Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

Music-on-the-Lawn-2017-Audience Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

Gautier, Mississippi; July 11, 2018 – The City of Gautier will host its second annual Music on the Lawn, featuring award-winning Mississippi songwriters, at Gautier City Hall on July 21.

The City is teaming up once again with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance for the free event, which will feature artists Derek Norsworthy, Wayward Jones, Flatt Capps, Double Dee and Sean Gasaway.  

Music lovers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to set up on the grounds of City Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Vendors will be on site to provide food, drink and treats.

There’s a sound for every musical taste, as the featured artists cover genres including country, folk, Americana, and more.

“We’re excited about working with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance again for this wonderful afternoon of music and fun,” Gautier City Manager Paula Yancey said.

Music-on-the-Lawn-2017-Audience Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

“We had a great time last year, and we hope to see a big crowd supporting our local songwriters and performers,” she said. “These are some very talented songwriters.”

In June, Derek Norsworthy was named the winner of the 2018 Boswell Media’s Songwriter of the Year contest. Norsworthy, an Escatawpa native, won the competition with the song “Raised by the Radio.”

Lucedale’s Wayward Jones won third place in the same competition with “You Ain’t Johnny.”

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Ocean Springs named “Coolest Small Town in America”

Ocean-Springs-MS-The-Shed-by-Fred-Salinas Ocean Springs named “Coolest Small Town in America”

OCEAN SRINGS—Word is spreading across the nation that Ocean Springs is a small town full of big fun.

Locals already know that Ocean Springs is a destination for good food and good times, and now Budget Travel has named it one of its “10 Coolest Small Towns in America.”  The website’s annual competition highlights hidden gems of less than 20,000 people that offer quality cuisine, natural beauty, and unique cultural experiences without breaking the bank.
The article recognizes Ocean Springs—dubbed the “Gulf Coast foodie magnet” —primarily for its variety of eateries that dish up everything from seafood to barbeque to artisan cheeses, but the town also earns kudos from the publication for its night life, convenient access to the Gulf waters, and eclectic art scene.

As Robert Firpo-Cappiello, the site’s editor in chief, wrote, “When you’re not chilling on the beach or paddling on the Gulf and its inlets, Ocean Springs will feed you well,”
Other notable towns joining Ocean Springs on the publication’s 13th annual list include Gatlinburg, TN, Jackson Hole, WY, and Sonoma, CA.

“To be showcased with towns in California, Tennessee and others, it is a real honor for us,” said Cynthia Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce – Main Street – Tourism Bureau. “Ocean Springs is a unique town whose character from the art, night life, nature and people make it a top place to eat, shop and stay.”

Ocean Springs is no stranger to national recognition. In 2017, travel and arts website Culture Trip named Ocean Springs the Most Beautiful City in Mississippi, and in 2016, it made the Smithsonian’s list of “20 Best Small Towns to Visit.”
To read the full Budget Travel article, visit https://www.budgettravel.com/video/coolest-small-towns-america.

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Honor the American Flag – History Lesson!

With the holiday of Memorial Day and the celebration of Flag Day in the rear view mirror of our Summer schedules, we are now looking forward to celebrating our country’s official birthday, July 4th!  If your family is like mine, we take pride in displaying our love for country, patriotism, and respect for those who have sacrificed for this country with a flag either on the front of our home or, for some, on a flag pole in their yard.  Many businesses also proudly display the symbol of our country that stands for freedom, liberty, and human rights.

 

There have been approximately 28 designs for the flag over the course of its history to bring us to the design that we have today.  The “union” section or blue rectangle of the flag contains the 50 stars that represent the 50 states.  The 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies that sought out independence from Great Britain and are colored red and white alternatively.  White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue, signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice. 

 

Now, many of you reading this will remember much of this information from your school days or a scouting program or even the military.  However, I was surprised to find that many people don’t know what to do with “Old Glory” when she becomes tattered, worn, and torn.   On June 22, 1942, the Flag Code became Public Law 77-623; chapter 435.  Little was changed from the original flag code but as of 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1st Amendment provides certain rights that make it unconstitutional to enforce the penalty for breaking the Flag Code.  Therefore, it has become mostly a respect and etiquette issue but one that certainly bears highlighting.  Below is a summary of the current Flag Code as taken from Wikipedia.org:

 

