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What Happens When You Bring 152,000 People Into Ocean Springs? Help Needed!

peter andersonThe Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival is still two months away, but now is the time to act if you’re interested in volunteering at the 2-day arts event that brings tourists from across the U.S. to the area. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the festival reached record participation last year, drawing an estimated 152,000 attendees and 473 arts, crafts, and food vendors.

“It’s quite a big event in a small footprint for two days,” said Cynthia Dobbs Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce – Main Street – Tourism Bureau.

An event of this magnitude requires a volunteer team of about 200 people who lend a helping hand to the participating art vendors and musicians, clean up downtown after the crowds have gone home, staff the information booths, work in the children’s art contest area and more. “It takes an army to put it on,” Sutton said of the volunteer effort required.

More information about the volunteer positions and the volunteer application are already available on the festival website at This year’s festival will be held November 3 and 4.  The Peter Anderson Festival is considered the largest fine arts festival in the state. It generated an estimated $24 million economic impact for the area in 2017, according to an economic impact study by Mississippi State University. 

“It is one of those top, nationally-recognized arts events,” Sutton said. “People all the way as far as California and New York know about Peter Anderson.”


Written by Amber Mason

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