- 12 Days
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MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is as southern as southern gets. We’re in for hospitality! We’ll hit Music City, USA on the way down. Your stay is at the centrally located Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel. This is the place where Country music legends were born thanks to the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman – and you’ll see them both! Nashville plants a firm twang in our hearts before heading south to Biloxi, Mississippi for 5 nights.
From our base in Biloxi, we’ll explore the southern charm of the area and even spend a day in New Orleans! The Mississippi Gulf Coast is the land of swamps, Spanish moss, po’ boys, gumbo, and gators. You can’t skip a stone around here without hitting an antebellum plantation and the Beauvoir is one such fine example.
Heading north, we’ll visit the private home of the King of Rock ‘n Roll himself and stay at The Guest House at Graceland, one of the top hotels in Memphis. Elvis Presley’s Graceland is filled with hundreds of artifacts, photos, and memorabilia. The pride of Memphis, Graceland is a favourite destination of the DeNureTours’ Mississippi Gulf Coast tour!
5 Nights in Biloxi, Mississippi
We’ll begin our discovery of Biloxi (Bil-uhk-see), Mississippi at The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum where 300 years of Mississippi’s gritty heritage comes alive through exhibits and replicas. After that, the Biloxi Cruise Company can’t wait to take us out shrimpin’! The Sailfish is our vessel for the next 70 minutes. We’ll learn how to set a trawl net that drags the bottom of the Mississippi Sound for blue crabs, oysterfish, flounder, stingrays, squid, pufferfish… and shrimp! The entire catch is identified and presented by your Captain.
An authentic waterside Biloxi Shrimp Boil is followed by a walking tour of the Biloxi Visitor Center & Lighthouse Park. We’ll tour Beauvoir where Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of the Confederate States of America, made his Home & Presidential Library. Ready to eat? Patio 44 prepares award-winning creole cuisine on the patio. Try the gumbo, the grits, or fried Mississippi catfish tacos.
Founded in 1991, is a nationally accredited art museum located in historic Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. WAMA is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of artist-philosopher Walter Anderson (1903-1965). Walter Anderson’s paintings, drawings, murals, block prints, sculpture, carvings, and writings of coastal plants, animals, landscapes, and people have placed him among the most compelling and singular artists of the 20th century. WAMA also honors Anderson's brothers, Peter Anderson (1901-1984), master potter and founder of Shearwater Pottery; and James McConnell Anderson (1907-1998), noted painter and ceramist.
Not unlike Cezanne, Anderson cultivated a belief in realization between man and nature. “If humans need the natural world in order to find spiritual transcendence,” wrote Anderson’s biographer Christopher Maurer, “nature requires the artist to fully ‘realize’ the significance of its forms.” Anderson also believed that nature, in its infinite wisdom and variety, could restore societies to a more perfect and participatory existence. “In order to realize the beauty of man we must realize his relation to nature,” wrote Anderson.
