Depot Days Premiers In Old Town Bay St. Louis

It's the conveyance that brought the first settlers to the place that would become Bay. St. Louis.

"It's the original down town," says Depot District Association Board Member Linda Lou Nelson.

So Nelson says the railroad was a natural fit for the theme for their first ever Summer Festival called Depot Days.

"We have a variety of businesses here," says Nelson. "They're all mom and pop businesses. They really cater to the neighborhood. They cater to local things, and I think it's a great area."

One of those businesses is C.J. Grocery and Meat Market. Owner Mary McLaurin says Depot Days brings into focus the original reason businesses first opened here, and it's bringing back new visitors to Depot Row.

"It's been great," says McLaurin. "We've had a lot of new people in. People from New Orleans, Covington and Slidell. We've lost a lot of the home town things we used to have. The gatherings where people meet and greet, eat, have fun."

For the Kebler's of Gulfport it was Depot Days and the shrimp at Emma's Eatery that made the short drive well worth it.

"It's awesome," says Scott Kebler. "It's just eclectic people, a lot of arts, a lot of home town, small town atmosphere that I really like about it."

For the Kober family of Hattiesburg it was the model trains and a chance to see the heart of Bay St. Louis resuscitated from Hurricane Katrina.

"I like it," says Heather Kober. "It's great. It's come back wonderfully, and it's beautiful. And we've enjoyed ourself so far."

Music to the ears of the merchants on Depot Row. The Depot District will eventually add a Community Center and a Fashion Corner to their growing list of old town attractions.