GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - The Gautier Mullet & Music Festival's silver anniversary struck gold this year, bringing in more people than any other year.
According to event organizers, over 20,000 people were estimated to have attended the two-day festival. Previous years have typically seen less than that, averaging around 18,000.
"It is an outstanding year," said event coordinator Susan Parol. "We have a lot of foot traffic. We've got lots and lots of kids that are enjoying the kids area. It makes you realize that all the hard work is worth seeing people having a good time together as a family."
The free children's area featured a petting zoo area, pony rides and of course, the famous mullet toss for all ages.
It was a favorite for first-time visitors Lindsay and Dustin Rector of Gautier.
"I've been to other mullet festivals before, but this is the first time actually getting to throw a mullet at one of the festivals," said Lindsay Rector. "I did, I think, 68 feet."
"I think you got 68," said husband Dustin, referring to how far they were able to toss the wet fish. "I was a little over 90."
Any mullet not being tossed around was being fried during the festival's mullet cooking contest.
The festival proved fun, even for those who are not a big fan of mullet.
"I do not like mullet. I don't like the taste," said Tamara Evans of Gautier. "I just don't like fish, but I like coming out to the festival."
The beautiful weekend weather, which saw sunny skies and mild temperatures, helped to draw out the large number of people this year.
"The weather's been really great and cooperated this weekend," said festival-goer Rich Petrovitz. "It's beautiful, nice to walk around. I've seen a lot of friends down here."
The festival also boasted a long line of vendors that stretched the length of the festival, offering up everything from food to arts and crafts to adoptable pets.
With a stage at each end of the festival, music also filled the air during the event.
For those who are already in Cruisin' the Coast withdrawal, there were muscle cars and vintage rides on display, including an exotic car show on Sunday.
Many of those attending the festivities are repeat visitors who come out each year to show their support for the citywide event.
Cheryl Wilkinson of Pascagoula tries to come here every year.
"It's such an enjoyable event," said Cheryl Wilkinson of Pascagoula, who attends every year with her family. "They have things for the children, the families, for the adults. The music is wonderful. The weather's great. The food and all the activities, we certainly enjoy going.