GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - While it's only the second year for Anchor Fest at Jones Park in Gulfport, the event is already gaining a following.
"Everyone's really friendly, and just the environment. The community coming together," said Olevia Scarborough.
Festival goers were greeted on Saturday by a wooden boat display of vintage watercraft, and a historical photography display to set the cultural scene.
"We wanted to do a one coast event where everybody gets to come see the culture and heritage of Gulfport," said Chris Vignes, City of Gulfport. "What makes it special, what makes it unique."
Vendors attracted plenty of shoppers, as did long line of top restaurants showing off what they do best, tied all together by inspirational music.
The children's village had its own clientele. If kids weren't searching for sharks teeth, they were nailing together bird houses, hauling play blocks for building imaginations or petting hedge-hogs and staring down a tortoise.
"We've got two young daughters and they're enjoying building all kinds of fun stuff and playing with the balls," said Elizabeth Doss of Gulfport. "We've had pop brothers, those are awesome, and lots of new things to do here today."
Dora Saucier of Long Beach came to Anchor Fest briefly in 2014, but says 2015 is even better.
"Today's been a wonderful day," Saucier said. "I'm enjoying the music, the food is great, the atmosphere. The weather's fantastic. And I'm watching all the kids playing football and baseball and everybody's just having a great time."
Anchor Fest continues Sunday at 11 a.m. with all activities open and will feature Irma Thomas as the headliner act on the main stage at 3 p.m..
For more information about the free event, visit www.anchorfestGulfport.com.