- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - The Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade is the biggest Mardi Gras party on Fat Tuesday in south Mississippi.

Getting tens of thousands of people safely in and out of downtown Biloxi on Mardi Gras is a big task, but the city says its parade preparations are nearly complete.

WLOX-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1jDFKxh) that police expect to close roads near the parade route at least 30 minutes earlier than in the past.

Capt. Jim Adamo said the entire Biloxi Police Department will be on duty Tuesday as double-deck floats, marching bands and other clubs parade through the downtown area.

“We’ve asked for assistance from several of the surrounding agencies, as they’re always so gracious to provide us some additional manpower,” Adamo said.

Adamo said police will begin shutting down streets at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

“We’ll start with the I-110 closing southbound at the Division Street exit. Once the I-110 is shut down, we’ll go ahead and shut down the north side of westbound traffic on Highway 90 between Porter and Main Street,” he said.

What are normally the eastbound lanes of U.S. Highway 90 will be used for two-way traffic during the parade. Public works crews have already put out cones, signs and barricades to keep traffic moving in the right direction.

“Be prepared to be caught in some traffic as people drive all over the place. You’re going to find areas to park, but it’s going to be difficult. So come early and be prepared to wait,” Adamo said.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com