Hancock County celebrated the extended July Fourth holiday weekend in style with multiple events, including the 35th annual Our Lady of the Gulf Church's Crab Festival, the Jourdan River Estates fireworks display and the Garden Isle Patriotic Boat Parade.

"We're having a record day," Crab Fest volunteer Jerry West said over the weekend. "This is awesome! People love their seafood and everybody loves the Crab Fest!"

Crab Fest is OLG's biggest fund raiser each year, raising thousands of dollars for its many outreach programs. Each year, thousands of people from all over the Gulf South come to feast on fresh seafood, listen to live music from entertainers such as the Chee Weez and Foret Tradition, and enjoy carnival rides.

Garden Isle

The Garden Isle Community on Saturday hosted its annual Independence Day weekend Boat Parade.

"This really turned out well," Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre, one of the judges for the event, said Saturday. "Everybody's having a great time."

Dozens of families decorated their boats in patriotic colors and traveled down the Jourdan River in All-American style.

There were also bragging rights at stake – a panel of judges selected the first-, second- and third-place winners of the boat decoration contest.

The winners included Dean and Michelle Lamb and crew, first place; Bill Toups and Family, second place; and Malcolm and Karen Melancon, third place.

This year, the community also selected two local children as the "king and queen" of the parade, Queen Ava Paternostro and King Jayce Stevens.

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