This outdoor music fest in Kiln, Mississippi offers a stellar line-up, a pristine natural setting, and a rural location that's easily reached from several metro areas.
- story by LB Kovac
That's changing now, thanks to the Sugar Magnolia Music Festival. Now in its second year, the event seeks to bring everything we’re missing out on to the Mississippi coast – top music acts, delicious food, and a pristine rural setting with the ability to camp on-site, in either tents or RVs with hookups.
Mike Rosato and his Bay Rat Productions team are behind this festival. And Rosato says that this “brackish mix” of Mississippi and Louisiana culture dubbed “Sugar Mag,” scheduled for November 9-11 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds in Kiln, is sure to get the hearts of all attendees pumping.
But the fun doesn’t stop at the music. “Honestly, events like Sugar Magnolia are more about a total experience rather than a stand-alone concert or festival that is focused on any one band, food or artist. It’s the whole kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and smells and interactions,” Rosato says.
“For those who have never been, there is something very friendly, primal and relaxing about going to a music festival,” says Rosato.
In the vein of festivals like Burning Man and Bonnaroo, about half of the Sugar Mag’s festival attendees camp out for the weekend. “Bring your RV and set it up,” says Rosato. And if you don’t have an RV, you can always rent one.
Primitive tent camping (with no hook-ups) is included in the ticket prices. Advance tickets are only $35 for one day and $55 for the weekend. Advance ticket prices even include tent camping without hookups (there are free shower facilities on-site). RV hookups are available for those who want more luxe accommodations for the weekend. An advance weekend camping pass with hook-ups - which includes two tickets - is just $140. Purchase tickets online here).
“Sharing the weekend with your friends and enjoying the entire experience together… It’s like the best tailgate party of your life but you don’t have to go home if you don’t want to!” says Rosato.
And if you’re in the half that is not the camping type, then you still have plenty of options. There are lots of nearby hotels and home rentals. And home is probably just a short drive away.
“Kiln…is NOT in the middle of nowhere," says Rosato, "But rather in the middle of everywhere! New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Biloxi, Mobile, and Pensacola are all far enough to leave your worries back home, but close enough to run back to if you need to.”
Click on map icons for directions
The music will play throughout the day in this weekend community, with special late night shows as well.
“Samantha Fish, Raw Oyster Cult, Russel Batiste and Friends and The Dustbowl Revival are leading an amazingly talented lineup,” said Rosato.
Fish, a Blues protégé, debuted her latest album, Belle of the West¸ in the Number 1 spot on the Billboard Blues Albums charts just last year. That album went on to win the Best Blues Album at last year’s Best of the Beat Awards.
And Los Angeles-based The Dustbowl Revival, with their unique brand of vintage Americana sound, has been generating a lot of buzz. Under the direction of Grammy Award-winning producer Tedd Hutt, their latest self-titled album got them a resounding recommendation from Rolling Stones reviewer Rob Sheffield.
New Orleans jam bands The Iceman Special and The Quickening, as well local R&B group 'Sippiana Soul, are just a few of the other outstanding acts scheduled for the vibrant 3-day weekend. Everyone can find a band to sing to all night.
Away from the stage, the Bay Rat Productions team pulled out all of the stops, bringing Southern flair to every aspect of the festival. Big Wil and the Warden will serve up all your Southern fried favorites; an oyster bar will be on hand - in the middle of oyster season, no less; and the festival bars will be stocked with local micro brew beers and specialty drinks spiked with spirits from Louisiana and Mississippi distilleries.
Great music, good food, and friends you haven’t met yet, will all be just a short drive (or a short camp) away come the weekend of November 9/10. This Southern-stewed music fest offers it all.
For more information and tickets, go to the Sugar Magnolia Fest website.
You Say Oysters, I Say Ersters
Writer and Shoofly Magazine editor Lisa Monti reminisces about her first oyster tasting, the beginning of a lifelong fandom for the delectable bi-valves.
- story by Lisa Monti
Detractors have trouble with the texture of oysters, or the notion of eating something raw. That must be even more off-putting to landlocked visitors than staring down at a fried soft-shell crab, with its crunchy legs shooting out from both sides of po-boy.
