Governor to Board Amtrak VIP Train in Bay St. Louis
Governor Phil Bryant is coming to Bay St. Louis to board an Amtrak train, and if local leaders have their way, he’s just the first of thousands who will have that opportunity.
A special VIP Amtrak train will depart New Orleans on Thursday, February 18, making 13 stops over the course of two days before it reaches its final destination, Jacksonville, Florida. On board will be at least 60 VIPs, including the president of Amtrak, who are gathering information as Amtrak considers restoration of passenger service along the gulf coast. According to information from the Southern Rail Commission, the train's first stop is scheduled from 10:10am to 10:20am at the Bay's historic depot, when Mississippi’s governor will board.
The Big Buzz
“All the decision-makers will be on board that train,” says Moon. “It’s crucial they understand how much we support the restoration of the passenger line.”
She also encourages local citizens to be at the depot or at any of the crossings as the train passes through town.
“Wave, jump up and down and bring a sign of welcome,” she says. “Nothing else should take priority the morning that train comes through. Restoration of that service represents an enormous positive change for Bay St. Louis."
Moon points out that the train will allow easy access to the Bay for New Orleanians - and for visitors to the city who want to take a side trip. Also, coast residents will finally have transportation options to New Orleans and other destinations across the coast. Currently, there is no public transportation between New Orleans and the coast.
Historically, train service connecting the Bay and New Orleans made it possible for many city dwellers to have second homes on the coast. Business people commuted to work in the city by train. Often, entire families moved to the coast for the summer, with heads of households commuting as well. Moon believes the time has come to revive that successful model of the past.
Several local groups are collaborating on plans to greet the train, including the office of the Mayor, the Old Town Merchants’ Association, the Bay St. Louis Rotary, Hancock County Tourism and the Hancock Chamber.
“We all understand how passenger train service would be a real game-changer,” says Moon. “Showing our enthusiasm and support is one way we can help make this a reality.”
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The Amtrak Train's Schedule
Bay St. Louis Makes #19 on Southern Living's Best Places in the South List!
The February 50th Anniversary edition of Southern Living Magazine features the "50 Best Places in the South Now" - and Bay St. Louis was named #19! The same feature is included in the online edition of the magazine too! Here's why we were selected:
Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, has added new waterfront restaurants and bars, along with shops, galleries, and an inn for historic Old Town. Its new harbor opened in 2014 (mswestcoast.org).
Also included on the list were Biloxi (#21), Orlando (#10), and Raleigh (#26).
Bay St. Louis will welcome in the New Year with an extraordinary public art exhibit made from found objects, dried foliage, and live flowers.
Over a dozen coast florists and artists working as "The Gulf Coast Flower Collective" are collaborating in the project, called “Life: Un Beau Bazar.” The show open with a reception at Smith and Lens Gallery, 106 South Second Street in Old Town on January 2nd at 4pm and run until January 5th.
Temporary art exhibits - called “installations” – are popular in museums and large cities around the world, but “Un Beau Bazar” is one of the first to take place on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The Big Buzz
Event organizer, Martha Whitney Butler is an artist and floral designer who owns the French Potager in Bay St. Louis. Butler has been creating small quirky installations in her Main Street shop since she opened three years ago and they’ve become a draw for locals and regular customers, who often stop in just to see her latest creation.
Butler, who also serves as president of The Arts, Hancock County and is a popular columnist with the Fourth Ward Cleaver webzine, has been planning a larger, outdoor floral installation for more than a year. In October, a group of florists in Detroit made national news by transforming an abandoned building into a“flower house.” Butler was inspired to invite other coast artists and floral designers to work with her on a collaborative project here on the coast to bring in the new year.
According to Butler, the exhibit will be a “jungle of flora and fauna.” The installation will cover the outside wall of a building on the corner of Main and Second Street, “grow” across an iron patio fence bordering the sidewalk and move through the doors of the historic cottage that is home to Smith and Lens Gallery. The gallery walls - and even the ceilings - will be included with the installation.
There's a suggested five dollar donation to view the part of the installation that's in the gallery. Funds collected will be split between the artists to help cover the costs of the materials. Several show related items will also be for sale in the gallery, with proceeds going toward project expenses.
Butler’s a bit cagey about exactly what the installation will look like. She wants it to be “a surprise,” and says that it’s evolving. She did describe a “bird’s nest throne” however.
She says “the point of the project is to emphasize the transitory beauty of life and nature and encourage people to appreciate small moments of joy as time moves on.”
Bay Residents, Merchants and Tourism Leaders Seeking Creative Way to Continue Funding for Trolley
The Bay St. Louis City Council listened to tourism, business and community leaders last month, who asked for a special workshop to find ways to continue funding the city's only public transportation. Dozens of senior residents also presented a petition at the same meeting. The trolley currently has stops in four different city wards, and services locals as well as visitors.
The majority of trolley funding comes from the federal government (50%) and Hollywood Casino (25%). The city is responsible for only one quarter of the cost of operation, which amounts to about $2500 a month. The workshop will take a look at various ways - including local sponsorships - that will keep the trolley running.
