OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - An event named after the creator of Shearwater pottery and brother of block print artist Walter Anderson came to a close Sunday. The 35th Annual Peter Anderson festival ended Sunday evening and organizers said they couldn't be happier with the turnout.
The City of Ocean Springs took stock of a weekend of massive, but welcomed crowds to their downtown area.
Organizers estimate more than 150,000 people flowed into the city over the course of the two day Peter Anderson Festival that promotes items like sculptures, pottery, food and paintings.
"We did an economic impact study two years ago with Mississippi State University and they clocked us at over 130,000 and so it just keeps improving and growing each year," said Cynthia Sutton with the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Sutton said that study also showed the yearly festival brings in millions of dollars to South Mississippi. That's why she said business is always good during this event for not just vendors, but also for local shops and restaurants.
Festival goers walked through a sea of more than 400 vendors that were hand selected out of a pool of more than on 1,000 applicants. But festival goers don't just come for the great buys.
"It's a nice atmosphere. Everybody is soo nice. We like all the venues that are out, all the little shops with the jewelry and so we just like the atmosphere. It's really nice," attendee Kimberly Coleman said.
"It's just a small town feel. You feel very safe. And it's kind of escapism. It's kind of a blast from the past, stepping back into the oak line streets and it's just very charming," said Mobile, AL resident Damien Langan.
While modifications are made each year to improve the success of the festival, there is an aspect of it that always need help.
"We always, always need a huge team of volunteers. And that is something that we struggle with every year," Sutton said.
Sutton also says this event actually serves as a family reunion for some attendees.
If you're interested in volunteering for next year's festival you can find details by clicking Peter Anderson Festival.