Thousands come out for the first day of the annual Peter Anderson Festival
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's the first day and the first weekend of November, and that means another year of an annual event that more than 100,000 people look forward to. It's the 36th year of the Peter Anderson Festival.
All day Saturday, the streets of downtown Ocean Springs were closed and filled with more than 400 vendors displaying arts and crafts of all kinds. Those hundreds of vendors brought people, like Hope Laird, from miles away.
"I came from Mobile, AL," Laird said.
She says she comes to the Coast often to buy items from her favorite local pottery shop, Hillyer House, but this is her first time to come to the festival.
"A lot more vendors than I was expecting. I visit craft shops a lot on the Coast, and this is larger than I was expecting, so it's good. It's good to see all the pottery and the art. I love it," Laird said.
"The impact of the visitors that come and see us has now grown to be 150,000 people that come through over the weekend. It's fabulous for the business community and to showcase our beautiful city," owner of Hillyer House, Paige Riley said.
Joe Moore keeps track of his visits to the Peter Anderson Festival.
"The reason I know it's been 22 years is that's how long I've been on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and that's how long I've lived in Ocean Springs," Moore said.
He says being a festival veteran, he could go on and on about what the event has to offer, and that it gets better every year.
"There's a lot of smiling. You see people with their families and their dogs. Nobody gets out of hand," Moore said. "It's great to catch up with people you don't see since last year at the festival. It's just a totally, pleasant, positive experience. This is awesome."
The Peter Anderson Festival wraps up on Sunday, so if you missed it Saturday, you still have time to see the hundreds of vendors the festival has to offer.
The festival begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
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