The Big Buzz
Distillery in the Kiln (Legal!)
by Lisa Monti for Mississippi Business Journal
Matt Crittenden’s goal is to start making craft whiskey next year on the family farm in the Kiln community. When the liquor starts to flow, it will be the first legal whiskey produced in an area once known as a moonshine capital.
Crittenden, who has a law degree, has had a lifelong fascination with local bootlegging and the lore that still surrounds it. He was about 8 years old when he and his physician father, Dr. James Crittenden, came across the remnants of a still in the piney woods.
“Growing up in Bay St. Louis and the Kiln, you always heard these romantic stories about moonshine whiskey,” he said. “Whiskey is such a part of the history of Hancock County.”
Click here to read the entire article!
Bay's Beautification Efforts Highlighted in Louisiana Magazine
Local Entrepreneur and Video Producer Enters Mrs. Mississippi Contest
Alice Moseley Pavilion
The Pavilion is named after one of the most beloved folk artists in the state, who lived and worked in a blue cottage nearby. The structure was donated by The Friends of Alice Moseley Foundation, which also supports the popular Alice Moseley Museum on the upper floor of the historic depot. Hancock Tourism leaders are working with the city and the foundation to establish a new Folk Art festival in the future. Also under consideration are live outdoor performances sponsored by the Depot District Association.
The pavilion will host it's premier live performance during the 4th annual Snowflakes and Sugarplums festival that will be held on the depot grounds on December 5th. The festival is open to the public and takes place from noon til 5pm. The event's finale will feature the popular performers Roman Street, who will be putting the pavilion to good use from 3:30 - 5pm. People are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the park's concert.
Hancock Port & Harbor Director Moves to Gulf Coast Business Council
Ashley Edwards, who has headed up Hancock Port and Harbor for two years is making a move to the influential Gulf Coast Business Council.
According to this Sun Herald story by Mary Perez, "Edwards will become the third director of the organization that gave Coast businesses a unified voice following Hurricane Katrina. Among the accomplishments of the group are working to control insurance rates following the storm and helping create Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast to promote tourism across the three counties."
Read the entire story here.
New Amazon Series Set for Pass Christian
"I only lived there until kindergarten and then I used to go back and spend my summers and holidays with my grandmother and cousins and aunts and uncles. It's right there on the Gulf Coast, and we would hang out on the water and go sailing or fishing or crabbing or floundering and build bonfires and there's a harbor there and a yacht club."
Apparently, those fine memories were enough to bring her home when she recently tied the knot with long-time companion Stephanie Allynne. According tothe Sun Herald, guests included Sarah Silverman and Alicia Silverstone. During the weekend of October 24th and 25th, celebrity sightings were common in the Pass and Bay St. Louis (see Martha Whitney Butler's account below).
We'll all be seeing more of Tig since her new Amazon series "One Mississippi" is set in the Pass. According to an article in IndieWire, Notaro wrote the pilot. "Dark comedy starring comedian Tig Notaro — in a story loosely based on her life — follows her as she deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Miss., to deal with the unexpected death of her mother.
Cast includes Noah Harpster (“Transparent”), John Rothman (“The Devil Wears Prada”) and Casey Wilson (“Gone Girl”) as Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke. Co-production with FX Prods. is written and executive produced by Notaro and Diablo Cody (“Juno”), executive produced by Louis C.K., Blair Breard (“Louie”) and Dave Becky (“Everybody Hates Chris”), with pilot directed and exec produced by Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”)."
I've seen several celebrities in my shop, but I never imagined that my childhood heroine, Xena the Warrior Princess (Lucy Lawless), would walk through my door and say, 'Are you Martha Whitney? You're quite the celebrity around here.' I almost fainted, but I maintained my cool as she and her friends checked out my store. She was so nice and they seemed to be having a great time.
Laura Hurt, barista at the Mockingbird Café made coffee for both Lawless and comedienne Sarah Silverman. Lauren Lapkus from Orange is the New Black found her 'happy place' at the roulette table in Hollywood Casino where a lot of the invitees were staying. Overall, it looks like all the guests had a wonderful time here on the Coast!
Celebrity guests included Jennifer Williams, Lake Bell, Sarah Silverman, Lucy Lawless, Alicia Silverstone, Lauren Lapkus, and many more.
Back the Booster For INFINITY Science Center
NASA has agreed to permanently loan the booster to INFINITY Science Center as an exhibit. Also the Center has some state funds, they need to raise millions more to move it to INFINITY and to restore it. Watch the video below and get on board with this fascinating project! The Kickstarter Campaign ends on November 14th, but you can bet that won't be an end to the efforts!
Bay-Waveland Middle School Students Make Another Hit!
This Month's Hot Topics in the Bay:
The Big Buzz
Bay Featured on WGNO's "News With a Twist"
Carts4Kids Project by S&L Office and CASA
S&L Office Supplies collects used toner cartridges from businesses and individuals in the community. If a business agrees to donate used cartridges he will have one of his employees pick up the materials. Cochran also uses his business as a drop off location for individuals and smaller businesses. Once bundled, these used products are shipped off and either refilled and/or repurposed back into the community.
