OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Wild game prepared for free brought families and friends from across the coast to the Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Ocean Springs.
Burgers made from raccoon, beaver, and deer are just a few of the items that were on the menu.
What started off as a small family cookout over 30 years ago has grown into a gathering for the whole community.
Melinda Safford looks forward to this day all year long. “It’s just happy times when we can all can get together and get along and be just honest and real and fair with each other," she said.
Goat curry with a Jamaican twist is Safford’s specialty but she adds something a little extra to make her food memorable.
“What makes it so good, from the way that I do it, it’s the love that I put in it," said Safford. "It’s nothing with the preparation time. It’s about the time I invest caring about each dish and just nurturing each dish.”
Safford believes the Wild Game Fest is a perfect way to remember and honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“One dream he had was just so amazing. He wanted everybody to come together and I feel like when everybody is together it brings unity and peace and love," she said.
The Wild Game Fest is held every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s a free event that is open to the public.
And as the event continues to grow, so does the variety of food. Other meats offered this year included alligator and wild pig.