Fans of the oyster have no such worries when it comes to plump ones eaten raw or prepared in a well-turned dish. Without getting too Forrest Gump-ish, the versatile oyster can be grilled, charbroiled, scalloped, wrapped in bacon, baked, smoked, stewed, roasted, steamed and cooked into a dressing.
Oyster cravings get stirred up this time of year by cooler weather and memories of holiday feasts. A line formed in our kitchen when the Christmas oyster patties came out of the oven. Making them was a production, led by my grandmother, that involved a gallon of oysters and green onions run through a hand-cranked grinder intended for meat.
All the ingredients came together to bubble in a big Magnalite pot before being spooned into small flaky shells from the McKenzie’s Bakery on Chef Highway. A piece of art depicting an oyster patty hangs in my kitchen as a reminder of that holiday treat.
Of course oysters are available any time of year, and fortunately, you can find them on loads of local menus if not in your own kitchen. (Note to self: it’s frying time again.)
A fried oyster po-boy is always a good option, although sometimes choosing between shrimp and oysters can make for some serious internal conflict. The humble, almost sweet, always reliable shrimp? Or the oysters, delicate to the mouth, on the rich side (oysters Rockefeller, hello!) with a dash of extravagance. There’s a reason, don’t you suppose, that there are oyster bars and not shrimp or crab bars.
The last oysters that I ate were at C&C Farm to Fork restaurant on Main Street, listed on the menu simply as Gulf Fried Oysters, in a self-explanatory way. They were fried to a perfect crisp and served with delicious sauces, though the oysters were good enough to stand on their own.
There’s even a new festival celebrating the briny treats – the St. Clare’s Oyster Fest on October 13th (see details on our Upcoming Events page). If it’s anything like the church’s annual Seafood Festival, it’s bound to grow into a local tradition.
As a child on the beach trying my first raw oyster, maybe I didn’t appreciate how special that treat was at the time. But I’m mightily grateful now for all of the fresh seafood in the Gulf. Catch it, cook it, order it and celebrate it. Aren’t we the lucky ones?
Below are a few of our Old Town restaurants known for their oysters.
200 North Beach
200 N Beach Blvd
Bay St Louis
Open 7 Days
116 N Beach Blvd
Bay St Louis
C&C Farm to Fork
Creative and sustainable Southern cuisine
111 Main Street
Bay St. Louis, MS
Cuz’s Old Town Oyster Bar & Grill
108 S Beach Blvd
Bay St Louis
(228) 467- 3707
Open 7 Days
The RAW Bar
118 N. Beach Blvd.
Bay St. Louis
Silver Slipper Casino’s Oyster Bar
Fresh seafood appetizers and entrees
5000 S Beach Blvd
Bay St. Louis , MS 39520
Open 7 days
St. Clare Church Oyster Festival
St. Clare Catholic Church
236 S. Beach Blvd
10:00am to 10:00pm
Drawdown tickets are on sale now at the church—$50 per ticket.
Seafood, bands, vendors, a $5,000 drawdown raffle, and more seafood! Welcome the Fall season with tasty oyster dishes and "sides" like gumbo, potato salad, fried shrimp plates and poboys, crab stuffed potatoes, cotton candy, and more! Live local entertainment including the David Mayley Band (1pm-3pm) and Monsters at Large with the Moran Brothers (6pm-9pm). What a win/win--oysters and a drawdown!
Fruit of the Vine in Freinsheim
Noted Southern author Rheta Grimsley Johnson joins an annual community party in a German village, where the vineyard harvests are cause for an unusual type of celebration.
Nobody does it better. Except maybe … little Freinsheim near Mannheim, Germany, in the Southwest region called the Palatinate.
I recently visited relatives in the town of 4,800 just after grape harvest. Freinsheim is at the center of seven wine-making villages. How’s that for convenient geography? So it’s a big deal when the grapes are picked and the new crop sampled.
Let me tell you about the party.
I don’t speak a lick of German, so it was as if I’d slipped from Stage Left onto an elaborate theater set in a beautiful musical. I didn’t know my lines but figured out the basic steps and sang and danced my way by following the others. Think Lucy Ricardo slipping into one of Ricky’s nightclub production numbers.
