Arts festival means big business for OS merchants - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Arts festival means big business for OS merchants

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

It's quiet now in Ocean Springs. On Saturday, it will be packed for the Peter Anderson Festival. One hundred thirty thousand people jammed the streets of downtown for last year's festival. They come ready to spend.

That's why merchants like Dawn Curticapian pull out all the stops. 

"We're going to give out coupons like for future visits and not only for future visits; we're going to have it for that day for several items that are in the store.  And the store is completely stocked," Curticapian said. "We've had shipments coming in all week." 

Businesses that serve food are also expecting tables to be full this weekend.  The arts festival, along with Cruisin' the Coast, are a real boost.  Lee Ceccorulli manages a restaurant. 

"We depend on the two back to back weekends. It brings probably 75 percent of your big business because the rest of the weeks fall off tremendously right after that." Ceccorulli said. 

For most business owners around the country, Christmas is the make it or break it time. But that's not necessarily the case in downtown Ocean Springs. The arts festival can be a make it break it time as well. 

"It makes it. There's no way that we could do it without all of the festivals down here, with it bringing in new business and then it brings people back year round and it brings them here during the Summer," candy store manager Michelle Gregory explained.  "They come here on vacation and they don't just wait for the festivals." 

The festival also means people, who work in the stores profit as well.  Jeannie Stevenson owns a business. 

"We have more people working for one thing," Stevenson said.  "And we also have a tent in front of the shop so we have refreshments, everything going to welcome people here, so we're ready." 

Something else will also be ready…the cash registers. 

Meteorologist Mike Reader said the weather should cooperate for the festival, with warm temperatures and only a slight chance of rain on Sunday.

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