Picayune Street Fair Has Louisiana Flavor

The event may have been in Mississippi, but there was definitely a Louisiana feel to the Picayune Street Fair.

The festival is put on twice a year in the Fall and in the Spring.

Organizers say the Spring festival grew about 25 percent over last year largely because of so many Louisiana Katrina victims who've relocated to the area.

Daniel Cassidy must replace the furniture and other belongings that were lost when Katrina destroyed his house in Slidell.

Whatever he buys will go into his new home in Picayune.

"Everybody is very friendly with open arms," said Cassidy. "Every time I go to a restaurant out her, it seems like everything is a family gathering. It's very homey. It's very nice."

Displaced storm victims like Cassidy made Picayune Street Festival's Springtime event more crowded than usual.

Louisiana came to buy and to sell. Kathy Nunez set up a booth for her iron works after losing her home in Chalmette.

"Just having a place to be stable has helped a lot because there is nothing where we live," said Nunez.

Picayune resident Debbie Galiano has her gift shop purposely filled with reminders of life back in Crescent City.

Here the fleur-de-lis shows up on everything from pillowcases to jewelry.

Galiano's tries hard to make former Louisiana residents feel they're part of the Picayune community in part because she herself is a New Orleans native.

"I've re-met people from grammar school and high school. They're living her now," she said. "I call it Chalmette North. It's great.

Even though there are some growing pains with 30 thousand new neighbors, Galiano says Picayune is the better for it.

"Picayune needed it," she said. "It was a small little town. It's not sleepy anymore, but as far as from a business standpoint and retail wise, the shops can't be doing any better."

Organizers of the Picayune Street Fair say there was a good turnout for the Fall event back in November. However, fewer vendors were able to participate because of Katrina.