Boaters Rendezvous a success at Deer Island - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Boaters Rendezvous a success at Deer Island

After an eight year hiatus, The Mississippi Gulf Coast Boater's Rendezvous returned Sunday, this time to Deer Island. After an eight year hiatus, The Mississippi Gulf Coast Boater's Rendezvous returned Sunday, this time to Deer Island.
DEER ISLAND, MS (WLOX) -

After an eight year hiatus, The Mississippi Gulf Coast Boaters Rendezvous returned, this time to Deer Island. The Sunday event attracted thousands of people out to the waters of the Mississippi Sound.

Those who didn't have a boat, didn't have a problem making it to the island. Ferry rides were given from the Biloxi Schooner pier to Deer Island. That's where party goers welcomed the Rendezvous's new location.

"I am so glad to have it back," Chrissy Plavidal said. "I have missed this since 2004. I have been begging and begging to bring it back."

Plavidal was among the sea of boaters who anchored on the south side of Deer Island to enjoy the holiday weekend.

"The friendship, the boaters. I don't even know how to explain it. The Rendezvous, the camaraderie," said Plavidal.

Three independent organizers started the live music party on the water years ago, but after 2004, the Boaters Rendezvous was put on hold.

"With Katrina, a down turn in the economy, the BP oil spill, it kind of made it difficult to bring the event back," Matt McDonnell said. "I think some people weren't quite sure about Deer Island, but I'm going to tell you what, it's been a great site. People have been able to get out there in waist deep water, a sandy bottom, a beautiful beach."

A barge was set up as the centerpiece where the 80s rock band the Juke Box Heroes took the stage.

"I would say for the first year back, it was a very good showing. Somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 people," said McDonnell. "I can tell you right now, there's not many places in America where you can have this much fun. And we'll be back again next year."

The party started at 11am Sunday morning with a blessing of the pleasure boats and a tribute to all the military branches. From there, it was party paradise until 4:30pm.

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