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From symphony to seafood, Memorial Day Weekend a big draw along the Coast

Jesse Pidgeon, 2, of Diamondhead, enjoys a ride at the St. Clare Seafood Festival in Wavleand on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Jesse is the son of Ryan and Amanda Pidgeon.
Jesse Pidgeon, 2, of Diamondhead, enjoys a ride at the St. Clare Seafood Festival in Wavleand on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Jesse is the son of Ryan and Amanda Pidgeon. jclark@sunherald.com

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, is a day set aside to honor the men and women who have given their lives while serving in the armed forces.

But for many people, it’s also the unofficial launch of the summer season.

People were out in droves along the Coast over the extended weekend, participating in events such as seventh annual St. Clare Seafood Festival in Waveland and Jazz in the Pass.

One of the largest events was Saturday’s Sounds of the Sea at Jones Park in Gulfport. The free concert featured the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra under the direction of guest conductor Frank Emond, a World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor.

“We had a packed house on Saturday, said symphony executive director Dhiana Skremetti. “We estimate about 8,000 people attend the concert.”

She said the show was well-received.

“Mr. Emond received a standing ovation,” Skremetti said.

Sounds by The Sea concluded with a second show in Pascagoula on Sunday.

On Monday, Biloxi National Cemetery will host a Memorial Day Ceremony at 9 a.m. Maj. Gen. Robert D. LaBrutta will be the keynote speaker.

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