Crustacean confrontation: Festival closes early amid fights

State / Regional

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — With officials saying some people came not for the mudbugs but the melees, a Mississippi crawfish festival is revoking free admission.

Mississippi Coast Coliseum Director Matt McDonnell tells WLOX-TV that future festivals won’t offer a free admission night. Fights led the festival to close early on Wednesday night.

Biloxi police say they responded to four calls about fights, but no arrests were made. Security guards broke up some other fights. No charges had been filed by Thursday morning.

The multi-day festival has always charged admission on later days, which feature bands.

McDonnell says he only wants patrons who come to “listen to music, ride rides and eat crawfish.”

More than 11,000 people came out for the opening night of the 27th annual edition of the festival.

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