A huge change is coming to Pascagoula's Blessing of the Fleet. Those attending will be able to buy and drink beer, wine and liquor at the festival. It's the first time city leaders will allow alcohol at this event.
Monday, William Odom was hanging up flyers and banners around town to let everyone know the Blessing of Fleet is in two weeks.
"I think it is going to be great for the city," Odom said.
While Odom is excited the event will give local fishermen an extra prayer for a safe and bountiful season on the water. He is also expecting a larger crowd now that Pascagoula has changed its liquor policy.
"I think it is an antiquated law that we have continued to hold on to for some time," Odom said about the booze ban.
Odom said the ordinance also left a bitter taste in a lot folks' mouths. And because of that, he believes the blessing festival has not been very successful, compared to other events.
"To compete on a level playing field, you have to have the beer sales; it seems to go along with some events like this."
So he and others fought for two years to change the law. The city council relented and will allow alcohol sales and consumption with a permit.
"I think once they realize there was proper insurance coverage, and it would be policed properly, and that it is not the main event, it is just something that goes along with the event," said Odom.
Some Pascagoula leaders agree the old alcohol law was stiff and allowing alcohol at certain city events now could bring more revenue dollars to town during these tough economic times.
"When you have thousands of people coming into your town for events and festivities like this Blessing of the Fleet, they will stay here, they will dine here and they will shop here," Councilman Frank Corder said.
And with the law change, the council and others hope more event organizers will consider setting up in Pascagoula.
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The Blessing of the Fleet will be held on May 21st at Pascagoula River Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.