OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - After being closed to the public for over a year, the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center once again opened its doors Thursday for two combined events that celebrated both art and music.
The Mississippi Songwriters Alliance held its Third Thursday Song and Stories Event at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. Also happening at the same time was the Mary C.’s new Firefly event, bringing a little something for everyone to enjoy.
The events marked a new beginning in the Mary C.’s latest chapter as they once again opened their doors to welcome people.
”I am so thrilled to see the Mary C. open up again,” said attendee Beth Riley. “We have enjoyed so many great shows and classes. It is so good to see a great turnout. You know, it’s been a whole year. Just to be around people and talking with them, it’s fabulous. I feel like we are all survivors.”
The big crowd didn’t surprise many. It even put a smile on the facility’s new coordinator Sarah Qarqish. The free event allowed the good times to roll in the theatre, kitchen, and museum.
”We’ve been getting tons of texts and emails, our website, the Mississippi songwriters festival website has been slammed with people asking about this and who is playing. So this is great for ocean springs to get back to open,” said one board member for the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance.
Those who came out got a taste of the new Mary C. which will also place a stronger emphasis on the art of cooking.
”It’s continuity,” explained Demetrio Marquez, the center’s director of culinary support. “You can’t have one without the other. It’s like a hotdog without a bun... Food is art and here at the Mary C. we want to train people who want to get in the kitchen.”
Now that everything is reopening and the number of COVID-19 cases are dropping some, many are hopeful the Mary C. can get rocking and rolling.
“We’re still cautious, but it feels good,” said Marquez. “I think a lot of people want to come out and see and do things.”
Both the Firefly event and the Songwriters Alliance’s Third Thursday Song and Stories event will each continue to happen once a month moving forward.