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing, unless it is the ensign responding to a salute from a ship of a foreign nation. This is sometimes misreported as a tradition that comes from the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, where countries were asked to dip their flag to King Edward VII; American team flag bearer Ralph Rose did not follow this protocol, and teammate Martin Sheridan is often, though apocryphally, quoted as proclaiming that “this flag dips before no earthly king.”[2]
  • When a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, the military and other organizations regularly conduct dignified flag-burning ceremonies. [3]
  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart. [4]
  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it.
  • The flag should always be permitted to fall rarely. (An exception was made during the Apollo moon landings when the flag hung from a vertical pole designed with an extensible horizontal bar, allowing full display even in the absence of an atmosphere.) [5]
  • The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. [6]

So, as we reflect on our nations birthday, other recent patriotic holidays, and display our flags proudly, keep in mind the meanings within that Flag you fly.  And when Old Glory becomes worn, retire it in a proper manner by either having a flag retirement ceremony (a proper flag retirement ceremony), or you can drop the folded flag (how to fold the American Flag) off at a local VFW, American Legion, or Boy/Girl Scout troop,  where they will conduct routine Flag retirement ceremonies.  The American Legion at 1019 Market St, Pascagoula, has a receptacle just inside the Parsely St. foyer that you can drop off your worn flags.  Other locations in the area are:

  • Vfw Post 5699 Mark Seymour 612 VFW Road Ocean Springs, MS 39564
  • American Legion Post 1992 Gautier-Vancleave 3824 Old Spanish Trl Gautier, MS 39553
  • Vfw Post 2132 Harold E Jones 3801 Old Spanish Trl Gautier, MS 39553
  • Vfw Post 3373 Elmer Joseph Grant 4724 Vega St Pascagoula, MS 39581
  • Vfw Post 10024 Arnett Garland Jennings Pascagoula, MS 39569

Happy Birthday America!

 

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Gautier to host art show, reception June 14 at City Hall for plein air competition

plein-air Gautier to host art show, reception June 14 at City Hall for plein air competition

The City of Gautier is inviting the public to witness the beauty of nature’s playground through an art show and reception June 14 at Gautier City Hall. 

“Gautier through the Eyes of an Artist” will run 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Council meeting chambers and feature drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and art showcasing the City of Gautier.  

The event will display the entries from last month’s Paint the Town Plein Air Art Competition, a three-day event that drew artists from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Diamondhead, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, and other locations. 

City officials will award prizes to winning artists, and the public can visit with artists about their special creations. 

“A lot of times when you live in a place and see it every day, you can take it for granted,” City Manager Paula Yancey said. 

“It’s fascinating to see what these artists can paint and the quality they produce within just a few hours,” she said. “This event really shows you the beauty of your city through their eyes.”

“Plein Air” is a term used for artists who paint outdoors in the elements. The second-annual Paint the Town Plein Air hosted by Gautier was expanded into a three-day event this year. 

It began with an opening reception May 3, and it included optional Plein Air and nature photography workshops on May 4. The main event was May 5, as artists headed outdoors to locations such as Huck’s Cove, the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, and Pitalo’s Marine to paint Gautier. 

They started with stamped blank canvases and returned several hours with one or two complete pieces. After framing the art, the art was judged and curated. 

“This is an exciting event that we hope will grow each year and shine a light on just how beautiful our city, nature’s playground, is,” Mayor Phil Torjusen said. “We appreciate all of those  who have attended and who are helping us to grow.” 

Thursday’s event is free and open to all ages.

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Ocean Springs Mayor’s Youth Council Completes Recycle Bin Project

Youth-Recycling Ocean Springs Mayor's Youth Council Completes Recycle Bin Project

The City of Ocean Springs Mayor’s Youth Council recently completed their first large-scale final community project with the fruition of the Recycle Bin Project.

The project has been an idea of MYC Special Events Coordinator Caroline Wiygul since her first year on the council in 2016-2017, but the council was unable to complete it until this year. The council contacted several Gulf Coast businesses to ask for donations for the project. After the bins were delivered, MYC members hand painted each bin with a native Gulf Coast animal at the Ocean Springs Public Works Department.

“This project was a way for the youth of our City to say that recycling is important to us and to start something that City leadership can continue to expand if they want to,” Wiygul said.

Youth-Recycling Ocean Springs Mayor's Youth Council Completes Recycle Bin Project

The five recycling bins are placed around downtown with two on Government Street, two along Washington Avenue and one at City Hall.

“This past year’s council was very environmentally conscious and felt like hand-painted recycle bins would not only be a way to encourage responsible waste management amongst our citizens but would also be fun and reflect the artistic spirit of Ocean Springs,” said Cristina Werner, executive assistant to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. “This project is important to our community because we have a responsibility as citizens to take care of our city, and the beautiful Gulf Coast that we get to enjoy every day.”

