Ohr Fest celebrates a Biloxi genius

Festivals and community gatherings come and go with any given weekend on the Biloxi Town Green, but this weekend it promises to be “unequaled and unrivaled.”

It’s Ohr Fest 2019, the event that pays tribute to the life and times of George Ohr, Biloxi’s and the world’s most famous potter and promoter, self-proclaimed, of course.

The daylong event, with a focus on art, beer, music, and community (and George Ohr, of course), will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no admission fee. Free, as George would say. Visitors can see collections from 12 art vendors, a kids area with art activities, and giveaways from seven local non-profits, six food vendors, 19 breweries, and four musical acts. Plus you’ll see a whole area of games for adults, a dunk tank, and a pottery throwdown between five of the Coast’s best potters that will culminate with the crowning of this year’s Mud Wizard, a title often saved for the Mad Potter himself.

Live music begins at 11 a.m. with Valerie Sassyfras, followed by performances from Tony Sea and the Southern Nights, Sicily Swing, with Symone French closing out the affair. The City of Biloxi Stage will also be home to the pottery throwdown, a performance by the Swinging Starlettes Dance Troupe, and the announcement of the winning homebrewers from the homebrew competition curated by Yeastie Beastie Homebrew Supplies.

The children’s area features a train just the right size for kids to ride from the Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum, with Lynn Meadows Discovery Center nearby with the Imagination Playground. Steve Barney, Mad Potter of Bay St. Louis will also be performing with his STEAMpunk Pottery Machine, putting the “Art” in STEM education. Steve taps into the spirit of George Ohr by throwing pottery upside down and invites kids to think like an artist. You’ll also find art activities, info, and giveaways from the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club, the Biloxi Public Library, and the League of Women Voters.

This year’s beer tasting includes Abita, Chandeleur Island Brewing Co., Colson’s Beer Co., Dogfish Head, Elysian Brewing, Fairhope Brewing, Grayton Beer Co., Karbach Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing, Lazy Magnolia, Natchez Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing, Parish Brewing Co., Port Orleans Brewing, Rogue Ales & Spirits, Serda Brewing, Southern Prohibition Brewing, Stone Brewing, and Threefoot Brewing.

While the cost of enter Ohr Fest is free, access to the beer tents will requires purchase of an armband. General admission armbands are $35; buyers receive unlimited three-ounce beer pours. VIP armbands are $60; buyers receive a commemorative ceramic beer stein (a $40 value, created annually in Ohr pottery studio by Ceramics Director Charlie Mabry), three full 16-ounce pours; and unlimited three-ounce pours.
Reserve your beer tent armbands now

News & notes: First Friday, podcast and Dr. Larry Drawdy

First Friday: Main Street Biloxi has another edition of First Friday this evening from 5 to 8 on Rue Magnolia. Wes Bailey will entertain and you’ll find deals on eating, drinking and shopping. To see your guide to this weekend, click here. To see the city’s October Community Calendar, click here.

Podcast: You can see the tell-tale signs of Cruisin’ the Coast, the glimpse of “new” cars in town, and RVs and tents being placed along newly cleaned areas fronting a newly paved U.S. 90. Police Chief John Miller speaks to this year’s Cruisin’ in this week’s City Desk podcast. To listen, click here.

Dr. Larry Drawdy: The long-ago, longtime superintendent of Biloxi Public Schools, thrust back into the position months ago by a sudden retirement, speaks about the city’s award-winning public schools and the ongoing search for a new superintendent in this month’s schools program on BTV. The program airs daily at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on BTV, or you can see it now by clicking here.