Are you planning on attending the South’s premiere arts and crafts festival? You should! Mark your calendars for November 2 – 3, 2019 for the 41st Annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival presented by Blue Moon. We’ve crafted our own How-To guide to ensure you navigate Coastal Mississippi’s biggest festival like a pro.
Named in honor of Peter Anderson, the late master potter and founder of Shearwater Pottery ca. 1928, the festival celebrates the arts community at-large, and will see more than 400 artists and crafters selling their wares in downtown Ocean Springs. All genre and media of art will line the streets of Washington Avenue, Government Street, Porter Avenue, as well as the Historic L&N Railroad Depot. Last year’s crowd drew in more than 150,000 visitors, so be prepared to rub shoulders with your fellow attendees! Running from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, the event is both family and pet friendly, but be sure to keep furry friends on their leash.
Places to Stay
Whether you’re driving down for one night or an extended weekend in Coastal Mississippi, our wide selection of accommodations suits every budget and type of traveler. For a unique hotel experience, choose from boutique hotels in downtown Ocean Springs like The Inn or The Roost, both situated in the midst of festival action. For vintage vibes, stay at Gulf Hills, the summer home of Elvis from 1951-1957. For a stay just outside the city, consider the Hilton Garden Inn Biloxi, with beachfront views and immediate access to both Ocean Springs and the nightlife in downtown Biloxi. For the full resort experience, choose from one of our twelve casino resort properties spanning the tri-county coast, starting with the Golden Nugget Biloxi, Palace Casino Resort, and Harrah’s Gulf Coast closest to the Ocean Springs-Biloxi bridge. For a complete list of places to stay in Coastal Mississippi, visit our list here.
Due to limited parking, the festival has partnered with the YMCA and Coast Transit Authority to create Park N’ Ride options for festivalgoers. Shuttles will bus spectators from two locations outside of the downtown parameters every 15 minutes from 8:30am - 5:30pm on both festival days. Since the festival is so expansive and the crowd will be thick, you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity! For more information on parking, please visit here.
Navigating the Festival
With over 400 artists and the widespread diversity of downtown businesses, it’s easy to experience option paralysis. To save yourself the headache of not knowing where to go, the festival will have four main entrances with accompanying information booths. Be sure to grab a festival map to assist in locating artists, food, music, first aid, ATM’s, and other festival amenities to ensure you find your way. Some vendors may require cash only, so be sure to come prepared with bills!
Eat Your Heart Out
Festival fun begins and ends with food, and we know how to eat in Coastal Mississippi. You’ll need to keep your energy up throughout the weekend, so we recommend starting with a satisfying breakfast. Choose from sweet or savory biscuits at The Greenhouse on Porter, in walking distance of the weekend’s festivities, or the best donuts in Mississippi at Tato-Nut, located in the middle of festival action. Don’t forget your caffeine! Bright Eyed Brew Co. has a tasty selection of pour over, espressos, and nitro-infused cold brews to keep you wide awake.
When it comes to lunch, downtown Ocean Springs offers a wide variety of restaurants suited to every palate, from Mediterranean, to BBQ, to American, to seafood! In years past, restaurants have offered festival specials so keep your eyes open for drink promotions and deals of the day. In addition, the Peter Anderson Festival sees a host of food vendors situated on both Washington Avenue and Government Street, so whichever mood your appetite strikes, we promise you’ll leave satisfied. If sweet treats are the name of your game, we’ve got you covered there too – cotton candy, fudge, saltwater taffy, kettle corn, candied nuts, and the list goes on. As Blue Moon is the title sponsor, there will be several opportunities to sip on their refreshing brews throughout the weekend, so wash that delicious food down with a cold one!
In addition to the hundreds of vendors participating in the festival, the boutique shopping in downtown Ocean Springs rivals the best of them, so be sure to stop in each store to check out their merchandise and discover hidden gems you can’t leave without. For a great selection of ceramic ware, visit Hillyer House at the beginning of Washington Avenue. Choose from their selection of well-curated pottery in addition to glassware, handmade jewelry, and artisanal pantry goods. For those with little ones, don’t miss Miner’s Doll & Toy Store, a decades-old Ocean Springs staple, offering every gadget, toy, and puzzle on the market. And if you’re a lover of decadent baths, make sure to stop by Marina Cottage Soap Company on Government!
Downtown Ocean Springs is also home to the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Named in honor of the late master watercolorist and naturalist Walter Anderson – yes, brother to Peter! – the museum pays homage to his life and depictions of the plants, animals, and people of Coastal Mississippi. The museum hosts a children’s art show every year during the festival, so stop by to support the area’s young artists’ community. Consider adding the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center of Arts & Education to your itinerary to witness their roster of artistic and cultural exhibitions as well as the Local Creative Art Gallery, containing wares sold by artists from the Coastal Mississippi region.
Explore the Coast
If you’re not convinced to stay the duration of the festival weekend quite yet, then consider the 62 miles of scenic shoreline Coastal Mississippi beckons you to explore. Experience the promise of unlimited possibility and joy of discovery. From our culinary scene to our luxury accommodations, and our nonstop entertainment to beachfront relaxation, you’ll find endless choices and open-ended experiences in Coastal Mississippi. For more information, explore all the things to do in our region here.