Thousands flock to Ocean Springs for Herb, Garden & Art Festival

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A huge success, that's how organizers and many vendors are rating the 21st Herb, Garden and Art Festival in Ocean Springs. More than 30,000 people packed the downtown area for arts and crafts, plants and cooking demonstrations to help usher in spring.

Christine and Elizabeth King are from Illinois. They were on the coast and heard about the festival on the radio, so they decided to check it out.

"It is really outdoorsy, really cool. There are lots of different vendors, lots of things happening," Elizabeth said.

"I like the food," Christine said.

Events Coordinator Cynthia Sutton said every year the festival seems to draw a larger crowd of people interested in finding out what Ocean Springs has to offer.

"We have had over the past two days probably about 30,000 people. The downtown streets have been packed. The shops have been packed, the restaurants," Sutton said.

More than 65 vendors showcased what they had to offer during the two day event, which was more than last year. Local merchant Karon Engel sold blueberry plants and lemonade at the festival.

"I get the word out about my blueberry farm, and that is the most important thing. It does help our business, because a lot of people come and pick blueberries because of this," Engel said.

Gwen and Larry McHenry, from Louisiana, also stayed pretty busy selling garden bayou chimes and unique woodworks.

"We would have 10 to 15 people here at one time sitting and looking," Larry said.

The herbs and other spring plants were the biggest sellers of the weekend. Courtney Farms vendors from Ocean Springs said it was difficult keeping them on the shelves.

"We had more herbs this year than last year, and we almost completely sold out. You go into these things not knowing what the weather is going to be like and how much you are going to have leftover, but it is great," Stephanie Pendleton said.

Event organizers say they expect even more success next year.

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