OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Ocean Springs may soon be getting some exposure on a popular reality TV series. Mayor Connie Moran says the producers of CMT's 'Party Down South' have announced their intentions to film in the city.
The show, which is made by the producers of 'Jersey Shore,' features a group of young people partying in a Southern city. Each season is in a different location, and season three is set for Ocean Springs. But some residents and business owners are asking the producers to find a different place to party.
"I wish they would take it somewhere else," Ray Doss said firmly.
"The show itself is entertaining, for what it is," Laura Routhieeaux said, "but coming to Ocean Springs, this is a quiet artsy town. There's great places to eat and it's a family town. I don't necessarily see how the show is actually going to coincide with Ocean Springs, Mississippi."
Arturo Barajas is the Owner and Manager of Mosaics Tapas Restaurant and Bar. He said when he first heard through social media about the show coming to the city, he thought it would be harmless.
"My first impression I was like, 'Okay, that's going to bring national exposure to our city.' Our community welcomes any kind of exposure, because we are open and we constantly invite tourists and visitors to come and enjoy what we have."
But once he saw the responses from others, including a petition with close to 500 signatures, he thought otherwise.
"If this show is about people jumping on tables and pushing each other, yelling and cursing and acting crazy in a public place, then this will not be the place to film it," Barajas said.
Misrepresenting the image of the city seems to be the main concern.
"Any exposure, obviously, is going to give us some sort of notoriety, but I don't think that Ocean Springs will benefit from that kind of negative party connotation where people are drinking and being out of control. So I think the petition would actually do some good to actually keep this town as it wants to be and not give it a sort of false impression in the media's eye," Routhieeaux said.
Speaking out on Facebook Thursday night, Mayor Connie Moran said while she doesn't condone the content of the show, the producers don't need permission from the city to shoot in public thoroughfares, so there isn't much the city can do.
She also said producers aren't offering any money to the city to film, but the extra business from television crews could be a boon to the economy. (Read her entire post here: http://on.fb.me/1qZDnf1 )
If all goes as planned, filming in Ocean Springs is set to begin June 19.