Festivals, entertainment, good weather provide a good start for summer tourism.

PASS CHRISTIAN, Ms. (WLOX) – With music in the air and sun in the sky, it’s a great start to the summer tourist season.

Pass Jazz is back after COVID-19 closed the doors to the popular event for the past two years.

“Look at the families here,” said Jody Kilpatrick of Pass Christian. “They all enjoy this time together. And I think we’ve lost that in the past. So I think it’s important to bring him back to the Pass Christian area.”

The festival not only reflects the culture of the city, but also attracts the attention of people from all over the region.

“You know, I never thought of it as a tourist attraction, but it is,” Kilpatrick said. “Because you come here and the hospitality from everyone at Jazz in the Pass and the entire Pass Christian area – they are so full of life and love and they want to give to each other.”

The benefit of good weather on a Memorial Day weekend trip cannot be underestimated or overestimated.

No doubt it helped the business at the Tropical Treat Snow Cone Stand in Gulfport.

“There was a lot of rain last year,” Sally Acey said. “And this year it has been really sunny and the mood is much better and the environment is much more positive… we have been very busy this weekend and have been making a lot of snow cones.”

While festivals like Jazz in the Pass are magnets, so are natural attractions. Visitors have a choice of where to go on Memorial Day, and Timmy Jolly from Scott County should come here.

“My wife is a teacher,” he said. “She finished school. We are here with friends just to relax and have fun, to freshen up.”

The beach has been in the spotlight and Jimmy Reed, another Scott County resident, is ready to share the news with his friends.

“I will tell them to go down to the beaches,” he said. “The beaches are beautiful, clean and pleasant. And the Gulf Coast of Mississippi has a lot of friendly people.”

Man-made amenities such as the Mississippi Aquarium are also part of the overall travel package. It was one of the many adventures that Amber McConnell and her family had during their very long stay.

“We have been to other beaches and we really like it here,” she said. “In addition to just sitting on the beach, there is plenty to do. … We’re going to go to Ship Island. We never did. Some arcades, a beach. My daughter wants to go to the bookstore. She loves books.”

Weekend hotel reservations, an important indicator of tourism success, will not be available until the end of this week.

However, Linda Hornsby of the Mississippi Hotel and Accommodation Association said the good weather helped a lot to draw people to the coast.

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