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What’s new for this year’s Peter Anderson Festival in Ocean Springs

Hand crafted gourd banjos at Peter Anderson Festival

Jason Smith puts a smile on people's faces as he plays his hand crafted gourd banjos, or banzas, at his booth at the 37th annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival in November, 2015. Smith's business, Jaybird Banjo, is in Clinton, Miss.
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Jason Smith puts a smile on people's faces as he plays his hand crafted gourd banjos, or banzas, at his booth at the 37th annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival in November, 2015. Smith's business, Jaybird Banjo, is in Clinton, Miss.

It began as a way to honor master potter Peter Anderson and now 40 years later, the Peter Anderson Festival in downtown Ocean Springs has grown to be the largest arts and crafts festival in the state.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, Government Street and Washington Avenue in downtown will be closed to traffic and be filled with booths manned by 400 artists, crafters, restaurants and other vendors.

Organizers expect 150,000 people to fill the downtown Saturday and Sunday.

Some of them will come to start their Christmas shopping or to see the craft demonstrations. Others go for the food and the people-watching. Then there’s the music, wandering the streets beneath the shady oak trees and getting to meet Elsa from “Frozen” or Spiderman.

New things are planned for the 40th year, said Cynthia Dobbs Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Main Street Tourism Bureau. A T-shirt printing booth will be set up and this year the shirts will have art on the back, “Just for the 40th,” she said.

There will be more artist demonstrations, she said, with painters and crafters, an artist doing live fire demonstrations on wood, a raku potter using fire and a blacksmith hammering belts.

The Young at Art children’s market has grown so much, she said, it’s being relocated to the area near Walter Anderson Museum of Art.

“At lease 50 kids signed up this year,” Sutton said. The market gives kids ages 8-18 a chance to display and sell their art and crafts, and be part of the acclaimed festival.

What you need to know

What: 40th annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival

When: Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. both days

Where: Downtown Ocean Springs, off U.S. 90

Admission: Free. A $2 donation is suggested.

Parking: Free parking and shuttle service provided by the YMCA and Coast Transit.

Handicapped accessible: The CTA bus is handicapped accessible. Handicapped parking will be off Porter Avenue and Dewey, near the library

Shuttle details: Pick up is at 2300 Government St. near Ocean Springs Upper Elementary and Oak Park Elementary and at the Greyhound Stadium parking lot off U.S. 90. Shuttles run every 15 minutes from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Drop off locations are at Government Street and Porter Avenue entrances.

Restroom facilities: Comfort station will be near the food court and main stage off Cash Alley, which is east of Washington Avenue and south of the train station. Portable facilities also will be located throughout the festival area.

Food court: Most of the food will be available at the food court off Cash Alley. Several food stands will be found throughout the area and downtown restaurants will have booths outside and be open for regular service.

Two stages: The main stage is located next to the food court off Cash Alley. A grassroots stage will be in the Miner’s Toy Store parking lot. Main stage entertainment includes:

Saturday

Brandi — 10 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

Mr. Saxman — 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m.

Dan Eubanks (Big Country) — 1:30 pm., 3:15 p.m.

Doug Breau — 2 p.m., 3:45 p.m.

Character appearance: Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean (1- 3 p.m.)

Sunday

Brandi — 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:30 p.m. — Brandi

Tommy Morse Band — 12 p.m., 1:15 p.m.

Charles Grant — 12:40 p.m., 2 p.m.

Lisa Mills — 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Character appearances: Elsa from “Frozen” (1- 2 p.m.) and Spiderman (2- 3 p.m.)

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