The city took the lead.
Its entry-sign decorations sported a huge stylized fish Monday, but that’s just the beginning of the transformation that is expected to begin this week.
Believing more visitors will come through the city in October than any other month, the city and the Gautier Business Association are sponsoring a fall decorating contest with a bayou theme to emphasize the city slogan Nature’s Playground.
Autumn on the Bayou is the decorating theme for dressing up businesses along the city’s central corridors — U.S. 90 and Gautier-Vancleave Road.
City Councilman Hurley Ray Guillotte said this is festival season from Moss Point to Ocean Springs, including the major draws of Cruisin’ The Coast, Gautier’s Mullet Festival, Pascagoula’s Zonta Festival and Ocean Springs’ Peter Anderson Festival.
“They’re going to be coming through here from Biloxi to Pascagoula or Pascagoula to Ocean Springs,” Guillotte said. “This is our chance to make an impression. So hopefully, people will come back and visit Gautier again, see it more in depth.
“We’ll have more visitors in Gautier than any other time of year.”
The idea is to draw them through on U.S. 90 instead of the interstate.
Fish, boats, gators, water sports and other themes are expected to be popping up at shops, churches, civic organizations and offices along the thoroughfares. Schools and neighborhoods also are encouraged to join in. Decorations will stay up from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30.
It’s the third year for the contest. There will be prizes for the best decorations. Winners will be announced Oct. 9 during the Mullet Festival.
To enter the contest, businesses can display their decorations during the contest period. Displays will be judged on originality, creativity, overall theme and how well a business captures the spirit of the season.
For details, contact Trina Reeves at email@example.com.