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Classic wooden boats coming to Biloxi

COURTESY MARITIME & SEAFOOD INDUSTRY MUSEUMBoats like these will be on display at this weekend's wooden boat show in Biloxi.
COURTESY MARITIME & SEAFOOD INDUSTRY MUSEUMBoats like these will be on display at this weekend's wooden boat show in Biloxi.

Lots of boats and fun on the water are in store with the Billy Creel Memorial Gulf Coast Wooden & Classic Boat Show at the Biloxi Schooner Pier Complex on Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly 50 seafaring vessels, including sailboats and luggers, will be on display and open for tours at the show sponsored by the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum.

Some of the boats date to the 1920s and have been restored to pristine condition.

Robin Krohn-David, executive director of the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum, said one of the exceptional boats on display will be the 1928 Bon Conge, a 42-foot Elco flattop that was completely rebuilt in Baton Rouge.

Other restored vessels include Stauter-built skiffs from 1960 to 1986, an 18-foot Chris-Craft and a 58-foot working shrimp boat, the Santa Maria (1964). Also on hand will be some of the locally popular Covacevich-built boats.

Krohn-David said the owners log countless hours to bring these majestic vessels back to life.

"It is unbelievable the time and energy it takes to keep one of these wooden vessels in pristine condition," she said. "The people that own these wooden crafts consider their vessel works of love."

There also will be an opportunity to get out on the water with schooner sails starting at 11 a.m. both days.

The rides are offered every hour on the hour through 4 p.m. for $15 per person, free to ages 4 and younger.

Depending on the weather, this 90-minute cruise will take passengers along the channel or out toward the islands.

The event will offer demonstrations and host exhibits and vendors. New this year is a marine flea market that will offer odds and ends for boating and fishing.

On Saturday, guests will show off their cast-netting skills for a chance to win cash prizes. An adult competition for ages 13 and older will be held at 1 p.m. and a competition for ages 3-12 will be held at 2 p.m.

The festival will feature live music both days by Hank Berumen. There also will be fried fish and shrimp plates and hamburgers offered for sale.

Along with face painting and other children's events, kids can get creative painting an oyster shell.

Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

The Schooner Pier Complex is at 367 Beach Blvd.

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