Crews prepare for crowds at Coliseum Crawfish Festival - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Crews prepare for crowds at Coliseum Crawfish Festival

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – The ticket booths were being hauled around the Coast Coliseum grounds Thursday morning, and the rides were getting some TLC.

"They're fine tuning the rides and getting all of their equipment checked out from a safety standpoint. We're getting our main stage set up," said Matt McDonnell, Assistant Director of the Coast Coliseum.

Planning for the 18th annual Coliseum Crawfish Festival took about five months. Setting up for such a huge event usually takes days and a pretty large staff.

"Normally we have more time.  We came all the way from Miami, so we kind of had to rush it. We started setting up actually yesterday," said Concessions Manager Patrick Hadley.

The midway features 22 rides and more than two dozen games.  Thirty acts will take the stage, from local talent to big-name bands, like the Gin Blossoms.  And there are plenty of food vendors around to tempt the hungry, especially mudbug lovers.

"Crawfish is the hook.  If you like crawfish, you're going to love this festival," said McDonnell.

For many families, the festival is the place to be when they're ready to 'spring' into some fun. 

"This has always traditionally been the first big event coming out of the gloom and dreariness of winter down here," said McDonnell.  "We've always been able to capitalize on good weather."

"Oh, just having a good time," said Hadley. "It's just a great place to bring your family and have great memories."

Last year, the Crawfish Festival had a record crowd of more than 54,000 people. The festival runs from Thursday through Sunday this weekend.  It continues next weekend, also from Thursday through Sunday.

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