The Mayor’s Youth Council consists of 28 high school juniors and seniors from within the Ocean Springs School District. Each term lasts for one year. The council is funded by the City, but the council members fundraise year-round in order to maximize their annual budget. The council meets bimonthly and hosts community events and fundraisers and volunteers with the city’s special events.

“Being a part of the MYC is highly beneficial to our youth because it gives them the opportunity to exercise individual leadership skills, interpersonal communication with their peers and municipal leaders, public speaking, and to plan and execute special events,” Werner said.

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Pascagoula High School will be home to new $14.7 million Performing Arts Center

Pascagoula-Arts-Center-Rendering Pascagoula High School will be home to new $14.7 million Performing Arts Center

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District recently began construction on the new Performing Arts Center on the Pascagoula High School grounds. When completed, it will be the most high-tech performing arts center on the Gulf Coast besides the Hancock Performing Arts Center in Hancock County. The center will cost $14.7 million and will be owned by the school district.

Construction has already begun and is set to be completed around Christmas 2019, according to Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. 

The center will have a surround sound movie projection system, a rear projection system with the ability to digitally project a backdrop, space for a 160-piece band on the stage as well as proper floor capacity for dance performances. It will have more than 700 seats with wider seating than traditional performing arts centers, three classrooms, a catering kitchen, warm up rooms and a beautifully designed foyer area. The entire building will be able to be operated by an iPad.

All of these add up to many uses for the center including youth and children’s groups showing movies, orchestra and band performances, dance shows, church groups, banquets, large-scale meetings, and many more. Rodolfich said the goal is to make the space available to anyone in the community that wants to use it.

“It’s just going to be a game changer for this community,” Rodolfich said. “We saw this as an opportunity not only to improve the quality of life for the children of our district but also to improve the quality of life for the people of Pascagoula, Mississippi.”

It was important to have the center on the school’s campus so that the students can walk to it from the school and that certain classes can have class in there during the day.

“We’re trying to build venues around our children,” Rodolfich said, adding that having the center on the school’s property will make it easier for them to secure the facility and maintain it.

The Performing Arts Center is part of the PGSD’s Strategic Plan. It has been discussed for years and now the school is moving forward. In fall 2017, the school district asked for a 4-mill tax hike to pay for the facility. This was put on hold in September but reinstated in March 2018.

“It’s a time where Pascagoula needs to put as many amenities in place as possible. It’s a great investment,” Rodolfich said. “That facility will be here for years to come for children and adults, and it will really be an asset to this community.”

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Blues at the Beach Continues This Friday

Blues-at-the-Beach-Crowd-Use Blues at the Beach Continues This Friday

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The next Blues at the Beach show will be held on Friday, May 11, at Pascagoula Beach Park from 6 to 8 p.m. with local band Slick Radio performing. The show is free and open to the public.

This is the seventh year for Blues at the Beach programming and attendance has steadily increased each year. The monthly events held annually during the summer months are planned by Emerge Pascagoula as a way to help the local community kick off the weekend.

“It’s a free music event to bring locals of all ages out into the community as well as to showcase some of Pascagoula’s great outdoor venues,” said Landon McCarty, Emerge Pascagoula co-chair. “It’s a great transition on Fridays between work and a night on the town.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair and can bring food, beverages, and spirits to the show. The events are family friendly.

This year’s summer schedule kicked off in April with the Truitt Williams Band. June’s show will feature Ric McNaughton from Mobile on June 8. On July 13, Black Water Brass will be playing, and Deuces Wild will play on Aug. 10.

Emerge was formed under the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s Pascagoula Area Council. Emerge exists to recruit, develop, connect, retain, and empower emerging leaders to improve the quality of life in Pascagoula by advancing the group’s interests into real changes that will make the city a better place to live, work, and play.

For more information on upcoming shows and locations, find Emerge Pascagoula on Facebook. You can also email emergepascagoula@gmail.com to get on the monthly newsletter list.

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1699 Weekend of Discovery: Celebrating Our Heritage

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Ocean Springs – In 1971, a group of dedicated citizens formed the 1699 Historical Society in order to preserve and celebrate the unique culture and history of Ocean Springs and the surrounding Gulf Coast.

Every spring, the Society stages a dramatic reenactment as the showcase of its annual “Weekend of Discovery.” The event brings to life the April 1699 story of Pierre LeMoyne Sieur d’Iberville and his armada of ships sailing into Biloxi Bay. Commissioned by King Louis XIV to explore the shores of the upper Gulf of Mexico, he and his expedition crew first discovered Ship Island before stumbling upon a high, defendable bluff, known today as Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Stopher Haug, chairman of the event this year, believes it’s important to help the public realize the significance of the landing. “I think that the culture and the heritage and influence that the d’Iberville landing had on the Gulf South in 1699 is essentially equivalent to the Jamestown landing in the Northeast back in 1603,” said Stopher. “So we’ve worked hard to try to get that message out and bring the history to life.”

The weekend kicks off Friday night with the Mary C. House Party featuring the Mardi Gras Indian Collective from New Orleans. Admission to the event is free, but donation opportunities abound with a full bar, art auction, and a Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament. Festivities resume Saturday morning and include a 5K race, kids fun-run, paddleboard races, pet parade, a regatta at the Ocean Springs Yacht Club and will wrap up with the 1699 d’Iberville reenactment. Haug says he hopes everyone goes back home having had a great time at the event, but also with a greater knowledge and appreciation for the significance of the 1699 landing. “One thing that we would like folks to be aware of is that we’ve partnered with the Vancleave Live Oak Choctaw, who descend from original native Americans that were here in 1699. We’ve been working with them to try and bring more authenticity and historical accuracy to the reenactment this year and to recognize their culture and contributions as well.”

Everyone is invited to join in this exciting time and become a part of this commemorative celebration!

Learn more by visiting www.1699landing.com

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Business of the Week: The HannaBerry Workshop

hannaberry Business of the Week: The HannaBerry Workshop

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Ocean Springs – The HannaBerry Workshop is a multi-disciplinary design and fabrication studio, founded in Jackson, MS by collaborative artisan team – Sarah Qarqish and Morgan Welch. Since first opening their doors in 2013, the two artists have focused on creating fine art and furniture by blending fresh new ideas and technology with traditional design and fabrication practices. The Workshop also dabbles in graphic design, architecture, cabinetry, interiors and signage; all of which can be customized to suit your need or preferences.

Recently adding “husband and wife” to their list of partnerships, the design duo says the success of their business is a direct result of teamwork and good communication. “Everything that comes out of our studio has been created by the both of us,” says Morgan. “Usually our best work is a result of Sarah having a crazy idea that I have to engineer; and then we work together to make it a reality.” Depending on the scale of the project, the team will spend anywhere from several days to several weeks in the shop; researching, sketching, and gathering the materials needed in order to begin fabrication. Any number of techniques may be used during the production of a HannaBerry design – utilizing new, cutting-edge technology, as well as century-old techniques in order to perfect their heirloom quality works of art. As with most artists – and married couples – Sarah and Morgan approach their work and design processes from very different perspectives.

Not always see eye-to-eye, the pair says they have had to learn to embrace each other’s passions when collaborating on a new piece together. “We both know utilizing each other’s strengths and being aware of each other’s weaknesses is essential in keeping things running smoothly,” said Sarah. “Where we end up when we meet in the middle; that’s when we know we’ve created something special.”

As frequent visitors of Ocean Springs, Sarah and Morgan have always felt a pull to the area; a “calling from the coast” one may say. When it could no longer be ignored, they finally decided to answer that call and relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to expand their studio/workshop. The couple has been beyond grateful for the wonderful reception they’ve received from both the creative community and the public. It didn’t take long for the pair to connect with other local artists and designers, providing them the opportunity to collaborate on several projects designed for the public here on the coast.

“The organic designs and patterns we create within our art and furniture seem to really fit the coastal atmosphere here. Our work has often been described as having a shell-like design, so we have had fun exploring the idea of our furniture being out in public places here in town,” said Sarah. “We’re excited about the impact living on the coast could have on our life and work… we’re just getting started here!”

Learn more about The HannaBerry Workshop here!

Remember to support your local artists and businesses! We are proud they call Jackson County Home!

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Spring Arts Festival: Herb, Garden & Art

The annual Spring Arts Festival in downtown Ocean Springs celebrated its 25th year last weekend. Over 150 vendors participated and, while the numbers are still being calculated, it is estimated to have had around 15,000 visitors. The event is looked forward to each year by festival-goers from near and far as well as the local gardening and art communities.

“We are so proud of the amazing turnout of 150 vendors and Nearly 15,000 visitors this year.  The turnout numbers are still being calculated. The weather was amazing and our community and visitors alike were able to get out and find unique arts, crafts and get their green thumb ready for Spring! -We were excited to introduce new vendors and a variety of demonstrations.” ~ Cynthia Dobbs Sutton, Ocean Springs Chamber – Mainstreet – Tourism Bureau

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