Cochran created Carts4kids as a way to encourage recycling within his business and to give back to community organizations who do amazing work. “CASA volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children," CASA’s ED Cynthia Chauvin said. "As a local nonprofit, we are always looking for ways to get the community involved in our cause. Carts4kids allows people to learn more about CASA and to help raise funds by recycling." In addition to the $1032 check that was presented to CASA, S&L Office Supplies also donated a black and white copier/scanner to the organization.
If you are interested donating used toner cartridges please visit the carts4kids.com website or contact S&L Office Supplies at 228.467.0002. If you would like to know more about CASA please call 228.344.0419.
George's Girls Expands
“Purveyors of Fine Linens” is the shop’s tag-line, yet co-owner Laura Lucore points out that they carry all types of products to “make your home luxurious and to pamper yourself.”
Library Launches Digital Project
- Anthony J. Scafidi Photography Exhibit: Identify people, places, and events in historical photos from the Hancock County Historical Society’s Anthony J. Scafidi collection. Dozens of mid-century portrait, group, home and business photos from the Bay St. Louis photographer on display in the library and on Facebook online. Tag anyone you recognize!
- Transcribe vintage postcards: Get to know pen pals of the 1940s, 50s and 60s by transcribing the messages on historic postcards. We’re digitizing these postcards and posting them in the Mississippi Digital Library so everyone can enjoy.
- Scanner demos: Bring a family photo or document and see a demo of our fast new scanner. Maybe it’s time to preserve your past, safe from storms and other hazards.
Be a citizen scientist or archivist: Make amazing discoveries with these online projects. You can do a lot of things computers can’t!
- Zooniverse: Contribute to real research by studying images, historical records, or diaries.
- Old Weather: Help develop climate projections by transcribing weather observations from ships’ logs.
- National Archives: Tag, transcribe, add subtitles to videos, or upload your own
- Smithsonian Transcription Center: Unlock the past by transcribing historical letters and documents.
- Distributed Proofreaders: Ease the conversion of Public Domain books into eBooks by proofreading scanned texts.
Historic Tour Goes Digital
The Bay St. Louis Walking and Biking Tour is proof in print that history doesn’t have to be boring.
Often called Hancock Tourism’s most popular handout, the free twelve-page brochure leads visitors – and locals – along an easy one and a half mile route through Old Town, with 24 special points of interest. A new digital version even lets people take the tour with smart phones in hand. To find out more about the latest edition and how you can share it with friends, read the story here!
Click on the tour icon here to open up the digital version now!
The event will feature a Dolly Parton look-alike contest and organizers hope to have a host of other happenings like hay rides, clogging and square dancing, country food, live music and a Dolly-themed art show. The theory is that Dolly will hear about it and want to come check out the Bay in person!
Stay tuned for more details by checking out the Old Town Merchants website or checking out the Dolly Should page on Facebook!
Bay St. Louis Brings Home Three Statewide Green Awards!
We're proud to announce the Cleaver won a statewide award for "Green" Communications! The MS Urban Forest Council recognized us at the state conference August 21st for our ongoing effort to raise awareness about urban forestry, beautification, and community gardening. For a look at a few of our regular "Town Green" columns, click here!
Bay St. Louis actually took home a total of three awards. Mayor Les Fillingame was named the state's 2015 "Green" Mayor, while Katharine Ohman, recent Cleaver "Good Neighbor" and the city's force of nature when it comes to beautification and community gardening, won an Outstanding Individual Award!
The Big Buzz
Bay "Most Beautiful, Charming..."
This coastal community, with a population just over 10,000, exudes small-town charm all while offering the appeal of big city amenities thanks to Biloxi and Gulfport being in close proximity. Not only a beach lover’s paradise, Bay Saint Louis is known for its trendy old town area that offers shopping, dining, and, as of recently, a trolley service. After visiting the city, you’ll quickly see why Bay Saint Louis was named “one of the coolest small towns in America.”
Katrina +10 Press
Below are a few of the stories:
Clarion-Ledger - by Lisa Monti: Bay St. Louis Makes a Comeback
NOLA - Crushed by Katrina, Mississippi's Gulf Coast rebuilds and rejoices a decade later
WDSU, New Orleans - Bay St. Louis bounces back after nearly being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
The Sip Magazine - Bay St. Louis: The Town Katrina Could Not Kill
WBIR - Knoxville: 10 Years Later: Return to Bay St. Louis
Clarion-Ledger, Jackson - Bay St. Louis Artists Say Thanks
Big Economic News for Hancock County
from Lisa's Notebook, by Lisa Monti
DAK Americas will invest millions of dollars in a new polyester staple fiber manufacturing facility at Port Bienville Industrial Park. The investment means 86 new jobs with average annual salary of $50,000. DAK’s Pearl River Site makes PET resins for bottling and packaging. The project is expected to begin operating in the second half of 2016.
PHI Inc., the helicopter services company, is making Stennis International Airport its new base for emergency operations for major oil and gas customer evacuations when tropical weather threatens the Gulf. “We decided to make Stennis International Airport our new base because of their outstanding facilities, strategic location and ease of doing business,” said PHI’s David Stepanek.
