Amtrak Comes Through Town
- photography by Ellis Anderson
When Hancock County Tourism was informed of the visit of the Amtrak feasibility trip to the coast on February 18 we were excited for the chance to get the return of passage trains to our area. The Amtrak passenger train could bring tourists from all over the country that would normally not make it to our area.
When we learned that Bay St. Louis was the first stop in Mississippi and we would have just 10 minutes to impress the Amtrak officials, the citizens of Bay St. Louis jumped into action. We had the opportunity to showcase our unique city and that is just what we did.
Many local individuals and groups were out to support the return of Amtrak to our area on the big day, and as Amtrak administrators and government officials from the three coastal states approached our town they must have been awestruck with the enthusiasm our residents showed! We even had the Bay High marching band.
Passengers exited the train and walked a red carpet through the historic depot to the podium for words from Sara Feinberg of the Federal Railroad Administration and a champagne toast. Some officials toured the Mardi Gras Museum and Mississippi Blues display located on the first floor of the depot.
The train had a full day of travel ahead, so what better way for us to thank officials for stopping than a snack box? Boxes were decorated by students of Holy Trinity schools, stuffed with snacks from the Silver Slipper Casino, Hollywood Casino, and Hancock County Tourism, and included mementos from the Raw Oyster Marching Club, Krewe of Mystic Seahorse, and Krewe of Nereids.
From my seat in the train as it pulled away from our station, I heard congratulations on all sides concerning what an impression Bay St. Louis made on all the passengers. Without our residents, this would not have been possible.
Hancock County Tourism Bureau would like to thank you for making Amtrak’s visit to Bay St. Louis a memorable one. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.
We would also like to thank Paula Fairconnetue, Bay ROTC, Dave Mayley, John Rosetti, Our Lady Academy, Bay St. Louis Rotary, and Buoy’s Bar.
Myrna Green, Manager
Hancock County Tourism Bureau