This specially themed Second Saturday artwalk in July - Frida Fest - celebrates the birthday of iconic artist Frida Kahlo with an extraordinary costume contest and a fiesta of other special happenings!
- stories by Caroline St. Paul, photos by Caroline St. Paul and Ellis Anderson
100 Men D.B.A. Hall
303 Union St.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
When Rachel Dangermond bought the historic 100 Men D.B.A. Hall last July, she intended on using it to hold writing workshops, until she began to understand its many layers of history. After being closed for five years, “The Hall” needed someone dedicated to resurrect it, and that’s just what she did, and is continuing to do, almost a year later.
The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall was started by a group of African-American men in 1894 during a time in which “dark forces in society” were working against them. Dangermond explains, “For three generations, it became an energy center in this community.” Fast-forward to 2019, and the hall is being shared with an even larger community and is continuing to make its history.
An African-American landmark on the Mississippi Blues Trail, The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall is located at the edge of the historic district at 303 Union Street, across the railroad tracks from the Train Depot. This nonprofit raises funds to preserve and maintain the hall. It is available for rental for events, and there is always a full schedule of exciting activities, which can be found at https://www.the100menhall.com/.
The mission of The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall has three parts. First, share the story of “The Hall” and narrate its history, because it is very important and unique to this area. Second, present live music. “We consider that a sacred act for which the hall was built,” Dangermond explains. Musical events are held often, always thanks to a helpful sponsor. In turn, the Hall provides community events that are always free, such as Open Mic Night, which is held on the fourth Thursday of every month.
The last part of the mission is to gather the community. “This hall was built for the African-American community, and the African-American community is very important to the history and the telling of the history of the hall, and is very important to our mission as well,” says Dangermond. “However, it’s also important that we gather the community from all different segments and all different areas under one roof.”
Community engagement is vital for the success of “The Hall.” Throughout her time of owning the 100 Men D.B.A. Hall, Rachel has had a lot of support. “I think everybody in this community loves this hall and wants to see it succeed,” she says.
The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall is an “ongoing work in progress,” says Dangermond, for which there are big plans in the future. Looking ahead to Labor Day weekend is “The Hall’s” first annual festival, Booker Fest, celebrating the music of New Orleans rhythm and blues keyboardist James Booker.
For Second Saturday Art Walk on July 13, the 100 Men D.B.A. Hall will be hosting the Frida Fest after-party. Alexey Marti, a Cuban percussionist and his Latin band will be playing, there will be Cuban food available for purchase, lots of costumes, and even more fun. The party begins at 9 p.m. and tickets are available in advance on the website, or for $5 more at the door. It is sure to be the perfect wrap up for a big festival like Frida Fest! Make sure to support The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall.
136 Main St.
Bay St. Louis, MS 39520
bijoubel, owned by Melissa Hamilton, is a fashion boutique that sells fashion jewelry, clothing, and other accessories. In March, the shop moved to 136 Main Street.
Hamilton began her business inside of Century Hall. After two years she moved inside of the Maggie May building, where she spent almost five years. Although she does miss the influence of the other shop owners with whom she shared space, Hamilton is enjoying the new location immensely.
bijoubel carries Catherine Popesco and Marianna jewelry, both of which are made from Swarovski crystals; their own jewelry line, called Ava Kate, Renaldo, which features a bracelet of the month and meaningful messages in each one; and My Saint My Hero.
The store also carries very affordable samples and closouts from Joan Vass, a high-end clothing line. Nothing in this line is over $40, making it a steal.
“We’ve always tried to offer affordable pricing,” Hamilton explains. She likes the fact that mothers can feel comfortable going into bijoubel with their daughters because they can afford to buy them something without guilt. Customers are also never afraid to tell Hamilton what they want.
Hamilton’s favorite parts of being in Bay St. Louis are the people and the culture. “We can all come together and be a part of one community,” she replies. She also loves the fact that you can feel free to be yourself here.
For the July 13 Second Saturday Art Walk, bijoubel will be featuring three local artists on the back porch of the shop and a live band in the back garden. There will also be Mexican food to complement the theme of Frida Fest. Music is sponsored by Hancock Whitney Bank, The First, and The Peoples Bank.
Make sure to visit bijoubel as a “hot spot” all month!