The History of St. Rose Parish and School are interrelated and dates back over one hundred years. The first school in Bay Saint Louis for African American children was opened in 1868 where twenty-four African American children attended. It was a two-story white building originally located on Second Street where Holy Trinity Catholic Elementary stands now. This school for African American students came into existence about 13 years after St. Joseph Academy (1855) was opened. At the time, it was affiliated with Our Lady of the Gulf Church. The Sisters of St. Joseph were asked, in 1855, to take over the school. This was a side job to their many activities at St. Joseph Academy for Girls. In 1921, they asked that some other group take over the African American school since they found it too difficult to run both. At this time, the priest of the Society of the Divine Word took over the care of the school. The Divine Word Missionaries were a group of religious Priests and Brothers, originally a German congregation, who had come to Techny, IL in the United States in 1895. They moved to the South in 1921 and established a Seminary in Greenville, MS. They trained African American men to the Priesthood and Religious Life, as they were not welcomed in any other Seminary at that time. Due to the racial climate in the area, the Seminary was transferred to Bay Saint Louis in order to be near a more Catholic atmosphere. Along with training African American Men, the SVD’s took on the responsibility of educating the African American Children. In 1923, Fr. Baltes was appointed head of the African American School. Father Baltes immediately recognized that a separate parish and school needed to be established for the African American community. He saw the need for full time sisters and so four sister servants of the Holy Spirit joined him in 1924. Father Baltes decided to leave the old building and move to property he had purchased on Necaise Ave. On August 28, 1925, St. Rose de Lima was made independent of Our Lady of the Gulf Church. That same year the present church was built by efforts of parishioners. On November 14, 1926, St. Rose De Lima, was dedicated by Bishop Richard Gerow along with eleven priests. To add to the Solemnity of the Occasion, 42 persons made their first communion in the morning and were confirmed in the afternoon. The parish of St, Rose had become a reality. Built in 1926 under the auspices of the German-based missionary Society of the Divine Word, St. Rose de Lima Church was created for the African-Amercian population of Bay St. Louis. Next to the stucco church is a cemetery that reveals the town’s historic blend of cultures. Through the years, there have been numerous structural repairs as well as cosmetic changes. However, after 65 years of service, our “house of worship” was in need of general repair and renovation. Seeking a way to re-acquaint St. Rose parishioners with themselves as a parish and the parish with its ethnic heritage, Fr. Kenneth Hamilton developed the concept “Re-Rooting and Re Routing in Christ”, a program which included the renovation of the physical church root-sharing with parishioners telling their family history (roots) during Mass and developing artwork depicting the ethnic make-up of the parish while illustrating the basic concept of our Catholic faith: Christ is Risen! The two German-style stained-glass windows were installed at the time of construction, but they are unsigned and no records of their maker remain. Their overall compositions are almost identical, with Mary receiving the news of her role as the mother of Jesus in the right window and in the left window St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, with her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Above the baptismal font is a portrayal of the River of Life dating to the 1991 renovation. When the entire project was completed, St. Rose parishioners celebrated with a grand rededication ceremony, which was held on August 25, 1991, the weekend of the church’s 65th anniversary.Mainly local craftsmen, who did the carpentry, electrical work and painting of the church, undertook the renovation. Mother earth provided the raw materials (trees) for the altar, ambo, the tabernacle stand and the table for the water and wine. The Altar base is fashioned from a piece of driftwood that had washed ashore near St. Stanislaus College and is set so the roots seemingly reach for heaven. The altar top is made of rough hewn planks glued together then cut to roughly conform to the general outline of the base. The tabernacle stand, the ambo and the table for the water and wine are also made from trees found in the Bay area. Each piece was carefully chosen for its singular purpose and was required to blend harmoniously with the central theme of the artistic renovation. The focal point of the sanctuary is a powerful mural, designed by New Orleans artist Auseklis Ozols and dating to the 1991 Renovation, that covers the wall behind the altar. Representing both the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, it features a strongly realistic Christ of mixed heritage. Behind him, but draped in an early morning fog, is an equally realistic ancient live oak tree with its Spanish moss and century plants. Christ wears a cloth trimmed in Kente cloth. The figure of Christ floats...free of bonds and burdens of this earth...” before a huge oak tree, “the Cross... grasping the ground with ample roots yet reaching up toward the heavens...”and the names of parishioners’ families are painted at the sides. Thus, the mural portrays the congregation’s pride in its personal heritages as well as the Christian tradition. In 2011, much needed renovations were once again completed. New electrical, carpet, painting, new restrooms, confessional, cry room, storage room and complete remodeling of the Sacristy, as well as the choir room took place. A fresh coat of paint has brought new light into the Sanctuary. On August 21, 2011, a celebration for the rededication of the newly renovated church was celebrated, with Bishop Roger Morin officiating. The walls of the historic church were filled with joyful noise. A combined choir was formed including the Senior Traditional Choir, which normally sings at the 4:00pm Saturday Vigil, the Gospel Choir and the All Male Ensemble who sing at the Sunday 9:00am Mass. The Handmaidens of the Lord Liturgical dancers filled the aisles with movement as a new & vibrant parish was rededicated. Currently St. Rose is a very diverse parish made up of over 400 parishioners. Its doors are open to all who wish to worship the Lord. Its motto, as you have seen on the cover of the weekly bulletin is “You are never too bad to come in......., and never too good to stay out
The Early DaysThe early days of what has grown into Kern Studios started with Roy Kern, a local artist-turned-sign-painter who worked his way through the Depression by painting names and signs on the bows of freighters and barges. Roy and his son Blaine built their first Mardi Gras float together on the back on a mule-drawn wagon in 1932. Unable to pay his mother’s medical bills, Blaine offered to paint a mural in the hospital, which caught the eye of a surgeon who was also the captain of a Mardi Gras Krewe. This captain invited Blaine to design and build floats for his Krewe, and Kern Studios was officially founded in its current form in 1947. One float led to another, and before long Blaine became the city’s leading parade designer and builder, working with Rex, Zulu and other legendary krewes.