EmberClear Corp. and the Port and Harbor Commission have executed a lease-option agreement on a 150-acre site in Port Bienville Industrial Park for a new petrochemical plant. If constructed, the project would bring $1 billion in site work, infrastructure improvements, industrial facilities and machinery and more than 100 permanent jobs.
“We are working to develop a 3,700 metric ton-per-day natural gas to methanol project to be constructed,” said EmberClear President Raj Suri. “We have already acquired the necessary air permits, and we are raising the necessary funds for the construction. If all goes as per our plan, the site work, as a precursor to construction, can begin in the later part of next year.”
The Big Buzz
Country Roads Magazine Features Bay St. Louis
The reopening of the inn is largely credited with igniting the spark that has driven the recovery of the old town and beachfront communities. Retail shops, restaurants, and bars now dot the not-so-long-ago barren frontage, and more are on the way. There’s palpable pride and ebullience among the members of the close-knit community as they enthusiastically greet visitors, many of them alighting from yachts and boats docked in the $21 million harbor glistening across Beach Boulevard from the Bay Town Inn.
Welcome back to “A Place Apart.”
Mississippi Coast in Running For Country's Best Seafood
Easy Online Voting Ends August 17th!
The Readers' Choice contest allows easy online voting (without registration). Voters may cast a ballot once a day. Click on this link to go directly to the page to vote for Mississippi.
The Mississippi Seafood Trail is up against national heavy-hitters, like Alabama's BBQ Trail, the Wisconsin Cheese Tour and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Local Artist and Businesswoman Tapped for State Advisory Panel
Since Governor Phil Bryant’s “Year of the Creative Economy” was announced in 2014, members of the Bureau of Creative Economy & Culture have been working to build a program that supports creative endeavors throughout the state. With the formation of the Mississippi Creative Economy Advisory Panel, the Bureau intends to develop programs that foster the relationship of the creative sector to economic development and better living in Mississippi.
Butler moved to Bay St. Louis in 2009, after accepting a job at the Alice Moseley Folk Art Museum. She opened The French Potager in 2012, an antique/collectibles show and floral design studio located at 213 Main Street in Old Town. Her floral art projects range from fashion accessories to dramatic floral installations. She also creates sculpture and collage from found objects, often on commission. She writes a popular monthly column on antiques and collectibles for the Cleaver, "Vintage Vignette."
Butler serves on the board of The Arts, Hancock County, is a major organizer for The Arts’ annual “ArtsAlive” and "Tarts and Tramps” events, and is a recent graduate of the Hancock Leadership program. She also runs the Big Sleazy Speakeasy, an invite-only dinner club, and founded the Raw Oyster Marching Club, a dance performance group.
“I was driving around last month getting ready for Frida Fest,” Martha says, “and realized it was a perfect example of the creative economy at work. I was going to Froogel's, stopping at the hardware store, going places to buy things we need to have a good time. At the French Potager, I sold all kinds of Frida-themed items for the event."
"Frida Fest attracted people from as far away as Dallas, while locals came out in droves. There’s sales tax from those exchanges, and revenue coming in. Everyone is making money, and we’re all putting that money back into the local economy. That’s the creative economy.”
Waveland Resident Places in National Sprinting Competitions
Impson, who competed in the men’s 75-79 age group, ran in the 50 meter preliminaries, qualified for the finals and finished in 7th place with a time of 8.52 seconds, just nine-tenths of a second behind the first place runner. In the 100 meter, Impson ran in the first of five heats along side the national record holder, which he admitted was intimidating at first, but ultimately found challenging. Again, Impson qualified to go on to the finals, where he placed 8th overall.
The 200 meter proved to be his best event. Impson not only qualified to go to the finals, he went on to place 5th overall in a photo finish. His wife, Gwen, was filming the race and remarked proudly “You should have seen the grin on John’s face as he edged out his nearest opponents. I am so proud of him!”
A Celebration of Athletes was held at the St. Paul Saints Stadium. Impson was chosen to be the Mississippi state flag bearer as he, Kelleher and other Mississippi athletes marched onto the field with thousands of other senior competitors. The event ended with music, entertainment and the passing of the NSG flag to a representative of the 2017 National Senior Games host city, Birmingham, AL.
New Voter Empowerment Website Launched by Cleaver Volunteers
According to ServeHancock.com, the community project aims to help voters “make decisions based on information instead of advertising.”
In addition to offering lists of candidates, district maps, and voter information, the mobile-friendly website features an online forum. Twenty-eight local candidates running for office in the Gulf Coast county were given a free opportunity to reach voters through the site.
The forum consists of two parts. Part One gave candidates a chance to introduce themselves. Part Two offered forum participants an opportunity to answer a list of questions. Part Two responses were posted on July 21st.
Serve Hancock was created by volunteers associated with The Fourth Ward Cleaver, including Ana Balka, Karen West, Larry Jaubert, and in the conceptual phase LiLi Stahler and Donald Murphy. Read more here!
- stories and photos by Ellis Anderson unless otherwise attributed
Free Trolley Service in Old Town to Start July 4th
The City of Bay St. Louis, in partnership with Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis and Coast Transit Authority, has announced the Bay Trolley line, connecting residents and visitors to parts of the City with a fare-free service,beginning Saturday, July 4, 2015.
