They Come From Near And Far - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/18/04

They Come From Near And Far

Forget the classrooms and tests. The Arkansas high school students we found on the beach say a warm, sunny spring like day is perfect for volleyball.

Blair Pieroni, a student from Lake Village, Arkansas says, "We've been here times before. They've all been here when they were younger. I come just about every summer with my family. It's just pretty... a nice community."

With cash registers steadily ringing, the workers at Biloxi's Sharkheads Souvenirs say all the extra business is nice too. Cars with out of state tags fill the parking lot.

Manager Jim Gunkel says, "We see a lot of families. You see all around here it's mostly little kids. I guess all the college students go to Florida and all the families come over here."

As Donna Smith and her family shop for souvenirs, she says they used to live here. Now Memphis is home, But Smith says the Coast is tops for vacation.

"The Coast is a beautiful place to be. The people here are so friendly and so warm and awesome."

Hattiesburg 5th grader Shay Moody thought the water rides at a Gulfport amusement park were awesome.

"I got in the boats and got wet from the sprinklers."

Her dad, Shelvin Jones, says, "We were just really passing through and just decided to come over and bring the kids."

That's what park owner Shirley O'Neal likes to hear.

"We got a late start because of construction but once we got in, they started coming in so we think we're gonna have a great spring."

If this spring break week is any indication, O'Neal could be right.

by Marcia Hill

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