Thousands of people make the seafood festival in Biloxi a success

By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The oil spill saga the coast has been dealing with the past several months did not stop people from enjoying a hot plate of seafood at the 29th Annual Seafood Festival in Biloxi. Thousands of people stopped by to enjoy the music, vendors and food.

The Biloxi Town Green attracted thousands to its grounds this year for the annual seafood festival. Some people like Diamond Florence came from as far as Pensacola, Florida to enjoy the local cooking.

Diamond Florence said, "I'm really looking forward to eating some shrimp. I love shrimp. I want some shrimp."

Vendors served hundreds of pounds of shrimp kabobs, crab cakes, calamari and much more.

Damon Penny said, "If there's any concerns about people eating seafood because of the oil spill all you have to do is come here and just look around because we've sold plenty of seafood."

Chairman of the Seafood Festival Damon Penny said foot traffic was higher this year compared to prior years.

"This year we're up to 25,000 I'd guess," said Penny.

Charter boats, restaurants and hotels are all business that were affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, so organizers decided they wanted to help those businesses out during the annual celebration.

Penny said, "The Tourism Commission came up with an idea and went to BP to give money back to the industries that were really hurt by the oil spill."

Penny said BP gave $20,000 to the cause. Cash money and prizes were given throughout the festival every hour.

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