Ravens fans receive surprise welcome at Gulfport airport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ravens fans receive surprise welcome at Gulfport airport

Posted: Updated:
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Many 49ers and Ravens fans are flocking to South Mississippi before they head over to the Big Easy to catch the Super Bowl. Coast tourism leaders want them to keep coming back. When a charter flight from Baltimore landed at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Friday, the Ravens fans received a generous dose of southern hospitality.

Lively tunes from the Gulfport High Jazz Band "G-Blues" announced the passengers' arrival.

"We're from Baltimore. Go Ravens!" one fan shouted.

"Niners are going down!" shouted another fan.

"It is a complete surprise. We're here to inundate them with Mardi Gras beads and king cakes," said Crystal Johnson, Sales Director for the Harrison County Tourism Commission.

One-hundred-thirty-seven Ravens fans stepped off a charter flight from Baltimore and into a sea of southern hospitality.

"Incredible welcome. I mean, how can you go wrong with king cake, beads, and live local music?" asked Ravens fan Kevin Shea.

The Baltimore guests seemed impressed with the sweet gesture.

"What is it?" asked Pam Koffel, as she held up her mini king cake. "Oh, I've heard of king cakes. I'm looking forward to it."

The airport and tourism staff also handed out goody bags filled with Mississippi Coast souvenirs and shopping and dining guides.

"We want them to take advantage of the area here, see our many amenities and offerings, and having a good time while they're in the region," said Airport Executive Director Clay Williams.

"It's wonderful!" exclaimed Koffel. "We're really looking forward to exploring the coast."

"We've heard a lot about Biloxi and the casinos and so on, so we look forward to it," said Ravens fan Arthur Alperstein.

And that's exactly the kind of impression tourism leaders want to leave.

"Very warm. We appreciate it very much. Thank you, Mississippi," said Ravens fan Quin Shea.

"It's a very exciting time. We're thrilled that New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl. Anytime that they have a large scale event like this, the South Mississippi economy benefits," said Williams.

Many football fans will be departing on Monday. Williams said Delta will be bringing in two larger jets, and United Airlines will add a flight to handle the extra passenger load.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:31:26 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:44:17 GMT
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.