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For immediate release
Hancock Chamber:  (228) 467-9048 or

Bay BridgeFest is growing in more ways than one in 2011:  The Mississippi Coast event is enlarging its ArtsVillage while it expands from a one-day to a two-day full-scale festival on May 21st and 22nd.

“We’re awarding $1000 in prize money for the ArtsVillage this year, “said Tish Williams, director of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce, which produces the event.  “Artists are encouraged to apply for booth space immediately, since we’re anticipating a major expansion of the arts component of the festival.  It’s easy to apply - we have the form posted on the chamber website.”

Williams explained that the long-range plans for Bay BridgeFest include building it into one of the biggest and best art shows on the Gulf Coast.

“For next year’s event, we’ll be jurying much earlier - in January 2012 – and charging a jury fee,” Williams said.  “Artists who show with us this May will be exempt from the 2012 jury fee and receive prime space assignments next year.  We want to support the artists who are helping us build our dream show.”

Williams outlined one more incentive for participation this year.  If an artist purchases booth space for BridgeFest 2011 on referral from a friend, the referring artist will receive a $25 coupon.  The coupon can be applied toward booth space for the 2012 show.

Held annually on the third weekend in May, BridgeFest began with a bang in 2007 when the new Bay Bridge opened and over 7000 people flocked to celebrate in Bay St. Louis.  Crowds have continued to grow over the past four years, drawn by top music acts, Gulf Coast cuisine and of course, the ArtsVillage.

Marilyn Arseneau, president the The Arts, Hancock County, noted that Bay St. Louis has a national reputation as an arts colony, so it’s only natural that the city would host an outstanding arts show. 

“We have so many fine craftsman and artists who live in the area,” Arseneau said.  “And we welcome others from the region who want to join us for this event.  The more artists we have, the more art-lovers we attract.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

The 10’ X 10’ booth spaces are available for $150 for the two day event.  Artists are asked to complete the application and supply digital images of their booths and three images of recent work. If an artist is not accepted into the juried art section, they will be assigned space in the business section of Bay BridgeFest.

Applications can be sent in via postal service, e-mail or can be delivered to the Hancock Chamber office, 111 Court Street, Bay St. Louis.  The festival is also open to business and food vendors. Complete details and the applications are available on the chamber website:  www.hancockchamber.org.  For more information, contact (228) 467-9048. 



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