BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - One day before Easter as crowds were enjoying the beautiful weather, it was all about the oysters at the Biloxi Town Green.
The first ever Oyster Festival welcomed big crowds, and the variety of oysters didn't seem to disappoint. Whether chargrilled, fried, or raw, there was an oyster for everyone at the inaugural Oyster Fest in Biloxi.
"You come out and you sample all the good restaurants and the casinos at one time. It's great for everyone involved," said organizer Glen F. Mattina, Jr.
Mattina didn't expect such a great turnout for the first, but says it's proof that South Mississippians love the half shell delicacies.
"The cooked oysters these days - the past two, three years - have come on like a storm at restaurants. Some folks who don't like eating the raw oysters eat the cooked oysters," said Mattina.
About 15 restaurants from across the Coast came out to serve up their best oyster recipes. Brackish Seafood out of Long Beach even created a new combination that seemed to be a hit.
"We have a BB oyster, which is a bacon bourbon oyster, and it's marinated in a nicer bourbon. Then we have a bacon butter sauce that we use," said Kimberly Homrighausen, Brackish owner.
The versatility of the oyster seems to be what makes it the seafood of choice for many.
"I love the Oyster Festival. They've had the crawfish festival for years, it's about time we had an oyster festival," said Shane Gartley.
Organizers say it took about five months to prepare for the event. Tickets were sold for $15, and each person a dozen oysters of their choice. So many people showed up that a truck had to bring in a more oysters.
The two-day event ended Saturday, and organizers are already planning on doing it again next year.