“This is an exciting new time for Bay St. Louis.” said Mayor Les Fillingame. “This fare-free service will allow those needing a ride to hail the trolley as it travels on its route or they can wait at one of the designated stop locations.
"This is a huge benefit for boaters who are visiting the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor and may want to visit Hollywood Casino or the Visitor Center in the Depot District, or for someone who just wants to take a small tour of parts of the City or locals needing a ride to the shopping centers and grocery store."
The Big Buzz
From there the trolley will stop at locations such as The Ugly Pirate, Mockingbird Café, The Depot District, Commagere Park, McDonald Park, Market Town Shopping Center and Zuppardos Plaza and back to Hollywood Casino. The entire route will take approximately 40 minutes round trip.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday trolley service will extend through the evening hours from 5pm to 10pm. See schedule below for details on time.
The trolley also accepts bicyclists. It features a drop-down bike rack in the front that will carry two bikes.
BSL Named One of America's 20 Coolest Beach Towns
This small coastal town has white sand beaches and Southern charm, but also a flourishing artistic community that helps build a full calendar of cultural events.
Honor roll Drinks: Buoy’s Bar has live music and drinks right on the beach. Or, visit The Blind Tiger.
Eats: The Buttercup on Second Street.
Coffee: Mockingbird Cafe is a bookstore/town meeting spot/pub by night. Stay a while to see the whole town pass by.
Other things to do: Catch a show at Bay St. Louis Little Theater. Visit the artist co-op (Gallery 220) or Maggie May’s art gallery. Drive less than an hour to New Orleans to enjoy the city’s nightlife for the evening.
1. Small: No major cities allowed.
2. Year-round energy: The town can’t pack up and leave after “the season”.
3. Entertainment outside of the beach: Music, breweries, galleries, museums, and festivals also play integral parts of the culture.
Matador calls itself the world's largest independent travel publisher, with over 12 million unique monthly visitors.
Chamber Announces Businesses of the Year
All businesses will be honored at the Salute to Business and Industry Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, August 27th, beginning at 5:30pm at Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast. Click here for more details about the event and to purchase tickets.
Congrats all - especially S&L owner Chris Cochran!
Three Bay-Waveland Homes Featured in Design Magazine
"Stages," a new magazine published in Madison, Mississippi, found plenty to feature in the July/August issue. Bay Lou II, designed by local architect Ed Wikoff and the Waveland home of Chuck Underwood and Glenn Hood are both highlighted.
The cover story, named "From Shambles To Tropical Oasis," puts the spotlight on Kevin Jordan's (Gulf View Properties) show-stopping make-over of a historic Old Town commercial building into a family compound vacation rental. "Abode," located on the corner of Sycamore and Hancock Streets was staged for the photography session by French Potager owner Martha Whitney Butler and Patti Fullilove.
Click here to read the July/August issue online.
Katrina 10th Anniversary Schedule
The Big Buzz
Waveland Wins USA Today July 4th Celebration!
Earlier in the year, entrants sent in 150 word essays explaining why their city was deserving of the grand prize. More than 2,600 entries were received.
The winning entry for Waveland was written by Donna Estopinal.
"Many people were forced to move away leaving their dreams behind to start over somewhere else," she wrote. "Those who stayed were determined to rebuild not just their homes but our beautiful city as well. Waveland is coming back stronger and better than before."
Oroville, California was awarded the other grand prize. The other finalists were Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Midland, Pennsylvania, and Platteville, Wisconsin.
Read the complete article here.
Bay St. Louis Fastest Growing City in the State
According to an article in the Sun Herald, the city has grown by 23% since 2010, adding 2,128 residents for a total of 11.388 in 2014.
Mayor Les Fillingame attributes the rapid growth to the real estate market and the rebuilding of the city's historic district.
"The build-out of Old Town Bay St. Louis is the hottest part of real estate in the region," he said. "By and large, we have rebuilt the city to produce the results that we're seeing. Hats off to everyone involved in the recovery."
Read the entire article here.
Registration for Leadership Hancock County Begins
The group meets for an entire day each month for field trips and classes that develop an awareness of the community, develop networking skills and teach participants to make the most of their leadership abilities.
Since the program was introduced nearly two decades ago, thirteen classes have produced 320 graduates, many of whom have gone on to become “change agents for the good of Hancock County.”
LHC participants receive a certificate of graduation and celebrate their dedication and hard work in June, with a graduation ceremony and dinner.
Please click here to access the digital application, directly, then fill it out, sign the bottom and fax to 228-467-6033 or emailing to email@example.com by the July 31st deadline.
100 Men Hall Spotlighted
The 100 Men DBA Hall in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi once hosted many of the biggest names in music. Fast forward to 2005 when the same building sat in disrepair and largely unused. Add in the destructive forces of hurricane Katrina and the hall was on the brink of destruction and for lack of a better word – history.
Now imagine being from out of state, zero knowledge of the building’s great history (that includes way more than just music) and buying it hours before it was set to be demolished.
