This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Few people alive today will be here for the tricentennial celebration. And the centennial celebration was canceled by World War I.
So we suggest you make plans to head over to Gulfport on Friday for the Bicentennial Celebration South at Centennial Plaza, which was to have been the scene of the Mississippi Centennial in 1917.
Friday, you’ll have the chance to salute the military twice, at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A Taste of Mississippi will begin at 11 a.m. and the way Down South in Mississippi Picnic at 5.
And the United States Postal Service will unveil its bicentennial stamp, featuring a painting of bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes’ hands.
Saturday will be a tougher ticket to obtain. All the free tickets to Saturday’s festivities are gone from the bicentennial website. (Shout-out to The Band Perry.)
So, if you’re going, plan ahead.
Getting there likely will involve a encounter with heavy traffic on U.S. 90 near the Centennial Plaza. If you drive, you’ll have to turn from U.S. 90 onto Texas and Arkansas avenues, where you’ll be directed to the public parking.
Or you can park at the CTA garage in downtown Gulfport and hitch a ride on the shuttle to the celebration.
There’s a list of what to bring and what to leave at home — the family pets for example — at sunherald.com/news/local/bicentennial.
If you aren’t going, you probably will want to avoid U.S. 90 between downtown and Courthouse Road.
Either way, be sure to pack your patience when you head out Friday or Saturday. You know the drill. We have spring break, Cruisin’ The Coast and festivals galore down here.
The state is having just three big events for the Bicentennial. We’re proud that this One Coast has been chosen to roll out the welcome mat.
We hope to see you there.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.