GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Fish will be flying and frying this weekend at the 25th annual Gautier Mullet & Music Festival. The popular festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Dolphin Drive in downtown Gautier between Lowes and the old Singing River Mall.
The highlight of the event each year and the festival's namesake is the mullet toss contest, where people of all ages can be seen throwing a wet fish through the air to see whose goes the furthest.
The festival, which has also became well-known for its entertainment, will feature two stages – the Budweiser main stage, where live bands and artists will perform, and the Keesler Federal community stage, which will host local bands and presentations from school and community groups.
Long-time country music artist Ronnie McDowell will headline on Saturday night on the main stage.
While many people continue the tradition of tossing fish around, the Gautier Men's Club will continue their tradition of frying fish and other Southern fare for the thousands of festival goers that are expected to attend.
Aside from fried fish, flying fish, and fabulous entertainment, many families flock to the festival every year because admission, parking, and all of the main attractions, such as the music and the large kids' area, are free. Parking for the event is also free and will be located in the former mall's parking lot.
According to last year's event organizers, the festival estimated over 20,000 people in attendance. Organizers for this year expect a crowd just as large, if not larger.
Rows of local vendors offer attendees a wide variety of merchandise to browse through that includes art, crafts, jewelry, pottery, food, and much more.
The Classic Car and Truck Show, which will be open both days of the festival, will hand out awards in three categories -- Top 25 Best of Show, Pre-1988 Best of Show, and Post-1987 Best of Rat Rods. Gulf Coast Coffee and Octane, a local enthusiast group based out of Gautier, will also host an exotic car show all day on Sunday, as well as a motorcycle show.
A heritage and educational area will display exhibits on various subjects, such as historical, wildlife, ecological, fisheries, community goodwill, health and safety, and live demonstrations from local craftsmen.
On Saturday night, the festival will continue the celebration of their 25th anniversary with a kids' movie night that includes free popcorn and is followed by a firework display.
The annual festival art contest will also be held this year, with the winner being announced on the main stage Saturday at 9 a.m.
While the art show is closed to new entries, applications are still being accepted for vendors and for the classic car show, however, organizers are encouraging participants to get their applications in as soon as possible. Volunteers are also still needed for both days of the event.
For more information or to submit an application, please visit www.gautiermulletfestival.org or contact event coordinator Susan Parol at (228) 215-0828.