The City of Ocean Springs is split over a reality TV show that might be coming to town, but the recent exposure the city has received on TV screens nationwide leaves some asking: is all publicity good publicity?
The streets of downtown Ocean Springs may soon become the stage for C.M.T.'s Party Down South TV show. Despite hesitation from locals, Mayor Connie Moran says her priority is maintaining the city's cultured heritage. Moran says, “That’s who Ocean Springs is. Any TV series that features anything otherwise reflects the antics of the cast rather than the city of Ocean Springs.” Since the show approached the mayor Monday, the town has been buzzing with the thought of the party show coming to town. Those who have seen the show think it may misrepresent the quiet, artsy town Ocean Springs aims to be. Andrew Poss, a resident of Ocean Springs, says, "It’s a bit much, racy, inappropriate at times...not really sure it would be good for Ocean Springs." David Mohler of Tato-Nut Dougnhuts says, “I don’t think it’s what Oceans Springs needs.”
Mohler says he's tired of cleaning up after the partiers already in Ocean Springs, and he fears the show will make it worse. Mohler also says, “We keep promoting this drinking and party environment, it doesn’t go along with our nice little sidewalks and flower pots.” Mayor Moran says she had a teleconference with the TV show Friday afternoon, and that if Ocean Springs is chosen, there’s nothing the city can do about it. Moran says, “The city doesn’t have any approval. They have a constitutional right to use our streets, sidewalks, and beach, and as long as they don’t break the law, they’re free citizens.” The mayor says she does not watch reality TV and is unfamiliar with the concept of Party Down South. Moran closes, “Of course I believe Buying the Bayou put Ocean Springs in a positive light. That’s what we would like to see.” Speaking of Buying the Bayou, the local realtor featured on the Destination America show hopes the reality show will properly portray the Coast.
Summer Davis-Inman, a realtor for Coldwell Banker Alfonso, says, “I don’t think it’s bad necessarily. We do have a great downtown. It’s fun, we have a nice little party scene going on, everybody enjoys it, as long as they keep it classy.” If Ocean Springs is chosen for Party Down South's upcoming season, filming will begin in mid-June.