Ocean Springs merchants busy preparing for Peter Anderson

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The first weekend in November is a date that every merchant in Ocean Springs marks on the calendar. It's the weekend that can almost guarantee a profitable year. The Peter Anderson Arts Festival brings thousands of potential customers into downtown, and that's good news for any business.

At Buzzy's Breakfast Joint, owner Cori Gates is going over the books. She hopes that come this weekend, a lot more eggs will be cracked on the fryer.

"I'm very excited about this weekend. I hope we're ready. We plan to be ready and I think it will be very big for us, yes," Gates said.

How big is the Peter Anderson festival? Just ask the owner of French Kiss Pastries. The festival is like icing on the cake for Jacqueline Ladnier.

"Well, I have four employees. We'll all be here, plus myself, so there will be five of us in the shop at one time," she explained. "I brought in a second cash register so that way the line doesn't get as long and the people will be served faster."

While established businesses in Ocean Springs have long known about the powerful lure of the Peter Anderson Arts Festival when it comes to the bottom line, new businesses like the Kajun Kubburd on Government Street are waiting in high anticipation of what might come.

Owner Tommy Hays hopes the festival will add some spice to his business.

"We just opened in March and just based on the Art Walk, Cruisin' the Coast, we know it's going to be wall to wall people. We'll have some extra staff in to help us out, but this could make our whole year, just the one weekend," Hays said.

And with all those new eyes in town, the advertising is priceless.

"It will be our grand opening, basically, for Lovie's By The Bay," said Assistant Store Manager Ginny Bryan. "It will get our name out for everybody, it will tell everybody what we sell."

During the festival, many of the downtown streets are blocked off to allow for pedestrian traffic. The event runs from 9am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the vendors and a map of the festival, visit: http://www.peterandersonfestival.com/

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