Diamondhead is Mississippi’s newest City! Incorporated in February of 2012, Diamondhead has long been an established and vibrant area but is now poised to chart its own future. Founded originally as a retirement community in the 1970’s, Diamondhead sports two well-manicured golf courses, tennis courts, multiple pools and playgrounds–all the amenities one could want–plus easy access to larger cities like Gulfport, Biloxi, Slidell, and New Orleans or the beautiful beaches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Located at Exit 16 on I-10, Diamondhead is just 20 minutes from Gulfport and Slidell, 15 minutes from the Coast, and only an hour from the French Quarter!
There are three churches within the City limits, numerous restaurants, a marina, a bowling alley, two drug stores, medical facilities and various offices for doctors, an airport, three banks, a knitting and needlepoint shop, several clothing stores, a hardware and grocery store, and many other businesses to accommodate the needs and desires of the locals.
On the fun side, Diamondhead is home to four Mardi Gras Krewes open to members of the community that offer a wide variety of parties and balls and numerous opportunities to dress up according to the chosen party theme, whether it be Country Western, Toga, Halloween, Derby, Mardi Gras, or Jazz, in addition to the more traditional formal balls, replete with beautiful gowns and tuxedos and just a little of the pomp and circumstance associated with the large Mardi Gras Krewes in New Orleans! Who doesn’t like to Second Line?!!!! On the plus side, attendees are just minutes from home! Many large private parties are held with themes such as Black and White, Red and White (in December), Chicago (roaring 20’s), and a Masked Ball.
The best family-oriented Mardi Gras parade on the Coast is held in Diamondhead on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. Cars with trunks open and pickups with their tailgates down line the sides of the road and the medians of Diamondhead Drive on a parade route that begins at the Community Center, makes its way to the Business District, and ends at the Country Club where celebration for all ensues in the Emerald Ballroom. Children of all ages join residents in lawn chairs to eagerly anticipate the beads and throws and enjoy the floats, decorated golf carts, and convertibles carrying Queens and Kings of all the Krewes in their royal finery. Many pets accompany their humans and sport costumes or wear beads around their necks, the same as everyone else.
Cruisin’ the Coast makes a stop in Diamondhead on Wednesday afternoon of Crusin’ Week for the popular “Blessing of the Classics” event and city-wide celebration. The unique design of Diamondhead’s roadways allows the Cruisers to stage their parade on what is known as “the Southside”, South of I-10, then travel all around the seven mile perimeter road, Diamondhead Drive, with a stop at one of the three traffic circles to receive blessings from local pastors and priests in addition to goody bags and certificates from the City. Again, residents and visitors alike line the parade route to enjoy another free show! Cruisers complete their loop around Diamondhead at the Business District, parking their cars for all to admire while they and the crowds enjoy the bands and other festivities.
And who can miss the Duck Pond at the entrance to Diamondhead with all its feathered residents–ducks and geese alike and sometimes a heron or two–who call Diamondhead either home or at least a stopover on their way North or South each year. Traffic often comes to a standstill as the flock meanders across the road or to the median for a tasty treat just on the other side of wherever they are or simply to enjoy a nap in a warm spot of sunshine.
Thursday night is always Karaoke Night at the 19th Hole at Diamondhead Country Club. There is dancing for all and many good local singers to enjoy. Occasionally, Bobby Rydell–friends of local residents–will drop by the Club and join in the fun, singing karaoke style to some of his own many hits, to the delight of the crowd, a real treat for residents. Bands always play at the 19th Hole on Friday nights and there is music of one kind or another on most Saturdays.
Though small in size and young compared to other, more well-established cities on the Coast, Diamondhead is a growing, warm and vibrant community, a real jewel in the sun of South Mississippi that has a lot to offer. Come by Diamondhead any time to “VISIT, PLAY, AND STAY”!!!