Smokin' The Sound Helps Fire Up Economy

As the boat races in the Mississippi Sound heated up Sunday afternoon, many people headed to the Sno Ball and Ice Cream stand near the lighthouse in Biloxi to cool down.

"It's been awesome. We've had a bigger outcome this year than last year, you know with more boats coming and everything. With it being a little after 2, business has picked up a whole lot since 11 today when we opened," said worker Brandon Polovich.

Brandon says the crew has dished out at least 200 snoballs and scoops of ice cream, which is definitely a lot more work, and money, than usual.

"We make anywhere around 200 to 300 dollars. Yesterday, we made over 400, which is very good. I think we're doing a lot better today," said Polovich.

Henna Tattoos was also having a good day.

This new business sits right behind the snoball and ice cream stand, and the owner says the main attraction on the water has attracted a lot of people to him.

"I've done about 15 so far today," said Henna Tattoos owner Jimmie Thomas.

And according to organizers, helping to boost South Mississippi's economy is part of what Smokin' The Sound is all about.

"I would think that we were somewhere in the million and a half range or better for the weekend that just took place. I feel like with all the teams, they've been all over the coast, eating in our restaurants, having a lot fun in all the things that everybody enjoys doing when they come to the Gulf Coast, and we're really fortunate to have them here," said co-producer Woody Bailey.

Business workers and owners like Brandon and Jimmie are happy to have them here as well, and hope the event comes back next year.

Now even though the numbers are not in yet, co-producer Woody Bailey believes this year's event will not disappoint.

Bailey says he would like to add a boat show to the itinerary, as well as add a few more days of fun in the future.