No doubt about it, fresh Gulf seafood and tasty seafood dishes are the main attraction at the Biloxi Chamber's annual Biloxi Seafood Festival, and this weekend's two-day affair at Point Cadet Plaza stands to be bigger than ever.
"We're going to be building a 200-foot shrimp po-boy," says Biloxi Chamber Director Rachael Seymour, Why? "Why not," she declares. "On Saturday at 2 p.m., we're going to have a live demonstration by chefs Justin Kennedy and Jonathan Ebberman. Then, we're going to have a number of people, including the mayor, cut it, and people will be able to eat it."
The po-boy follows up on last year's 100-foot sandwich, which, Seymour says, festgoers gobbled up quickly.
"This is all part of our work with the Department of Marine Resources to help recruit local vendors and promote Gulf-fresh seafood," Seymour says.
Local vendors selling local seafood dishes of all makes and models are just part of the allure of the Biloxi Seafood Festival, which marks its 34th year and its second year at its home on Point Cadet.
A throng of about 30,000 people passed through the festival gates last year for the two-day event.
This year's festival, which begins Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m., will again feature myriad seafood dishes, live entertainment, and more than a hundred arts and crafts vendors. On Saturday at midday, there's the annual cornhole competition, and on Sunday afternoon, the gumbo championship, where festgoers can pay one price to sample all competing entries and vote for a People's Choice winner.
The Molly Ringwalds headline the festival Saturday night at 6. The festival runs through 9 p.m. Saturday and through 5 p.m. Sunday.
Get discount wristbands now: Admission is $15 for a two-day all-access wristband, which can be purchased now through Friday for $12.50 at any branch of The Peoples Bank.
At the gate, adults will pay $5 before 4 p.m. Saturday ($10 after 4 p.m.). Children under 12 are admitted for free, and military members get a $1 discount on admission.
See the schedule of entertainment
See the festival Facebook page
Meanwhile, on west beach, a pop-up carnival
A carnival, complete with myriad midway rides, kiddie rides, midway games and concessions, operates today through Saturday on west beach, on U.S 90, across form Shaggy's and the Reef restaurants.
The "Biloxi Carnival" has no admission fee and opens Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.
You'll find such rides as a Ferris wheel, Gravatron, Zipper, bumper cars and others.
If you plan on going, please note that the carnival is inaccessible to motorists from U.S. 90. Carnivalgoers should enter from Irish Hill, where parking is sitiuated immediately north of the carnival. For easiest access, turn north off U.S. 90 at Veterans Avenue and head a few blocks east.
Released by Vincent Creel, Public Affairs Manager, City of Biloxi