OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Perfect weather helped draw a huge crowd to downtown Ocean Springs for the 26th annual Spring Arts Festival: Herb, Garden and Art.
It’s worth the drive, according to Deena Knox. She and her friends drove more than seven hours from Galveston, Texas, to attend the festival
“There’s so much variety, and really, things that you don’t find everywhere, and there’s a lot of coastal art, which we live in Galveston on the water, so that’s what we do; we decorate in coastal," she said.
The annual festival brings together more than 150 crafters, artists and plant vendors in the City of Discovery.
This is woodturner Michael Mishler’s first year at the festival. He hoped his array of ornaments, lighthouses and more will attract a few buyers over the weekend. All of it is made from scrap wood.
“Even though some of my stuff might be a little pricier, it’s nice when people come by and say, ‘oh, I love your work,’" he said.
“I really love this area too. We did drive around a little bit last night, and it’s like, man, this is a neat little place," he said.
That is something organizers love to hear. They said around 15,000 people come out each day. That’s big for business.
“This is how we bring, generate activity, revenue and a quality of life to the community. So it’s a fun way to generate activities and help our local businesses sustain," said Cynthia Dobbs Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Gayle Underwood travels every year from Pensacola to do some shopping.
“I’ve already taken my first load to the car. I’m on my second,” she said.
She also loves exploring the Coast and is always looking for recommendations on what to see and do while she’s here.
“It’s to find out what other people know that I don’t. So it’s nice to hear that locals like exactly what I do,” Underwood said.
It sounded like the Mississippi Gulf Coast may be winning her over.
This year’s festival also included artist demonstrations and educational sessions. It continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.