Building new holiday traditions in Hancock County

Building new holiday traditions in Hancock County

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - Christmas and New Year's celebrations in Hancock County will feature some special new touches this year.

The Bay St. Louis Creative Arts Center has been busy making holiday treats for Waveland and Bay St. Louis.

It’s not Santa’s workshop at the North Pole, but there is holiday magic going on at the center. Giant wood panels designed to replicate greeting cards have been painted for Waveland. The center’s Steve Barney brought in some special helpers.

“We got local school kids, and look at these beautiful illustrations. These are holiday cards that will be lining Coleman Avenue for the big parade Saturday,” Barney said.

Meanwhile, Master Welder David Ball has been working on another holiday treat. It’ll be a first for Bay St. Louis, and it’s been top secret, until now.

“We’ve been talking about a cool idea for several years now,” said Bay St. Louis businessman Jim MacPhaille who owns 200 North Beach restaurant on Beach Boulevard.

He asked the crew at the arts center to make a large oyster shell for a special New Years’ Eve celebration.

“There’s going to be an oyster drop at 200 North Beach. The street’s going to be closed, and the mayor is getting bands and fireworks. It’s going to be a big event,” MacPhaille said.

A 100-foot tower will be constructed, and the oyster shell will drop at midnight. 200 North Beach and Bay St. Louis hope to make this an annual celebration. From the wood panel Christmas cards painted by children to the New Year’s Eve oyster shell, it feels festive at the Creative Arts Center.

“It does feel like Santa’s wonderland around here. We’re doing all these holiday projects involving the kids. It’s a community effort with people coming together, making art and celebrating the holidays by putting on a big show,” Barney said.

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