The City of Pascagoula will honor world renowned native son Jimmy Buffett next week.
Buffett is expected to be in attendance on Saturday, Sept. 19 for the dedication of Jimmy Buffett Bridge, which spans the Baptiste Bayou.
The day will transform into one of celebration and song, as Buffett is expected to bring his guitar with him and perform a brief acoustic set to commemorate the occasion while accompanied by Coral Reefer guitarist and seven time Country Music Association Musician of the Year Mac McAnally on the beach at the corner of 11th Street and Beach Boulevard.
City officials will present Buffett with a key to the City, and the City and State Legislature will proclaim May 6th Jimmy Buffett Day at the local and state levels in honor of his parents’ wedding anniversary. Jimmy Buffett signage will also be placed at Pascagoula’s three entrances advertising it as his birthplace.
The singer-songwriter, author, actor, and entrepreneur was born Christmas Day, 1946 in the old Jackson County Hospital in Pascagoula. He moved to Mobile with his parents when he was a child.
But despite his worldly travels, Buffett has maintained ties to Pascagoula over the years through relatives including his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. In a short chapter he wrote for the book, “Growing Up In Mississippi,” Buffett describes summer vacations at his grandmother’s house in Pascagoula on Parsley Street, “free of the grasp of the Mobile parochial school system.”
In fact, in his best-selling book “A Pirate looks at Fifty,” Buffett says “I move around the globe in an almost constant state of motion. But when I think of home, I think about Pascagoula and the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, not Long Island or Florida. Home is where you come from. It is not where you live at the present time. And though I doubt I will ever live there again, I will always think of it as home.”
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event. Due to the limited amount of parking near the beach, motorists should park in designated areas and ride the shuttle, which will be provided free of charge by the City of Pascagoula.
Designated parking areas include Point Park, located at 500 Beach Boulevard. Once Point Park is full, the Pascagoula Police Department will direct traffic to designated overflow areas. The shuttles will run from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.. Those using the shuttles should only bring what they can carry on their lap or under the seat.
Boaters and motorists should be aware Point Park will be closed to thru traffic and that the boat launches will be closed starting the evening of September 18th. Boaters may launch their boats from Lighthouse Park, River Park, or Spanish Fort. Beach Boulevard will also be closed starting at 10:00 a.m. between Market Street and Martin Avenue. Suggested alternate routes are Ingalls Avenue and Old Mobile Avenue.
Scranton’s Restaurant and Catering will be the exclusive food vendor at the event, and will be selling cheeseburgers with fries or chips, soft drinks, water, and LandShark Premium Lager by Margaritaville Brewing Company. Scranton’s can only accept cash at this event.
The City of Pascagoula hopes that many people will come and enjoy the event, and encourages everyone to be courteous to each other. There will be no tents, glass, grills, or pets allowed on the beach.