Banana Festival Being Planned For Coast

The Gulfport Chamber is planning a festival to celebrate that the port is the top banana when it comes to banana imports.

The event will be called the "Banana Banana Festival" and is tentatively set for Labor Day weekend 2002. There will be entertainment, food and crafts booths.

Organizers say it could have a very positive impact on attracting international interest.

"A lot of it depends on the sponsorship of Chiquita and Dole and folks that are involved in the importation of bananas," Harrison County Tourism Director Steve Richer said. "I'm looking forward to seeing more information. They're very enthusiastic. They've got some great concepts, but I think the community needs to take a look at it."

Richer says the banana festival has been in the works for several years and organizers hope it will bring thousands of visitors to the coast.