Smalltalk Industry Conference 2012 Location Information

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Biloxi, Mississippi

The Biloxi Light

Biloxi, Mississippi—pronounced buh-LUX-ee (not buh-LOX-ee) by the locals—is one of the oldest communities in the country, having first been settled in 1699.  Today, the city is a cultural melting pot, with a year ’round schedule of celebrations, set against a backdrop of sugar-white sand beaches, great deep-sea or freshwater fishing, an array of championship golf courses, museums and historic sites, tantalizing seafood restaurants, and the excitement of 24-hour non-stop casino resorts.

Biloxi was once known as “The Seafood Capital of the World”.  Although Hurricane Katrina dealt a heavy blow to the area, the seafood industry has rebounded and remains a vital part of the local economy.  During shrimp season, tourists can visit with local fishermen and purchase fresh shrimp directly off the boats, which are moored in Biloxi harbors on Beach Boulevard and the Back Bay.

Other activities around Biloxi include The George Ohr MuseumSwamp/Eco Tours and great shopping and arts and crafts in nearby Ocean Springs. There are several amazing golf courses within a 25-minute drive of the resort, and New Orleans is only 90 minutes away.

  • For special Biloxi-area coupons, click here.
  • For a copy of the Biloxi-area Visitors’ Guide, click here.
  • For more information about the Mississippi Gulf Coast area, click here.

 

The Smalltalk Industry Conference looked at several venues for STIC 2012 and Biloxi stood out as a front runner.  The Beau Rivage Resort is a beautiful property that will offer a lot of convenience, activities and fun for the STIC 2012 attendees.  The Biloxi area is surrounded by several universities with top notch Computer Science programs and we know that the future of Smalltalk lies with this audience networking with the successful vendors and Smalltalk users that have attended Smalltalk Solutions in the past and who will bring new opportunities to STIC 2012.   The STIC Academic Advisory Committee is putting together a great program with Smalltalk Directions and we know that with this program, the passion of existing Smalltalkers and students attending from various Mississippi campuses that this will be one of our best events ever.  There’s a lot going on in Biloxi in the days before and after STIC 2012, so take a look below, plan your exciting trip to Biloxi and we’ll see you there! –- Suzanne Fortman, Smalltalk Industry Council Board Member

Must Sees and Dos

  • Sights – The historic Biloxi Lighthouse (right), Casino Row, the seashell domes of St. Michael Church, the massive live oaks at and near the historic landmark Mary Mahoney’s Old Frech House Restaurant, the scenic Schooner Pier Complex just west of the Grand Biloxi Casino and the drive along Highway 90 (Beach Boulevard)
  • Museums – The Walter Inglis Anderson Museum of Art in neighboring Ocean Springs and Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis
  • Memorable Meals – Fettucine Alfredo at Alberti’s Italian Restaurant, bread pudding at Mary Mahoney’s Old Frech House Restaurant, rosemary brandy shrimp at Jazzeppi’s Ristorante and Martini Bar and eggplant la rosa with hot, crusty French bread at Vrazel’s.
  • Walks – Winding your way through Old Biloxi on the Historical Walking Tour, beach walks along the Mississippi Sound with scenic Deer Island a short distance offshore, strolling through public areas of local harbors to look at the assortment of watercraft, including commercial shrimp boats.
 

Events During the Conference

  • March 16 – 18 — The 35th Annual COASTCON
    (Friday 12 PM – 1 AM, Saturday 9 AM – 1 AM and Sunday 9 AM – 5 PM)
    At COASTCON, Sci-fi fans converge on Biloxi for a weekend of fun! Highlights include charity auctions, costume contests, a Saturday night dance, vendors and more! Watch for interesting and eclectic special guests – you’ll never know who you’ll see!
  • March 16 – 18 — The Annual “Gulf Coast Rod Run”
    (Friday 12 – 8 PM, Saturday 8 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 8 AM – 12 PM)
    A huge car and truck show featuring hundreds of pre-80’s cars, trucks and motorcycles!  This event is free and has a ton of vendors, food, and fun!  Held—rain or shine—and hosted by the Singing River Street Rod Association at the Isle Casino Hotel.
  • March 17 – 18 — “Grillin’ & Green” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
    “Grillin & GREEN” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a weekend filled with events – parades, festivals, & FUN!  St. Patrick’s Day Parades offer visitors “throws or prizes” from elaborately decorated floats! The parades include more than 50 units with marchers, antique cars, floats, bagpipes and more! Spectators come from far away to catch the unique “prizes” thrown from the many colorful units – green beads, doubloons, wooden nickels, mini green beer steins, cabbages, potatoes, and even onions (almost everything needed to make an “Irish Stew) are just a few of the delightful “goodies” thrown! The parades have been around for decades and draw thousands of locals and visitors!  “Grillin’ on the Green” is a daylong festival featuring a grilling competition, food, 100’s of arts & crafts vendors, live entertainment and children’s activities! This event continues to grow in popularity with over 7,000 in attendance.
  • March 17 — Mississippi Surge vs. Huntsville (Live, professional hockey)
  • March 18 — 14th Annual Gulf Coast Winter Classics Horseshow (Begins at 8 AM)
    The last day of a six-week United States Equestrian Foundation AA Rated Hunter-Jumper event highlighting some the sport’s finest equine athletes from across the nation! With approximately 1000 horses exhibiting and 12,000 spectators, this is the largest hunter/jumper show on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!  Spectators attend free of charge with competitions running Wednesday through Sunday of each week. The horse show itself has three all-weather rings close to each other for exceptional viewing, a large beautiful grass field, and a covered arena with bleachers! Visitors are right in the middle of everything that is going on! Watching these graceful “beauties” compete is an experience! Awarded Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Winter Event 2010!
  • LOOKING AHEAD: PORTRAITS FROM THE MOTT-MARSH COLLECTION This exhibition features artwork in a variety of media: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. Several of the works are small, intimate pieces, while other works are larger in scale and domineering in their presence.  Exhibit at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Gallery/Gallery of African America Art Gallery!
 

Interesting Facts

  • Currency Exchange Banks are generally open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM with limited hours on Saturday mornings.  ATMs are widely available and are the easiest way for foreign visitors with bank cards to get U.S. currency.  Some casino hotels provide foreign currency exchange.  The Beau Rivage WILL exchange:  Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, British pound sterling and the euro.
  • Taxes There’s a 7% state sales tax and a 5% Harrison County hotel tax.  Casinos pay a 12% tax on gaming revenues.
  • Tipping Tip servers 15 to 20%, depending on the service.  Tip your casino dealer 10% of your win or whatever you think is fair if you’ve really hit it big.  Bellhops receive US $1 to $2 per bag.