One Saturday afternoon on cue thousands of people wound their way through the endless grape vineyards and walked for miles into the sunset. But this was no sweaty, non-stop marathon in the name of exercise. Oh, no.
We had only just entered the orchard when appeared the first kiosk selling tall glasses of new wine. The glasses were dimpled, the better to hold them, and the general idea was to throw back refreshment as you made your way forward to the next wine filling station.
A man sat on a stool and played a barely-recognizable “When the Saints Go Marching In” on an old accordion. People bought sandwiches made from a cow whose stripped-clean bones were still spinning on a spit. Neighbor greeted neighbor as if it had been decades since they’d met.
Thus refreshed, we tramped on for another few hundred yards and then did it all again. You could sip or chugalug, didn’t matter. You knew where your next drink was coming from.
Not everyone walked the entire course. Some cheated. A few families set up picnic tables between the vineyard rows and ate and drank at their leisure. Some lounged on cushioned chairs provided, I suppose, by the various wineries.
Those ugly portable toilets that must be universal were the necessary evil, a scratch on a canvas that could have been painted by Monet. Men, as usual, had the advantage and simply wandered off down the rows to water the crop.
I kept walking and drinking, which is a lot easier than you might imagine. The new wine had about a six percent alcohol content, roughly a beer’s worth. I’ve done the same thing getting to the far end of Ship Island while lugging a cooler.
The most amazing thing was that nobody in the wine-swilling crowd of thousands appeared drunk. There were no fistfights or loud words. The only music was the occasional accordion, yet it seemed as if our lubed conversation was orchestrated.
As the sun got lower and the crowd higher, I kept waiting for the down side of such a frolic, a sick teenager, passed out geriatric or an angry boyfriend. It never came. Now I didn’t stay into the wee hours and the scene might have changed, but somehow I doubt it.
Theirs is an old and grape-fueled civilization.
Almost before I knew it, my group had reached a vineyard hilltop that looked down on the red-roofed medieval village of Freinsheim. We rested. And drank some more.
We didn’t so much walk as float home. I kept thinking wistfully of a similar production along the edge of the Mississippi Sound, but I don’t think it would translate.
Seeking: 100 Men Hall History
There's little solid historical information about one of Bay St. Louis's most significant buildings, but its new owner hopes to learn more with the help of long-time locals.
- story by Lisa Monti, photographs by Ellis Anderson
Dangermond plans to share with the public any photos and memorabilia she can track down. “I want to position the hall as an interpretive center,” she said. “My goal is to show how and why it came into existence and its significance to the area."
According to the new 100 Men Hall website:
In 1894, 12 civic-minded African American residents of Bay Saint Louis drew up the bylaws for an organization called the Hundred Members Debating Benevolent Association. The group’s primary purpose was to "assist its members when sick, bury its dead in a respectable manner and knit friendship." From an organizing group sprang an open-air pavilion and then, in 1922, a cornerstone was laid and the existing Hall built. The Hall was dedicated on July 16, 1923.
The Mississippi Blues Trail marker at the entrance recognizes the 100 Men D.B.A. Hall for its significance as a music venue. B.B. King and Etta James were among the musicians and signers who took to the stage at the hall. Money raised by the performances was used by the organization to help members of the community get medical treatment and other services.
Saved from demolition by previous owners and guardians Kerry and Jesse Loya, the refurbished hall hosted concerts, weddings, Sunday afternoon Cajun dances and pop-up dinners over the last several years.
In the short time she’s owned the property, Dangermond has held a writer’s workshop and a Baria for Congress fundraising performance by Cedric Burnside. More events are in the works while Dangermond seeks pieces of the hall’s history.
“I’ve reached out to some folks to see if they have any old family photos. They might have one of their mom or an aunt standing in front of the hall. Up until Camille, if you were African American, you went to that hall. That’s where events were held. So there must be photos out there.”
There’s a sense of urgency to locate any photos and other keepsakes and record memories as the years go by, she said.
“Any memorabilia, even if it’s story, I’m very interested,” she said.
