The 1699 Historical Society of Ocean Springs will host the annual Weekend of Discovery this weekend with a variety of events, including a traditional full-dress presentation, in which those who once sailed ashore in 1699 come alive. The public is invited to partake in the weekend of festivities. The 1699 Historical Society Weekend of Discovery kicks off with a full-dress presentation and party during the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau’s Business After Hours event on April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ocean Springs Community Center.
The unveiling reception features landing participants that include such local celebrities as Robert E. Hirsch, former Ocean Springs School District superintendent, and fictional novelist; Tom King, transportation commissioner; and Troy Ross, Board of Supervisors. Music and light refreshments will be provided. The weekend continues on Saturday, April 27, at 8 a.m. with a 5k run/walk, and 1-mile fun run for kids beginning at 9 a.m. at Fort Maurepas Park on Front Beach. Register for the run/walk here.
There’s also a paddleboard race, pet parade and show, and the Discovery Regatta on Saturday. For all three events, registration is at 10 a.m. with the events following at 11 a.m. During the day, there will be other festivities for the whole family at Fort Maurepas, including lives music as well as the honorary fire ceremony and the full-dress 1699 landing reenactment at 1 p.m. Events conclude at 3 p.m. These events are free for the public to attend.
According to www.1699landing.com, explorer Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville was commissioned by his royal majesty King Louis XIV of France to sail into Biloxi Bay in April of 1699. The expedition party reconnoitered the shores of the upper Gulf of Mexico and located Ship Island before identifying a high, defendable bluff located in present-day Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and on that site, d’Iberville’s party founded Fort Maurepas, the first capital of the Louisiana Colony, and named the spot Biloxey.
For more information on the 1699 Weekend of Discovery, including a detailed schedule with times and locations for each event, visit www.1699landing.com or contact the event organizer at 228-627-8585. You can also find them on Facebook.