Old Fashion Day helps students and vendors

Jeanne Walker and Frank Clark are vendors at the Old Fashion Day festival in East Central Jackson County.
Jeanne Walker and Frank Clark are vendors at the Old Fashion Day festival in East Central Jackson County.

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - More than one hundred vendors were out at the 17th Annual "Old Fashion Day" in Jackson County.

It's main purpose is to provide scholarships to East Central High students, but they are not the only ones to benefit.

Vendors say this event is an excellent way to make a little money on the side.

Despite a little bit of rain, the Annual Old Fashion Day went off without a hitch with plenty of entertainment and a variety of food to please the crowds, and when the crowds are happy so are the vendors who rely on those crowds for business.

"I was speaking to someone at a business in Pascagoula the other day. And she said you know we've been busy all week with people preparing for this. And I had not thought about what an impact it has on the economy. All of these people had to stay somewhere. They had to purchase their items for preparation of the food and things like that," said East Central Civic Association member Carla Castorina.

"We get a very good crowd out here. You have young people. You have old people. Good selection of crowd. We love doing these festivals. We've been doing them up and down the coast for the last six years," vendor Jeanne Walker said.

Jeanne and her husband are both retired. But in an effort to travel more, meet new friends and make money they decided to purchase a trailer that they use to sell everything from tea to hamburgers and even potted plants.

Vendor Larry Dishman installs carpet and is a pastor at a church, as a side job he sells homemade pork skins, bacon and other food items from his trailer. While he says he made around $700 during the festival, instead of opening up a restaurant he prefers to continue opening his trailer during special events.

"That ties you down and I don't have to be here every week. And I can do other things," Dishman said.

It sounds good, but if you're thinking of becoming a vendor, the pros suggest doing your homework first.

" It all depends on the product. You see something like today. You don't want to go somewhere where everyone is selling the same thing. You want to try to come out with something a little bit different. That's why we're out here with the plants rather than food and beverage," Walker said.

Last year the festival helped to provide $17,000 in scholarship money to students.

This year organizers say that number may be more because of more vendors.

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