Gulfport, Mississippi is a vibrant city that celebrates its multifaceted character through a variety of festivals throughout the year. From art and music to food and coastal heritage, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The Zonta Arts & Craft Festival is the main event in downtown Pascagoula. It is organized by Zonta International, a global organization dedicated to advancing the status of women.
The festival features art, craft, food and exhibition stands. The Magnolia State Barbecue Championship and Food Fair is approved by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and held every April on the second weekend. Professional barbecue competition teams from across the country compete for the coveted title, while attendees enjoy music, attractions for children, food vendors, crafts and outdoor kitchen products. All proceeds from this festival go to charity.
The World Catfish Festival in Belzoni celebrates agriculture, hospitality and one of its favorite cash crops: catfish. It is held every April and features crafts, live entertainment, a catfish contest, the coronation of the queen of catfish and the “largest fried fish in the world”. The Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford's historic Courthouse Square provides an enchanting setting for guests to mingle with painters, potters and carpenters and sample main courses from Southern chefs. At night, attendees can enjoy an eclectic mix of music including jazz, funk, blues and rock 'n' roll.
There is also a craft show and plenty of crabs and barbecues to enjoy. The Crab Festival is held every July on Bay St. Louis and features crab specialties, boiled and fried seafood, Cajun food, barbecue, New Orleans dishes and more. There are also games, crafts, live music and attractions for children.
The city of Natchez hosts a Food & Wine Festival every year that includes gourmet chefs, wine tasting, a cooking contest and food tasting at several historic homes around town. Delicious Southern cuisine, ethnic dishes and unique exhibits and costumes are all part of this event in the heart of the Delta. Belhaven Nights is one of the 20 best Southeast events in August according to the Southeastern Tourism Society. This festival celebrates art, music, activities for children and food with a fun night for the whole family.
The Gautier Mullet & Music Fest offers delicious Gulf Coast food as well as shopping opportunities with live music and the famous Mullet Toss Contest. The Sweet Potato Festival celebrates one of the pillars of Southern cuisine with gourmet chefs, wine tasting and a cooking contest. The Blue Moon Kick Off Pub Crawl is held prior to the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival every year. The annual Jazz in the Pass music festival offers guests sensational live music while familiarizing themselves with downtown Pass Christian. The Mecca 4-H Carnival features thrilling rides, challenging games and festive food at an old-fashioned American carnival. Finally, don't miss out on Picayune Street Festival which is now held twice a year with first-class entertainment, collectibles and activities all wrapped up in southern charm.