’s an enjoyable way for everyone to learn more about our history and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Biloxi,” said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond.

All events are free and those who attend three of the four programs in May will get their “Passports through History” stamped and receive a commemorative gift.

The schedule includes:

▪ May 11: Howard Avenue Past and Present is a walking tour that starts at the corner of Howard and Lameuse streets near The Peoples Bank and at the West End Hose Company No. 3 Fire Museum. The Biloxi Tour Train will offer a continuous loop during the event from 5-7:30 p.m. Historic photos of what the downtown looked like will be on display and participants can register for prizes at the stops. Refreshments will be served.

▪ May 18: A Visit in Historic Oak Park Neighborhood, a walking tour with history told by residents, historic maps and refreshments. The tour begins at 5:30 p.m. at Businessmen’s Park at Forrest and Bayview avenues.

▪ May 25: Local historian and author Edmond Boudreaux will discuss how Biloxi earned the distinction as “The Seafood Capital of the World” while participants sample fresh Gulf seafood at Biloxi’s Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. 5:30-7:30 p.m.

▪ May 30: French Colonial Cemetery Park Dedication on Porter Avenue, adjacent to the Biloxi Visitors Center. The ribbon cutting and dedication are at 4 p.m. followed by a community picnic in Lighthouse Park with music, refreshments and displays from 5-7:30 p.m.

▪ June 1: St. Michael Catholic Church 100th Anniversary celebration begins at the church’s Family Life Center at 5 p.m. with historic photos and memorabilia. The Mass of the Deceased Fisherman will follow, kicking off The Blessing of the Fleet weekend.

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