To contact Dangermond, email firstname.lastname@example.org call (415) 336-9543.
Second Saturday Artwalk - October 2018
During the Second Saturday Artwalk each month in Old Town Bay St. Louis, you'll find cool deals, fresh meals and lots of art and live music!
Be sure to check out "Hot Spots" Magnolia Antiques (200 Main Street) and Trapani's Eatery (116 North Beach Blvd). And be sure to stop in at Gallery 220 (220 Main St.) to see new work by Julie Nelson and Tommy Lewis.
- stories by Grace Wilson, photos by Ellis Anderson
October Hot Spot Businesses!
Nature Notes - Oct/Nov 2018
- by James Inabinet, PhD, illustrations by Margaret Inabinet
“A man [sic] thinks as well through his legs and arms as his brain. . . . You would almost say the body thought!” -- - Thoreau
I have spent countless hours honing my skills at seeing in order to deepen my relationship with my forest home. A way that works well is a form of body-thinking that I call Mouse-Seeing, an embodied mode of perception that privileges feeling. My sensuous body knows much more about the world than I consciously know.
To begin mouse-seeing, thinking is suspended through meditation or prayer. A quieted mind allows the “seer” to become more mindful of what’s happening right now, right here. With an empty mind one becomes like a hollow bone, ready to be filled with possibility.
Several years ago, I ritually began my first journey into mouse-seeing in the goldenrod field. After sitting in meditation for a while, I dropped down and put my nose close to the ground like a mouse to see the field up close the way she would.
I could see thickets of grass and goldenrod stems. With lowered head, I crawled for a while seeking mouse roads below the grass and goldenrod “canopy” and experience being in mouse habitat as I moved mouse-like through the field.
After a half hour or so, I became bored and noticed that I had been thinking about home and work. I meditated and began again. Soon I stumbled onto what appeared to be a tiny trail. I slid onto my belly to look closer and discovered a mouse trail, a round hole through grass “trunks.” Opening back into the grass, the trail disappeared in shadow. Perhaps a tiny nest was back in there but I would never know. To get close enough to gaze at it would certainly destroy it.
As infants, we once possessed unmitigated body-knowing, as innocent as a mouse on her mouse-road – I only have to remember how to do it. Maybe I can return somehow to an infant’s sense of wonder, alert and curious – like a mouse. Intimate with her world, she sees clearly only what is right in front of her feeling, smelling nose.
I moved closer to the stems of the grasses and goldenrods; I touched them with my face, feeling their roughness. Nose to the ground, I smelled the dark, damp earth where it was exposed. I listened closely while simultaneously smelling, feeling, looking. The mouse way is a doing way.
With closed eyes I laid down and focused on feelings. A surprisingly rough grass stem was touching my face. I tried to move into that feeling of roughness–without thinking. Moving my face to the side, I felt the mat of dry grass that covered the bare earth, again focusing on feelings.
Moving forward a few inches I felt a grass stem on my forehead, focusing on feelings even as an image appeared, an image of what that grass might look like. I continued in this way for about an hour and had moved only about six feet.
At the end of this experiment into mouse-seeing, I knew that particular feelings had arisen in me about the nature of the beings of the field, but I could not clearly recall them. It occurred to me that by purposefully suspending thinking, these feelings could not easily become thought and/or words. Something, though, was felt, something known, but I could not say exactly what it was.
Even so, my relationship with this place deepened.
Tami Curtis - A Bold Vision
Arts Alive - Oct/Nov 2018
- story by Denise Jacobs
Meet children's author Perry Guy and artist/illustrator Tami Curtis at the launch of their new book, The Mardi Gras Boat Parade at the official launch at Bacchus on the Beach (111 Scenic Drive, Pass Christian) on Saturday, October 20, from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Books will be available for purchase along with matted and framed original illustrations. A whopping 20 percent of all sales during the book launch will go to the Pink Heart Funds, a local non-profit organization that assists cancer patients. And there will be pink martinis.
Tami Curtis is best known for her bold brush strokes, a colorful paint palette, and an exuberant use of unconventional materials such as tarpaper, old screen doors(especially copper screening), metal findings, beading wire, and brocade tapestry fabric as well as traditional canvas.