That’s pretty much the story of Jesse & Kerrie Loya.
Read the rest of the article here.
Stennis Testing Deep Space Rocket Engines
The successful 450-second test of the RS-25 rocket engine occured May 28 at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The hotfire test was conducted on the historic A-1 Test Stand where Apollo Program rocket stages and Space Shuttle Program main engines also were tested. RS-25 testing now is set to continue through the summer.
New Old Town Historic Complex Open For Guests
From Lisa Monti's Notebook
Owner Kevin Jordan bought the disheveled cinderblock building which was more recently a junk/antique store and spent the next seven years renovating it with thoughts of recreating a Mexican resort vibe a block from the Bay beach.
“When I walked in the front doors with my agent, I thought of residences of friends in central Mexico,” Kevin said. “Hurricane Katrina had blown off the raised roof in the main room of the building which is about 3,500 square feet. I thought it would make a perfect courtyard and be perfect for a swimming pool. I thought it would be a great B&B.”
Renovations commenced on the aptly named “Abode” and included a new roof and windows, plastering exterior walls, carving out rooms and making the kitchen cabinets and bar from lumber reclaimed from his house on Washington Street that was destroyed by Katrina.
Read the rest of the story on Lisa Monti's Notebook!
New Day in the Bay!
Events currently scheduled for 10th Katrina Anniversary
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Hancock Chamber Business After Hours
Ground Zero – Waveland Library, Coleman Avenue, Waveland, MS
Sponsored by the Library Foundation of Hancock County
This will kick off the week of Katrina Plus 10 Anniversary Events
Thursday, August 27, 2015
2015 Annual Awards Gala
6pm Dinner & Program
presented by the Hancock Chamber &
The Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission
Hollywood Casino, Bay St. Louis, MS
New Day in the Bay - Celebrating Our Can-Do City
11:30am – 1pm
Luncheon for Visiting Media, Elected Officials and Business Leaders
Longfellow Civic Center, Court Street, Bay St. Louis, MS
Media Tours (optional) prior to and following the luncheon
Public is invited to tour, dine and shop all day
Stores will stay open late with music in the streets
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Ringing of the Church Bells Across the Coast
All churches will be invited to participate to commemorate when Hurricane Katrina made landfall
Waveland’s Ground Zero Hurricane Homecoming
Waveland Ground Zero Hurricane Museum
5pm Ceremony to remember the lives lost to Katrina in Hancock County
5:30pm Grand Re-Opening of the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum
Music, food & beverages until 8pm
Tours of the Museum featuring the new H. C. Porter Exhibits
Backyards and Beyond: Mississippians and Their Stories
Sponsored by Mississippi Power Company, the City of Waveland and the Hancock Community Development Foundation
Katrina Authors will be on hand to sell and autograph books through Bay Books
Bring your lawn chairs, Katrina memorabilia, picnic baskets and more for an evening of tail-gating
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Various churches throughout the county will hold events and special services.
St. Rose De Lima Church in Bay St. Louis has an event in formation and details are not yet available.
Gregg in the Bay? Believe it!
Michael Rosato recently announced that the legendary Gregg Allman will be headlining the 2015 Bay Harborfest in Bay St. Louis. The three-day event runs Friday, July 17 – Sunday, July 19th. Allman will be performing on Saturday.
Locals expressed both glee and surprise at the announcement and tickets immediately began selling on the event’s website.
The Big Buzz
While the festival will run from Friday through Sunday, Saturday will be the only ticketed day. Admission on Friday and Sunday will be free.
Rosato explained the unique set-up. “Saturday, we have the big guns bands scheduled, like Gregg Allman, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Mel Waiters, Frank Foster and Brandon Niederauer.”
“On Friday and Sunday, we’ll have light music out there for atmosphere, a fun kids’ area and an art market. It’ll be more about showcasing the Bay-Waveland area on those days.”
Bay Harborfest has scheduled ten bands already and there are more acts being finalized. The main stage will be located on the beach for 2015, north of the harbor.
“People say they can’t believe it, and rightly so, it’s unbelievable,” says Rosato.
“I am determined to create a regionally significant and unique event and utilize our setting – the iconic beach, the harbor and the bridge. Nobody’s going to be able to touch it.”
The Bay Harborfest Website
Bill On-The-Road Falls For the Bay
Light, Cameras, Bay St. Louis!
Clevlen's website, Bill On The Road, is filled with articles, podcasts and videos from his trips around the country to "discover the people and places making America great."
Apparently, he fell hard for BSL. The article is titled,"Bay St. Louis, MS: Beyond Katrina, Beyond Hospitality." In his opening paragraphs, he eloquently states what we who live here know so well and never take for granted:
I hadn’t been out of the 39520 zip code for more than half an hour before I started to miss the friendly faces, great stories and hugs and handshakes from the people of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.
The small beach town of less than 10,000 residents sits along the states western coast. While the south is generally known for its “hospitality” – the people of Bay Saint Louis seem to go above and beyond just the typical southern smiles and charm.
This was one of the more interesting trips I’ve done as I really had no idea what I’d be doing or who I’d be visiting with before I arrived. Over the course of three days I found one thing in common with every person I interviewed or talked to – people are the reason Bay Saint Louis is such a special place.
