We spent our “celebrating America’s Independence” Day in one of my favorite cities, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Located about 40 minutes from our home in Slidell, Bay St. Louis epitomizes the “comeback city”.
On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina made her final landfall at Bay St. Louis. The little town was flattened and it still working on her rebound. In the past six years she’s done well.
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My husband and I take pleasure from our trips to Bay St. Louis, especially when we want a fantastic burger. We either go to the Mockingbird Cafe or the Buttercup Restaurant. Both restaurants are on the same street. The joys of small town America.
About four years ago we attended the Crab Festival put on by Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church in Bay St.Louis and appreciated the atmosphere, food, music and breezes from the Bay. So we decided to revisit the fest this year and were not disappointed.
While we truly love the French Quarter, PoBoy, Oyster and countless other Festivals in New Orleans, the ambience and down home comfort of a festival away from the Crescent City is a welcome hot weather diversion. The OLG (Our Lady of the Gulf) Fest is well done and small enough allow us park our chairs in a shady spot and take off for a few hours of eating and photography and return to find our chairs still there, unoccupied.
There were more than 50 dishes offered, a good deal of them containing the subject of the Festival.
Here is the food we sampled and savored:
In between stuffing our faces we took walks and pictures. Our first foray was thru the arts section of Bay St. Louis.
This sweet little courtyard is dedicated to Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, a colonizer in the Gulf Coast region.
Here is a closeup of the plaque in the opening of the courtyard. Apparently Bay St. Louis was originally named Shieldsboro after Thomas Shields, a ship’s purser.
Main Street is the section of town that I love to haunt. It has shops and galleries that beg to be discovered.
One of the tenants of this building, Bay Breeze, rents bikes and kayaks. It also sells home furnishings.
I asked the owner if I could take pictures inside and she said as long as it’s not of the artwork. So I took a picture of this nifty glass block window:
There were some very nice pieces and paintings in the gallery which takes up a city block. Plus it has air conditioning, making it a perfect spot if you’re visiting BSL in the summer to take a break from the heat. Attached to the gallery is Lulu, a great little spot to catch a bite to eat. .
Moving across the street we found one of our favorite bread baker Serious Bread. We went inside and got a lovely, crusty loaf of bread and two craisin scones along with a complementary bottle of water from the owner himself! Mr Jensen makes fantastic scones, not dry like most that I’ve sampled.
Fueled up for another leg on our jouney around downtown Bay St. Louis, we carried on and soon discovered the sweetest little community garden which seems to be doing well despite our dry conditions this summer. Here are some pictures of their crops:
In the garden outside the Mockingbird is this very cool bottle tree.
On the other side of the Mockingbird Cafe is The Shops at Century Hall. Originally built by the Woodmen of the World for fraternal functions, Century Hall now houses an art gallery and many rooms of vintage antiques and one of a kind items. It’s a great place to spend an hour or two.
Here are some of the sights we found interesting:
Another room is filled with folk artist and Bay St. Louis resident Alice Moseley’s work, including this video of Alice explaining her art. In another part of BSL you can visit Miss Moseley’s home, which is now a museum.
This plaque depicts the story of BSL’s “angel tree”. The background to the story is here..
We decided to catch some of the more unique and patriotic outfits at the fest
One of the bands that played early in the day was the 41st National Guard Army Band They rocked.
All in all it was a relaxing and enjoyable trip. One that assures us that we will