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Biloxi to welcome 99th years ago

The 55th annual convention of the 99th Infantry Division Association will be held Aug. 1-5, 2004, at the Imperial Palace Hotel, Biloxi MS.

The convention will run from Sunday to Thursday to take advantage of a special room rate of $49 per night. The hotel offers free covered parking as well.

For those of you who plan to fly, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is serviced by five airlines — Air Tran, ASA/Delta, Continental, Northwest, and Southeast Airlines. An airport shuttle is available and will bring you to the hotel for $12-$17 round trip.

The Imperial Palace is a full-service hotel featuring a wide variety of restaurant choices at reasonable prices, several retail shops, a six-screen movie theater, video arcade, pool, and health spa. View their website at www.ipbiloxi.com.

In addition to the War Room, Memorial Service, and banquet, several tours are being planned.

Tentatively, an all-day tour to New Orleans is in the works. The tour will begin with a scenic drive along the "world's longest man-made beach" from Biloxi to New Orleans. A two-hour city tour will include the unusual aboveground "cities of the dead" (cemeteries), a trip along the rails of the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar as it passes stately mansions of an era long ago. At the end of the city tour, there will be time for shopping and lunch in the French Quarter. A visit to New Orleans would not be complete without a visit to the National D-Day Museum.

Another event will include a city tour, a visit to Beauvoir, the home of Jefferson Davis, and a Biloxi shrimp boat tour. While aboard a shrimp boat in the Mississippi Sound the captain will entertain passengers with stories of old Biloxi and explain the shrimping business in the gulf.

And finally, another tour may include a visit to the swamps and bayous of southern Louisiana to view the wildlife of the area.

The Biloxi committee is striving to keep costs down. All tours and meals will be reasonably priced and it promises to be a first-class reunion. Complete information packets along with registration forms will be mailed to all members in March.

Hotel reservations and convention registrations must be made 30 days prior to the Aug. 1 date. That means JULY 1, 2004, is the cutoff date for registrations. Anyone registering after this date may not receive the $49 rate for hotel rooms and may have to pay a "late fee" for registration. In addition, some tours may fill up fast and will be sold on a first come first served basis. Don't wait. Make reservations early. It's a reunion you won't want to miss.

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