Read the entire piece here and then share with friend, family and associates. They'll want to read more of Bill's articles while they're there!
But that's probably going to change. And soon.
On April 27th, two Old Town establishments were tapped as stand-ins for locations in the Bahamas as the movie crew of “Isolation,” filmed in Bay St. Louis.
Both the Mockingbird Café and the Sycamore House restaurant hosted cast and crew for the action feature, slated for release in November. The movie stars Dominic Purcell, Luke Mably, Tricia Helfer and Marie Avgeropoulos and is directed by Shane Dax Taylor.
"Isolation" began shooting in the Bahamas last December, with additional scenes being shot recently at Cat Island. The movie’s unit production manager, Jase Payne, lives in Gulfport. He says the producers fell in love with the authenticity of Bay St. Louis and decided to shoot some of the scenes here.
According to Payne, Bay St. Louis is a natural star and is sure to host more movie crews in the near future. He knows of two other major features that will be using Mississippi coast locations before the year is out.
“Producers call this the Mississippi coast ‘a hidden gem,’” says Payne. They’d like to keep it a secret, but it’s getting discovered all the same.”
Also, read the Sea Coast Echo's May 1st story about a Luke Perry movie shooting in Kiln.
Waveland Home Featured on "Tiny House Nation"
Using plans designed by her brother-in-law, Bruce Lanier (Standard Creative, in Birmingham), Pye began building a new sort of dream house. The whole process was followed by the "Tiny House Nation" crews and is the subject of an hour-long episode of show on FYI network - "The 576 sq. ft. Mississippi Memory Home."
Pye's house is also showcased as the Cleaver "Home of the Month." Read Pye's story and take a visual tour of the house in this month's At Home in the Bay column!
Once Again - BSL is a Top Ten
Located on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, a few miles from the border with Louisiana, Bay St. Louis is an idyllic seaside town brimming with rich history, beautiful sights and a lively cultural scene just begging to be explored.
Read the rest here and see who else made the cut.
Bay St. Louis makes National Geographic's GeoTourism Guide
In an engaging video called "Main Street Stroll," Bay St. Louis has been "discovered" by Southern Journeys, a series hosted by Sally Ellis, as part of the U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism MapGuide, produced by National Geographic.
The Big Buzz
Cleaver sponsors French Potager, Gallery 220, Serious Bread Bakery and Bay Town Inn are all featured! Check out the video here and share with friends!
Mississippi Magazine's March/April Issue Features Bay Emporium
"It is always exciting to see what our artists and collectors bring into the store. They work hard to offer unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that they have either repurposed from old materials or created from their own vision. The excitement truly never ends."
Read the entire article in Mississippi Magazine (sorry, not available online).
New Telemedicine Program to Help Stroke Patients at Hancock Medical
Now, when a patient comes into the emergency department at Hancock Medical with the symptoms of an acute ischemic stroke, a computer with an advanced webcam will be brought to the bedside where the clinical team will connect with a vascular neurologist on call at Ochsner. The neurologist, patient and clinical team at Hancock Medical can see and speak to each other throughout the consult. The physician will examine the patient and review the CAT scan of the patient’s head, providing guidance on advanced treatments within minutes. For more information, go to www.hancockmedical.net
Old Town Sizzles as Businesses Expand, Open Up and Move In!
Cuevas Bistro Set to Open May 1st!
From Lisa Monti's Notebook
You may have heard that Old Cuevas Bistro is opening on Main Street. It’s been a poorly kept secret, but details are now becoming available on the new restaurant at 111 Main Street inside the space where Bay Breeze operated until recently.
The Big Buzz
Bay Life Opening on March 14th
The store's tag-line reads "The Shop for Bay Coastal Style," and to owner Janice Guido that means style for home, garden and wardrobe.
Some of the lines you'll find in Bay Life are Crestview lamps, Capel Rugs, Caspari table accessories, Napa Home baskets and vases, the popular Tervis Tumblers, sea-glass jewelry and bamboo scarves. Home decor items also include made-in-the -US sisal rugs that can be custom ordered. Guido also expects Golden Rabbit enamel-ware to be a big hit, since the eye-catching place settings are unbreakable and can go from oven to table.
And local pottery fans will be delighted to learn that gumbo bowls and other creations by Joy Mehrtens will be featured regularly in Bay Life.
Bohemian Gallery opens on 209 Main St.
The Bohemian Gallery, Gulf Coast Art Cooperative LLC, is open on Saturdays from 10-5pm unless there is a Festival on Main St. Bay Louis - then, the gallery is open for the entire Festival, as it will be for Arts Alive, on March 21st. Several Gulf Coast Art Cooperative members have entered the Showcase for Arts Alive, and, also, the Juried Competition.
The Bohemian Gallery is also available for teaching and private shows. If you would like to do a private show Sunday- Friday, the gallery is available for that.
The old green building now houses 20 vendors, who feature all varieties of antiques and art. Boudreaux, an antique enthusiast, has been collecting for decades. “My vision for Something Special was to support local artists by providing a permanent venue to show and sell their craft while also sharing history through antiques," she explains.