Her work has been described as “fresh,” “dynamic,” and “resourceful.” In fact, when it comes to salvaging “vintage” materials for art projects, Curtis is shameless.
The Arts Alive column is sponsored by
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Originally from Louisiana and greatly influenced by the musical culture of New Orleans, Curtis has a collection of work that includes the original artwork for three French Quarter Fest posters featuring Pete Fountain, Kermit Ruffins, and Little Freddie King.
Also, she was commissioned to create the 20th annual Blues Masters at the Crossroads poster, the Satchmo Summer Fest poster, and two Legendary Blues Cruise official posters.
For as long as she can remember, Curtis has been creating.“My love of art has been lifelong,” she notes. “I remember drawing a duck when I was two years old—a tiny, little picture of a duck. I still remember the smell of graphite and the way the pencil felt in my hand.”
Curtis earned her first degree in art education and her second in art design. Her father has been her lifelong mentor. “He was an outdoorsman, and as we walked the woods, my father would draw my attention to the outdoor world. He would point to a crow and ask me what color it was. I’d say black, and he would say, ‘Look again when the sun highlights the feathers.’”
“Animal faces captivate me,” she says. “Some people say that if you’ve painted one golden retriever, you’ve painted them all, but that’s just not true. If you study animals, you will find that they are all different. The distinction might be as small a thing as a bump on the nose, but it is not insignificant.”
Painting pet portraits is rewarding for the peace they bring to clients whose pets are no longer alive. When Curtis paints the portraits of animals still living, she visits the animals and takes photographs to guide her painting. Then, for the cherry on top, clients are encouraged to bring their pets in for the final stage of the pet portrait, the addition of the pet’s paw prints.
“The move to Bay St. Louis, finding a home at Century Hall, and finding a house for my husband and me took three months,” Curtis says, noting that everything “fell into place for us.”
“Bay St. Louis is the perfect fit,” she notes. “It’s art friendly, and I’ve always loved it.” Also, the Bay is a perfect middle ground for traveling to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where her husband, children’s writer Perry Guy, runs a kayak rental business, and to New Orleans, where Curtis teaches art lessons to private clients as well as to women housed at the New Orleans Family Justice Center (via her church’s prison ministry).
It’s a lot to balance, but Curtis says that whatever she’s doing, art is on her mind.
Curtis’ latest project, The Mardi Gras Boat Parade, is a collaboration between herself and Perry Guy, illustrator and writer, respectively. The children’s story reflects Curtis’ childhood love of Beatrix Potter. Guy has written a song by the same name as the book, as well. To order The Mardi Gras Boat Parade online, visit Tami Curtis's website.
What's Up, Waveland - October 2018
Hurricane Florence Volunteers
During the week of September 24 a group of Waveland residents led by Waveland public works director Brent Anderson, Waveland Fire Chief Tony Malini, Bo Humphrey and Mickey Lagasse went to North Carolina to feed the first-responders, other volunteers, and victims of Hurricane Florence.
The group spearheaded the disaster aid with help from Da Kitchen Too (714 U.S. 90 in Waveland).
What's Up, Waveland?
To make this an even better event, we invite residents and businesses to set up on Coleman Avenue and hand out candy.
If you are interested in setting up a booth or being a part of the event, please contact Raquel LaFontaine at Raquellafontaine@gmail.com(228-493-7246) or call Waveland City Hall at 228-467-4134.
Two reasons for Waveland’s current good financial position is because the city mill value increased to $62,400 and the sales tax revenue is up nearly 3% from the previous year. It is important for Waveland residents and weekenders to continue choosing to shop in local establishments and not online so Waveland will remain on good financial footing.
The Gulf: the Making of an American Sea
Bay Reads - October 2018
- story by Scott Naugle
The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea
By Jack Davis
W.W. Norton & Company
In The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, author Jack Davis directs our attention to the beginning of the gulf’s formation during the Pleistocene era. “Back then, conditions were cold, dry, and blustery, very different from the warm weather of today… Mastodons, saber-toothed cats, giant bears, camels, and ground sloths the size of oxen stalked steppe-like savannas of golden-tawny grasses.”
