PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - "It's the draw on the Coast tonight, without a doubt," Mike Warley, from Long Beach's BBQ World, said. "It's people around people, and that's what Christmas is all about baby!"
Warley is talking about the 29th annual Christmas in the Pass. The Christmas celebration has been turned into a two day event, and it's expected to draw nearly 10,000 people to the Coast this year.
"Two days bring more guests in, have them stay overnight to enjoy what we have. Not just for our city, but the entire Gulf Coast," Pass Christian's Main Street Executive Director Jennifer Burke said.
"It promotes the city, number one. It lets other people that's not familiar with the city, it gives them some exposure. It gives them something to do. Number two, it gives vendors an outlet to come and show off their creativity in the arts and crafts and what have you. Us food vendors, it gives us a chance to come out and make a little bit and promote our business," Terry Welch, of BBQ World, said.
Vendors came out early Friday morning to set up. One thing they say they're expecting is people.
"I expect a lot of crowds. A lot of people," Arlene Pomareno, from the Pensacola, FL, restaurant Tin-Tin Oriental Food, said.
Kyla Jacobs is a manager at Pass Christian Olive Oils and Vinegars, which is located in the heart of the downtown area. It's also where the holiday event takes place.
She says with the expected large crowds, she anticipates a lot of business for local shops over the next two days.
"I'm hoping for success not only for my store, but also my neighbors, because I mean, that's the whole goal, to support local, small shops especially since we're approaching the Christmas season. I can only anticipate it to be extremely busy," Jacobs said.
Saturday, the Christmas festivities will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.