Boudreaux believes that anyone could find something special in the rooms of collectible nostalgia and wide variety of artwork. Her art vendors showcase chainsaw carved wooden statues, hand crafted jewelry, slumped bottles, painted silk dresses, knot wood bowls, bottle trees, and handmade furniture, along with photography and paintings.
Open 7 days a week from 10:00am to 5:00pm.
New Engine Type Tested at Stennis on January 9th
From Universe Today:
NASA’s goal of sending astronauts to deep space took a major step forward when the first engine of the type destined to power the mighty Space Launch System (SLS) exploration rocket blazed to life during a successful test firing at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
The Big Buzz
A quartet of RS-25s, formerly used to power the space shuttle orbiters, will now power the core stage of the SLS which will be the most powerful rocket the world has ever seen.
Read the full article here.
The Best Burger in State? The Mockingburger's in the TOP TEN!
The Mockingbird Cafe is the only restaurant on the coast that made the finals.
The council will now send "expert" judges to visit the restaurants anonymously to determine the winner.
Each of the Top 10 will receive a recognition plaque and the winning restaurant will receive a $1,000 local advertising package, complements of Mississippi’s 17, 000 cattle producers through their beef checkoff program.
In addition to the advertising package, the winner will be honored during the Beef Night performance of the Dixie National Rodeo on February 17 - which is Mardi Gras Day in our neck of the woods. So Bay St. Louis might have another reason to celebrate!
Hancock Chamber Elects Mark Henderson 2015 President
Clay Wagner receives Jody Compretta Person of Passion Award
During the meeting, the Chamber announced that Clay Wagner was selected as the 2015 Jody Compretta Person of Passion for his leadership in coast-wide initiatives and for his service on numerous boards and commissions throughout the region. “I have been blessed to have great mentors like my parents, Virginia and Fred Wagner. I know my mother is looking down on me today and saying, you work is not yet done. I still have more for you to do.” he said.
Wagner also expressed appreciation to his father, retired architect Fred Wagner. “I was taught that if a community gives you a great place to work, a great place to raise kids, a great place to educate these kids as well as a great place to play…you have a moral obligation to give back to that community. “
Trapani's Adds a Brunch
Trapani’s Eatery rolled out its Sunday Brunch menu in January - it's available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. upstairs in the Blue Marlin Bar.
Choose from three fabulous Eggs Benedict dishes with your choice of crawfish, fried green tomatoes or oysters. Also on the brunch menu are Tony’s famous Grillades & Grits plus Grits Cakes topped with Shrimp or Soft Shell Crab. Mercy.
Did I mention the Bloody Marys and Mimosas? Yes. Those, too.
The piece was titled "12 Beautiful Beachtown Bargains for 2014." We keep good company - Hilton Head and Key West also made the list. And as a wonderful lagniappe, so did our Bay-Waveland sister city of Port Townsend, Washington!
In 2013, in Budget Travel's annual contest, Bay St. Louis was chosen as one of the top three Coolest Small Towns in the country - and we ranked above other Southern contenders by a long shot.
Crab Festival, beaches lure tourists to Bay St. Louis
Under trees behind Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church, tables of determined people wrestle bright red crabs, working hard to extract every last bit of sweet meat from the freshly boiled crustaceans.
It’s Crab Festival time in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
Before this three-day festival ends, visitors will down more than 6,000 pounds of crabs from Lake Pontchartrain and 13,000 pounds of shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. They’ll stick around to hear the rippling notes of live zydeco, blues and country music, then climb onto carnival rides, including one called the Ring of Fire, which slings its occupants around a circular track and dangles them upside down long enough to make them wonder if eating all that seafood was such a good idea.
Click here to read the full article!
The new owners of the brick facade building at 111 Main St. will enhance the retail space on one side, open a coastal bistro on the other and rebrand the new development as The Shops at Magnolia Alley. Also in the plans is construction of exclusive apartments behind the building.
The Parrish family, who took over ownership last week, chose the name in honor of the Magnolia State Lumber Supply business that occupied the building from 1937 to the 1980s. The Phillips family created four retail spaces as part of the building’s post-Katrina makeover in 2008.
Read the rest of the story here!
For frequent updates on news around town, we recommend a subscription to Lisa Monti's Notebook. A seasoned business reporter and editor, Lisa currently writes for several regional publications, including Mississippi Business Journal and the Cleaver.
Williams Pit BBQ
516 Old Spanish Trail
Bay St. Louis
The little historic cottage across from the duck pond was originally the home of Kingston's Barber Shop and was renovated Pre-K by artists Nancy and Harrison Minor. Now owned by local businessman Kevin Jordan, until recently, the building was the home of Sloppy Dogs.
A covered patio being built to make room for more outside dining and a make-over is taking place inside. Rickey said he plans to open sometime in November. The menu that offer favorites like pot roast, etouffees and other specialties that are sure to keep the customers coming.
Locals can walk or bike to a dinner at Rickey's then take a loop around the duck pond and the depot grounds afterward - before heading to the beach to watch the moon come up. Welcome back, Rickey!
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