BAY ST. LOUIS (WLOX) -- It's a 4th of July holiday weekend tradition , that draws thousands of people to the crab fest for a variety of reasons.
"The rides are like cool and everything," said Kiln resident Kevin Haas.
Gulfport resident Will Grimball said, "It's a great atmosphere. It's great music; it's a family atmosphere. It's a lot of fun."
Crab Fest participant Robert Williamson said, "Looking at the arts and crafts is what we like."
And Bay St. Louis Native Matt Dillenkoffen said, "They have good food, and there's always a chance I'm going to see people I haven't seen in years."
The festival is known for the fantastic food.
Crab Fest Chairperson Pam Metzler said, "We go through five thousand pounds of crabs and about three thousand pounds of boil shrimp and numerous hamburgers, hotdogs, gumbo and etouffee. It's home cooked by all the parishioners, and nothing is bought and brought in. We cook everything from scratch."
Most of the items sold here are also made by hand.
"We're at maximum capacity with the arts and craft booths this year. We have a little over 100 arts and craft booths," said Metzler.
Thrill seekers have two new rides to try out this year.
"The Gee Wiz, which the kids really, really seem to enjoy and something called the tornado. I haven't been on it. But my grandkids have, and they think it's just wonderful," Metzler said.
Of course, the entertainment at the festival is always a draw.
"We have continuous music; we have two bands each day. People love to sit under the pavilion, eat their boiled crabs and listen to some good music. Some of them even occassionally dance," said Metzler.
It's a good time, for a cause. They are raising money for Our Lady of the Gulf Church and the schools it supports in the Bay.
The three day festival resumes Sunday from 11 am until 10 pm.
The event is being held behind Our Lady Of the Gulf Church on Beach Boulevard in Bay St. Louis.