OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce is hard at work preparing for the 2021 Spring Arts Festival, but the closure of the Fort Bayou Bridge has forced organizers to step up their game.
With many people still unaware or struggling to remember that the busy bridge is closed, festival organizers are going above and beyond to get the word out.
Final preparations are now underway and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cynthia Sutton believes this stage is vital to the success of the festival.
”Communication is the key. We like to say communicate, communicate, communicate. You can’t just email the vendor one time and remind them to come to the festival, give them the route details,” said Sutton. “Everyone is busy.”
To make sure they’re getting their message across, the chamber is contacting vendors and businesses in different ways.
”For the last two to three weeks, we have been calling, emailing, and even mailing them letters with information,” said Sutton.
Businesses are also eager for the festival and believe, even with the bridge closed, hundreds will find their way to the event.
”It only adds, you know, ten minutes, maybe more, depending on where you live, but it’s worth it and the businesses appreciate it,” said Ocean Springs Mercantile Marketing Director Eva Pund.
Sutton stressed the importance of the two-day event.
”For our small businesses, festivals are our business. That’s what helps generate traffic and generate revenue to them,” she said.
Many are thankful that visitors will come from far and wide this weekend, even with the nuisance of a detour.
”I think they are going to find a way to get here either way, Highway 57 or down I-110, and I think they will find a way to get here,” said Yvette Cannata Owner of JLaurie shoe boutique.
The festival begins Saturday at 9 a.m., and the tents will be spaced a part to allow for social distancing.