Hancock County supergroup "BlueShift," featuring Tommy and Gene Moran, joins Delta blues artist Vasti Jackson the Bay St. Louis Depot on June 3rd celebrate three centuries of history in Hancock County. And that's just the music line-up. The Shoolfly's got all the details!
- story by Ellis Anderson
The day starts at 10am with a ribbon-cutting that will launch a new Hancock County bicentennial exhibit in the Depot.
The special exhibit was created with the help of the Hancock County Historical Society. It takes a sweeping look back through time to 1699, when French explorers first built a fort overlooking the Bay of St. Louis.
The exhibit, which consists of several moveable cases, will be permanently on display in the lobby of the Depot, sharing space with the Visitor Center and the Mardi Gras Museum.
The second attraction of the day is the Alice Moseley Festival, named in honor of the feisty Mississippi folk artist who passed away in 2004. A museum dedicated to her work occupies the second floor of the historic depot building.
Moseley is known best for her whimsical renditions of commonplace scenes from the past, so the festival will feature exhibitors and performances geared to bring history to life.
Local actress Cheryl Grace will be appearing throughout the day as Alice Moseley herself, known for her red beret and humorous stories. Other performers during the day will recreate other colorful characters from Hancock County’s past.
A retired school teacher, Alice Moseley moved to Bay St Louis later in life and became a nationally recognized painter. During the past several years, the Alice Moseley Museum has grown into one of the most popular heritage attractions on the coast.
With the new Hancock History exhibit joining the Alice Moseley and Mardi Gras Museums, the board of Hancock County Tourism expects the Visitor Center to be busier than ever. Last year, more than 20,000 people were greeted at the center.
Traditional crafts like black-smithing and pottery will be demonstrated during the festival, while several booths will be offering made-in-Mississippi crafts for sale.
Only work that best fits the theme of the festival will be accepted to show. Fifteen booth spaces will be available and the cost is $50. Those interested can call 228-463-9222 to reserve a space.
The family-friendly event will also offer miniature train rides and old-fashioned carnival rides, as well as local food vendors and live music.
The Hancock History exhibit was funded in part by grants from the Mississippi Humanities Council through support of the Mississippi Development Authority.