• Long Beach Breeze

Jeepin the Coast back again, June 1-5

As the hub of Jeepin the Coast, the City of Long Beach is setting the stage for this year's event, scheduled for June 1-5. So far, about 2,500 participants have signed up for Jeepin the Coast (JTC), coming from as far away as Illinois.

Although the vast majority of the festivities of the five-day event take place in the Friendly City, this year's Jeepin the Coast kicks off Wednesday, June 1, with a Parking Lot Party at Champion-Dodge Jeep dealership in Gulfport and the start of a scavenger hunt. Event founder Jennifer Moran likens this yearly event to the kick off of summer in South Mississippi, just as Cruisin' the Coast is seen as the beginning of the fall tourism season on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"What better way to kick off summer time than in a Jeep with no top and doors?" Moran said.

Jeepin the Coast is also a driving force for summer tourism in South Mississippi.

“We are proud to partner with Jeepin the Coast for the fourth year," said Jenny Levens, community affairs director for the City of Long Beach. "Jeepin the Coast brings thousands of people into our city for a weekend of fun and entertainment. Our local businesses see a huge increase in sales with the Jeepers in town."

Overall, the annual event spans several coastal cities, with events planned in Long Beach, Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis. As in years past, Long Beach will be the main host city, and those without Jeeps have plenty of opportunities to get in on the fun throughout the weekend. Long Beach will host Jeep Central, as well as the Jeep-only parade, and organizers encourage everyone to roll on out for this annual event.

The official hangout for the event – Coastal Daiquiri – is also in Long Beach.

A group of South Mississippi friends, Jennifer Moran, Julie Bradley and Kim Favre, are the ones behind this family-friendly event revving up here on the Coast. They love Jeeps, are passionate about the Mississippi Gulf Coast and are geared up about supporting charitable causes.

Years ago, Julie Bradley founded the 501(c)3 non-profit Costumes for a Cause (C4AC), which raises money for families impacted by cancer. A portion of the proceeds from Jeepin the Coast are donated to C4AC each year, this year included.

The hub, Jeep Central, located at 506 Jeff Davis Avenue in Long Beach, will be set up for Jeepers to pick up registration packets June 2-4. This location will also be the site for JTC’s Vendor Village.

Following the June 1 kickoff party, Thursday, June 2, brings another day of the scavenger hunt, which will continue through Sunday, and a party is planned. Also on Thursday, Lightin the Night and Shakin the Streets will take place in Pass Christian at 8 p.m., with a sound competition immediately following. Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition will play from 5 to 8 p.m.

On Friday, June 3, people can check out and purchase Jeepin merchandise at Vendor Village, which opens along Jeff Davis Avenue (across from Coastal Daiquiri) in Long Beach. It will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Also on Friday, the Poker Run begins, two Beach Crawls will be held, and a concert and after-party are scheduled with the 3 C’s Band playing from 6-9 p.m.

Saturday brings a full day of events, including a Jeep Cruise, another Beach Crawl, and the Show & Shine Jeep show at Jeep Central in Long Beach.

Jeep Central is the place to be Saturday afternoon, to catch the Mardi Gras-style Jeep parade, which will roll down Jeff Davis Avenue at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to line the parade route and encouraged to bring their own chairs. Pre-registration is required to participate in the parade, and Jeepers will toss beads to the crowd.

Afterwards, there will be an awards show. Then the Concert in the Streets, with live entertainment by Category 6, will start around 7:30 p.m. on Jeff Davis Avenue. Everyone is invited to take part.

The scavenger hunt will wrap up on Sunday, June 5, and prizes for the scavenger hunt will be given. The five-day event will end with a final party at Coastal Daiquiri in Long Beach.

Each year, the event attracts thousands of Jeepers and others to the area, filling up local hotels and exposing visitors from all over to South Mississippi's unique cuisine and attractions, boosting the local economy.

“Ready. Set. Roll!” Moran said, as she does each year with much excitement. This year is no exception.

For additional details, visit the Jeepin the Coast Facebook page or www.JeepinTheCoast.com.

687 views1 comment