Spring break event under way at coliseum

Published 11:05 pm Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break event is under way in Biloxi.

Vendors set up tents Friday on the grounds of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for the event once known as Black Spring Break.

Keith Brown, the promoter of Mississippi Gulf Coast Spring Break, worked with coliseum leaders and local law enforcement to plan a spring break party that’s fun for visitors, and not a burden neighboring businesses. Past spring break weekends had a lot less organization. That created bottlenecks on the beach.

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Police set up a command post at a mall and have plans for diverting traffic this weekend if Highway 90 gets too crowded.

Organizers were predicting as many as 50,000 weekend visitors for an event they say is bigger and better organized than it has been.

That large number, if it comes true, could mean large profit. That’s why food vendor Otis Sanders had no problem with moving his Gulfport business to the Coliseum this weekend. “I’ve got two daughters that I’m trying to send to Spelman (University), and this is how I’m going to do it,” said Sanders.

Business got off to a rather slow start early Friday night. Vendors expected things to pick up by Saturday night. “The majority of the people are still coming in, steadily coming in,” vendor Risselle Walden said.