Jack Davis spent a lifetime preparing to write this monumental work. He recalls his childhood romping on the beaches and marshes along the coast of the Florida panhandle, studying the birds while listening to the melodious rhythm of the surf. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of South Florida and a doctorate from Brandeis University. Davis currently teaches environmental history and sustainability studies at the University of Florida.
While the research is meticulous and expansive ranging from social history to wildlife and the coastal flora, it is the narrative, the people and story of the gulf, bringing this history to life like a multi-layered novel.
“Among the most scintillating of sights were fish in schools as long as freight trains, running with the invisible gulf tide” was the scenery encountered by Winslow Homer in 1904, as he traveled with “rod and reel … and paints and brushes” as described by Davis.
A century later, Joseph Boudreaux, earning a meager living as a commercial fisherman, lamented over the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, erosion caused by commercialization and inland effluents, and the unnatural effects of levees and dams, “that’s when the erosion’s going.”
The Gulf is the 2018 selection for One Book One Pass, a community reading initiative where everyone reads the same book and has the opportunity to hear the author speak.
In 2016, the first year for the program, Erik Larson spoke about the best-selling “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.” Last year, National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward discussed “The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race,” a collection of essays edited by Ward.
The date for this year’s presentation by Jack Davis is Wednesday, October 17th 7:00 PM at the Randolph Center, 315 Clark Avenue in Pass Christian. It promises to be another informative and fascinating evening.
The Dave Mayley Band
Murphy's Musical Notes - Oct/Nov 2018
David Mayley is a self-described "BUG MAN.” He is proud of the fact and will tell anyone so. As owner of Mayley's Pest Control, David has been in business in the Bay St. Louis area for well over twenty years. Well-known for his support and involvement in community affairs, Mayley is also a longtime member and supporter of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce.
Murphy's Musical Notes
David Mayley has been dabbling in music since the age of twelve when he began playing drums in a "real garage band" named Black Granite. Later, in college, Mayley went on to play with Roger Dodger & The Darts, and he founded Kool Breeze in 2005. Kool Breeze would morph into The Dave Mayley Band of today.
The other member of Kool Breeze was Australian-born lead guitarist Richard Pohl. Pohl, another very talented multi instrumentalist, joined Mayley shortly after Hurricane Katrina and shares vocal duties with the other five members of the band.
Pohl covers songs from The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and beyond, while David sings rocking numbers like "Taking Care of Business" and "Wild Thing.” David and Richard also play in a Christian Rock ensemble for a weekly Sunday evening service at the Main Street United Methodist Church (162 Main Street) in Bay St. Louis at 6:30 PM.
Leslie's vocals include tunes by John Prine, Chrissie Hynde and Tommy James and The Shondells among others. She previously played in a bluegrass duo with Walt Moskal and continues to play Christian music at the Diamondhead United Methodist Church. She and husband Mark are the principals in Hancock County's successful Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company.
Keyboardist David Sallis was raised in Jackson and has lived on the coast for over twenty five years. He is a software engineer at Stennis Space Center. Sallis is another multi instrumentalist playing piano, cello and drums.
David has played keyboards with The Dave Mayley Band for well over a year and sings some of the band's more soulful numbers with his covers of Bill Withers, Dobie Gray and Ray Charles songs.
An extremely talented musician, Kevin is on his maiden journey as a professional musician with The Dave Mayley Band. His vocal talents are utilized on songs that run the gamut from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Van Morrison and Tom Petty.
This band's repertoire encompasses straight ahead cover material from the 1960s through the 1990s. It's all middle of the road (MOR) FM radio rock which is always well received by theiraudiences.
The group is a true fun-loving cover band whose members all get along and complement each other's styles. Collectively, the band seems to aspire to nothing more than enjoying themselves while making music and improving their sound as they continue to play dates.
The members of The Dave Mayley Band all seem to stay so busy with family and business careers that they aspire only to make music whenever they are able. Their personal enjoyment along with that of their audience seems to be their main goal. This band plans on rocking Hancock County and the Mississippi Gulf Coast with their cover tunes for a long time to come.
