BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The 22nd annual Crawfish Music Festival kicks off today at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum. Crews have been diligently working to put together the last of the carnival rides, and organizers of the festival are getting excited about what they call the start of the coast's festival season.
"Folks are ready to get out. They've been having cabin fever all winter, and this is really the first major festival of the spring time," said Matt McDonnell, who is the Assistant Executive Director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum
McDonnell and his crew have been preparing for the eight day event since September. When it comes to music, the festival is known for bringing some big names to South Mississippi. Throughout the years, stars like Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean have graced the stage.
"This Friday, we've got Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch headlining the stage on Friday," said McDonnell.
Other headliners this year include, Three Days Grace and The Charlie Daniels Band. Over the two weekends, about 50,000 people are expected to attend the event. And with that many visitors, organizers know they will need a whole lot of crawfish.
"Normally, we get in the neighborhood of about 20,000 pounds," said McDonnell.
Organizers believe this is only the second time in 22 years, the event has fallen on Easter weekend, but they have a few deals in place for those who decide to come out on the holiday. For example, Sunday all rides will be one dollar.
With talks of another busy spring break weekend, organizers suggest anyone planning to come out to the festival should leave a little bit early, and be prepared for possible traffic congestion.
Gates will open at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday gates will open at 12:00p.m. Check out the schedule of events online at http://mscoastcoliseum.com/crawfish/schedule