BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Organizers of the 28th Annual Biloxi Seafood Festival say a little rain can't stop the food and fun that the festival offers. The two day event kicked off Saturday morning at Biloxi's Town Green under torrential rainfall, but the celebration of Biloxi's rich seafood heritage went on despite mother nature.
"We'd rather have sun-shine right now, but we're dealing with what we have and we're making the best of it," Chairman Biloxi Seafood Festival Rich Westfall said.
And that's exactly what the festival goers did. This annual event usually draws 70,000 people over the course of the two day event.
Fearing the rain would keep festival goers home this year, organizers created an incentive.
Westfall said, "If you come out with a funny umbrella or a special umbrella what ever, bring it out with you, and we've got a little surprise, sort of a give-away going on."
Those who did turn out, say the tasty seafood is worth getting a little wet. Festival organizers hope more South Mississippians will have Gautier resident Jason Stangel's attitude.
"We're having fun. I mean, it's just rain. Rain has never stopped me from anything," Stangel said.
"We come every year. We like the festival part of it, don't like the rain, but we like all the other and the good seafood," said Beth Stuart of Hattiesburg. "It's just a lot of fun. Richard and I, we're from Hattiesburg, and we just enjoy it."
Although seafood is the high-light of this event, organizers say the festival offers something for everyone.
"We have over 70 vendors; they've stuck with us. We have over 12 food vendors and hopefully if the rain quits, we'll be able to get our entertainment going, as well," Westfall said. "We're down here rain or shine, and we want every body to come out."
The hope is that mother nature will be a little kinder tomorrow. The event continues Sunday at Biloxi's Town Green from 10am until 5pm.
One of the high-lights of Sunday's festival will be a Gumbo cooking contest that kicks off at noon. Money raised during the event will be used to fund work projects for the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce.