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Bay St. Louis Transforms Into Snowy Wonderland for the Holidays

There’s a 100 percent chance of snow in Old Town Bay St. Louis this holiday season and it’s creating a charming scene straight out of a snow globe.

One of the oldest cities on the Gulf Coast has been magically transformed for the enchanting and mesmerizing 15th annual Snowflakes in the Bay event. The three-foot-in-diameter snowflakes are dancing on the crisp winds rustling the century-old live oak trees that are scattered all over downtown Bay St. Louis.

These mystifying trees are all throughout the town and are now an illuminating treat for both the young and old. The biggest and brightest tree displays are at Bay Town Inn on Beach Boulevard, First Baptist Church on Main Street, the community garden at Ruth’s Roots on Court Street, the shoofly next to the Hancock Chamber of Commerce on 2nd Street, the old Railroad Depot, and all along Ballentine Street.

Several years ago, the Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau began the holiday decorating tradition that displays giant lighted snowflakes in the community’s beloved live oak trees. Each year, organizers of Snowflakes in the Bay add more and more snow displays. The most recent addition for the event with giant lighted snowflakes is the shoofly oak at the Bay St. Louis City Park.

“It’s only right that this historic oak is honored as part of the Snowflakes in the Bay,” said Tish Williams, Hancock County Chamber director. She added the shoofly was completely restored this year and it just made sense to add the tree and structure to the snowy festivities.

“It’s never had snowflakes,” she said. “The chamber has just moved into historic city hall as our new office. Everything has been renovated and the shoofly structure itself has been restored.”

A shoofly is a deck wrapped around a large tree trunk and was extremely popular at the boarding houses, inns, and the grand hotels that lined the Mississippi Coast in the late 1800s.

“It’s the perfect place,” she said. “It’s the shoofly at the historic City Hall which connects Old Town with the Depot District and both are really booming right now.”

Snowflakes in the Bay will run through New Year’s Day and businesses throughout the entire area will participate in the month-long event by decorating their storefronts with coordinating snowflakes, light displays, and special events including a first responders appreciation night, the Reindeer Run, and Wise Men shopping night event.

Click here for more information about the Snowflakes on the Bay events.


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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