The band has a Facebook page titled The Dave Mayley Band. Check the band out at one of their upcoming Silver Slipper Beach Bar gigs. David Mayley can be contacted at (228) 380-0285.
10/25 - Silver Slipper - 5:30 - 8:30pm
11/9 - Bay Town Inn, Five Year Anniversary and benefit for Brenda's House - 6pm - 9pm
Witches Walk in Old Town
Talk of the Town - October 2018
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Registration is closed, but wanna-be witches who didn't register in time can still costume and come down to Old Town independently to be part of the fun - they simply can't take part in the official contests.
And of course, donations to make this benefit event even more successful are welcome too (look for the green pumpkin at the Mockingbird Café).
See the full Witches Walk schedule at the bottom of this page!
Halloween is a huge holiday, with millions of people spending billions of dollars on candy, costumes, decorations and whatever else to scare up a good time.
Locally, celebrating Halloween fits right into our community’s nonstop celebration of history, family get-togethers and fundraising for a cause, all with an emphasis on fun.
And since Oct. 31 falls on Wednesday, this year’s festivities will get under way on the weekend before Halloween. There are several traditional local events on the calendar, along with a hot new one that’s been added to the cauldron.
Talk of the Town
The gathering kicks off at the Mockingbird Café (110 S. Second Street) and meanders in downtown for shopping, eating and socializing. 27 merchants will be participating with specials and refreshments, including Lulu's on Main (126 Main Street) and Bodega/Parrot Head Bar & Grill (111 Court Street). Registered costumers will get numbers from participating businesses to play Witches Wingo – a holiday themed Bingo game.
After lunch, at around 1:30 p.m., the registered witches will meet outside of Lulu’s on Main (126 Main Street) to start their parade to Cuz’s restaurant (108 S. Beach Blvd.), led by the Bay Ratz Marching Battery (see the full expanded schedule at the bottom of this page!)
To cap off the day, there will be a dance around the cauldron at Cuz’s restaurant, where prizes donated by Old Town Merchants will be awarded for best hat, shoes and brooms and the winning Wingo card.
Bay St. Louis resident and costumer extraordinaire, Karen West, is one of the event organizers. West says it all started when she and a few friends dressed up for a Halloween birthday luncheon in 2012. Last year, 36 women participated.
This year, organizers originally hoped to double that number. But after 75 tickets sold out immediately and people clamored for more, the event was expanded to encompass more Old Town venues. When registration closed for a second time this year, 170 witches had registered - and organizers had to turn away dozens more. The $10 registration fee will benefit the Hancock County Food Pantry and the Bay Ratz Marching Battery. Witches will pay for their own libations and food along the way.
But wanna-be witches who didn't register in time can still costume and come down to Old Town independently to be part of the fun - they simply can't take part in the official contests.
And of course, donations to make this benefit event even more successful are welcome too (look for the green pumpkin at the Mockingbird Café).
“It’ll be a day of fun and frivolity, for sure!” West declared.
More Local Halloween Events
Cedar Rest Cemetery Tour
The historic cemetery is the resting place of many interesting residents, and each year the Hancock County Historical Society members and volunteers portray some of the more notable ones.
Cedar Rest is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information call 228-467-4090.
Halloween at McLeod Park
McLeod Park Campground is located at 8100 Texas Flat Road in Kiln. for more info, call 228-467-1894 or visit the Facebook page.
Halloween Bash on Coleman Ave.
