story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Festival organizer Michael Rosato announced today that Bay Harbor Festival will be taking place this year on Friday, July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd in Old Town Bay St. Louis.
According to Rosato, this year's lineup is still in the works, but organizers are planning to offer the same eclectic mix that has proved popular in past years, including zydeco, R&B, world beat, Cajun, blues, jazz, and good old rock 'n' roll.
What will be changing for Bay Harbor Fest this year is that admission will be free, with festival-goers asked to support the event through voluntary donations. Rosato says it's a model that has been very successful for several nationally-known festivals, including Lafayette, Louisiana’s popular Festival International.
"It's going to be a simpler festival than last year’s," says Rosato. "We've reorganized it based on feedback from people and learning along the way what will and won't work in Bay St. Louis. We also worked with the Hancock Tourism Board to pick dates that would work best for the community and local businesses."
Rosato says that the event will still take place in the harbor area, with the focus on "everything beachy."
"We'll be inviting boaters back again this year too. That great beach party vibe with live music, it's one of the great parts of putting the festival on in this setting."
The Bay Harbor Fest website will be listing new acts as they're booked, so Rosato recommends checking in there occasionally over the coming month. In the meantime, he offers this advice:
"Mark your calendars and get ready for the time of your life."