BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - Sunday was the last day of the Mermaids Arts and Crafts Show in Bay St. Louis. It was a place for artists from all across the South to showcase their talents, including artists like Kalei Collins, who has a knack for turning glass into art.
“I do the stained glass and I do the slumping and the fusing," said Collins. "I use any bottle I can find, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t it’s okay.”
She was one of around 40 artists this weekend, selling handcrafted goods at the festival. This is actually one of the first shows she’s participated in this year since COVID-19 canceled most events.
Not only did she love being able to showcase her work, but she also enjoyed being around others.
“The crowd has just been phenomenal," said Collins. “And I think it’s just because they want to get out around people too, they have money to spend because they haven’t been able to spend it anywhere so they give it to me.”
Giving people a chance to safely interact with one another was one of the reasons why the Krewe of Nereids decided to move forward with hosting this event.
“A lot of people are saying this was the most normal thing they’ve done since March," said Krewe of Nereids Craft Show Chairman Mary Ann Pucheu. “Because they were able to spread out, in fact we liked the spacing so much that hopefully COVID will be gone by next November but we’re still going to leave it spaced out because people are able to flow.”
This show also raised money for the Krewe of Nereids' Mardi Gras parade.
“We feel it’s important to the community to have a parade so that’s why we do fundraisers to support that parade." said Pucheu.
Hundreds of people came out to check out artists from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
“It’s nice to bring people to our area and showcase what people have and just to show people that we’re on the Coast and how friendly we are here in our area." said Christine Longo.