BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It's a 29-year-old tradition on the Biloxi Town Green, but this year the Biloxi Seafood Festival is offering something new. It's worth $20,000, and everyone who comes will have a chance to cash in on the free goodies.
"We are giving away $20,000 in prizes, almost a $1,000 an hour. Anyone who comes in through the gates, they'll get an application, and they can turn it in for their chance to win some prizes," says Giff Ormes with the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce.
The Biloxi Chamber of Commerce host the annual event. This year, the weather proved to be much kinder; most of last year was a wash out.
Chamber leaders say initial numbers show this year's festival as one of their best yet. It's expecting around 25,000 people. The demand for vendor space was so great some had to be turned away.
More then 100 vendors, selling everything from t-shirts to gourmet cookware, set up shop. The festival also includes live music and a kiddie village, complete with a water slide.
But, The main draw for the festival is the seafood. Despite the oil crisis and concerns over seafood safety, people packed lines in front of food vendors waiting to get their seafood fix.
"We've been enjoying it [seafood] for past couple of months, and so we're here to enjoy it today," says Tiffany Mobley of Biloxi.
The fun continues Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Biloxi Town Greene. The gumbo competition kicks off at 11:00 a.m.
Tune into WLOX weekend at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, to find out who walked away with top honors during the competition.