Local Experiences

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend on the MS Gulf Coast

5/21/2015 | Bridgette Varone

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Memorial Day, May 25, always celebrated the last Monday in May, is a way to remember those military men and women who have lost their lives for our freedom. We at Play the Coast say, THANK YOU FOR OUR FREEDOM AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE.


We hope you spend your Memorial Day Weekend celebrating this incredible country. If you’re on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and spending the weekend with friends and family or even by yourself, there is so much to do. We have taken all of the guesswork out of your itinerary by listing our top 5 FREE events to enjoy from Waveland to Pascagoula.




St. Claire Catholic Church is located on Beach Boulevard in Waveland. Their annual seafood festival is a sweet, family-friendly event with all of the typical rides for the kids. What is extraordinary is the delicious seafood, live music, and beautiful art being offered. Take a drive from Hwy 90 down Beach Blvd through Bay St. Louis, and enjoy Mississippi’s West Coast.




JAZZ IN THE PASS, Pass Christian – May 23-24


This is where I will be this weekend. It starts with the 38th Annual Blessing of the Fleet in Pass Christian Harbor. This tradition is important to the seafood industry on the MS Gulf Coast as the boats and crew receive blessings for a bountiful shrimp season. Jazz in the Pass will be up the road from the harbor on Davis Avenue. There will be live music and a gumbo cook-off on Saturday and the entertainment continues through Sunday. Some of my favorite restaurants are in the Pass, as well as many unique shops, and even more unique - are the people.






I’d be amiss if I didn't list the Memorial Day Blowout at the Gulfport Dragway. Once known as the "All Harley Gulfport Memorial Day Blowout,” this is was the sure sign of summer (besides the heat and humidity), to see the hundreds of gruff Harley Davidson riders and their braided ponytailed passengers. This event has now opened up to "all types of bikes.” There will be lots of racing and good times to be had. Check it out!




SOUNDS BY THE SEA, Gulfport and Pascagoula – May 23-24


The Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra is a treasure to Mississippi Gulf Coast residents and visitors. Each Memorial Day weekend, the GCSO puts on a free concert, Sounds by the Sea. The event is in Gulfport on Saturday and Pascagoula on Sunday. Bring your blanket, lawnchair, and picnic and enjoy this delightful concert overlooking the water.






The Military has such a large presence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as we the fortunate home to Keesler Air Force Base, the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Air National Guard, Army National Guard, US Coast Guard, and the Armed Forces Retirement Home. One of the most important traditions for Memorial Day is to visit the Biloxi National Cemetery to pay your respects to the deceased military men and women and their families. There is nothing quite as moving as looking out over the acres upon acres of headstones with the American Flag beside each one.


We hope you enjoy this Memorial Day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and delight in our food, our festivals, our people, and most importantly, our freedom. God Bless America!

Bridgette Varone