Complete Witches Walk Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 27
11:00am - Group Photo at the Cemetery
11:30am – 1:30pm - Collect Witch Wingo numbers (at participating Old Town Merchants)
- Mockingbird Café (110 S. Second Street)– Bloody Mary & Biscuit Breakfast Special
- The Porch (112 S. Second Street, inside Century Hall)
- Bay Life Gifts and Gallery (112 S. Second Street, inside Century Hall)
- Smith & Lens Gallery (106 S. Second Street) -Witches receive 10% off
- Magnolia Antiques (200 Main Street)
- Social Chair (201 Main Street) – Witches receive 25% off
- PJ’s (207 Main Street)
- Sycamore House (210 Main Street) – The Bay Witch $5, Blackberry Vodka Cocktail, Prix Fixe Lunch Special
- California Drawstrings (216 Main Street)– Build your own Bloody Mary Bar, compliments of Witch Linda
- The French Potager (213 Main Street)
- Bodega Liquor (111 Court Street) – FREE mini bottle of Tito’s
- Parrot Head Bar & Grill (111 Court Street) - Prix Fixe Lunch Wicked Chicken Sandwich with a Killer Tomato Soup & Witches Brew Drink $20 CASH, includes tax & tip
- Daquiri Shak (112 Court Street) – 20 oz Daquiri for $5.00
- Alice Moseley Museum (1928 Depot Way)
- Twin Light Creations (136 Main Street)
- Fashion Express (126 Main Street)
- The Shoe Boutique (126 Main Street)
- Bijoubel (126 Main Street)
- Joan Vass (126 Main Street)
- Lulu’s on Main (126 Main Street) – Prix Fixe Lunch: Chicken Salad & Crawfish Quesadilla with Sriracha cheese sauce, tea, OJ, Bloody Mary Mix (Welcome to BYOB) $20 CASH, includes tax & tip
- Serious Bread (131 Main Street)
- Wild Gypsy Boutique (131 Main Street) – Witches receive 15% off
- Pop Brothers (111 Main Street)
- Bizzee Bee (111 Main Street)
- Cuz’s (108 S. Beach Blvd)– Prix Fixe Drink & Lunch Special
- Green Canyon Outfitters (108 S. Beach Blvd)
- Trapani’s (116 N. Beach Blvd) – Calypso Martini Special
2:30pm - Witches meet at side door (parking lot) by Lulu’s (126 Main Street). Bay Ratz Marching Battery parades with witches to post-lunch Cauldron Dance at Cuz’s (108 S. Beach Blvd).
3:00pm - Winners Announced/Cauldron Dance at Cuz’s (108 S. Beach Blvd)
3:30pm - Get on your broomsticks and head back home!
California Drawstrings in the Bay
Sponsor Spotlight - October 2018
story and photos by Denise Jacobs
California Drawstrings shares many of the same attributes as Bay St. Louis and neighboring small towns along the Mississippi Gulf Coast—charming, creative, artsy, breezy, and, OK—even quirky!
You might say that California Drawstrings dresses the women of Old Town Bay St. Louis—and yet, like the whimsical nature of the Gulf itself, changing from day to day, no two women look alike.
Linda Keenan, proprietor, owns stores in Covington and the French Quarter, as well as Bay St. Louis. At market, she buys with each store’s unique location and customer base in mind, never buying too much of anything, never wanting her clients to run into each other on the street.
“Sometimes I add a little persuasion,” Keenan says, “and coax a woman into trying on something outside her comfort zone. It’s really rewarding when that works out and a woman falls in love with a new look.”
Between Keenan’s labels, her fashion knowledge, and her superpower buying skills, it is quite possible to build a strong foundation of timeless pieces that can be paired with almost anything in a woman’s closet.
Lots of local California Drawstrings customers wanted to get in on the action when they learned about this article. Kat Fitzpatrick, a local visual artist, modeled several jackets purchased from California Drawstrings through the years, each of them perfectly coordinated with a simple linen top and pants, also from California Drawstrings. Fitzpatrick’s jackets fall in the “knock your socks off category.” Members of a local book club - Club Nouveau - dressed in California Drawstrings attire for their most recent gathering.
Lisa Loth, Waveland resident, photographer, and Silver Slipper employee, chose some fall favorites from the store racks to model just for this story. During Lisa’s photo shoot, return customer Pam Newman drifted in from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, looking fab in a neutral flax-colored dress she bought at California Drawstrings a year or two ago. Snap!
Across The Bridge
At Home In The Bay
Beach To Bayou
BSL Council Updates
Casting My Net
Coast Lines Column
Friends Of The Animal Shelter
Growing Up Downtown
House And Garden
Legends And Legacies
Mother Of Pearl
Murphy's Musical Notes
Old Town Merchants
On The Shoofly
Shore Thing Fishing Report
Talk Of The Town
The Eyes Have It