Mr. Mardi GrasBlaine Kern traveled throughout Europe to apprentice under the world’s leading float and costume makers. During several trips to Italy, France, and Spain, Blaine became inspired by the extravagant concepts and animation that marked the European style of float building. He brought these ideas to New Orleans and developed the monumental scale and lavish ornamentation of today’s spectacular Mardi Gras floats. Blaine Kern was instrumental in the formative years of some of New Orleans’ biggest parades and “Super Krewes” and is still known as “Mr. Mardi Gras.” THE CREATION OF MARDI GRAS WORLD After many requests for private tours of Kern Studios from people wanting a sneak-peak of Mardi Gras, the Kerns decided to open up the working studio to the public. In 1984, Mardi Gras World was created as a tourist attraction to provide visitors a behind-the-scenes look of our work. Widely successful, the attraction draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world each year.
Graceland You've heard the music, now see the place Elvis called home. Explore the beautiful mansion, made fit for The King, walk the gardens where he found peace, tour the aircraft that he traveled on from show to show, and encounter Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment complex for an unforgettable experience featuring legendary costumes, artifacts, and personal momentos from Elvis and his family.
Motorcoach transportation, 11 nights accommodation, 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners, all highlights listed, Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and HST does not apply.
• Guided tour of Nashville
• Guided tour of the Ryman Auditorium
• Grand Ole Opry performance
• Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum
• Sailfish Shrimp Boat Tour
• Biloxi Visitors Center & Lighthouse Park walking tour
• Beauvoir – The Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library tour
• Pascagoula River Audubon Center
• McCoy’s River & Marsh Tour
• Walter Anderson Museum
• St. Rose de Lima Church guided tour
• Mardi Gras Museum tour
• Guided tour of New Orleans
• Jazz brunch at the award-winning “Court of Two Sisters”
• Lima, OH: Hampton Inn (1 night)
• Nashville, TN: Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel (2 nights)
• Biloxi, MS: Palace Casino Resort (5 nights)
• Memphis, TN: The Guest House at Graceland (1 night)
• St. Louis, MO: Drury Plaza Hotel (1 night)
• Kalamazoo, MI: Four Points by Sheraton (1 night)
Board our deluxe motorcoach and relax as we travel to Lima, Ohio. Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner this evening with your fellow travellers.
Stay: Hampton Inn, Lima, OH
Stay: Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel
Stay: Palace Casino Resort, Biloxi, MS
Enjoy a free evening to explore the hotel.
Meals: B, L
Pascagoula, Ocean Springs
Meals: B, D
New Orleans, LA
Meals: B, L
Stay: The Guest House at Graceland, Memphis, TN
St. Louis, MO
Stay: Drury Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, MO
Board the motorcoach after breakfast and relax as we travel to Kalamzoo, Missouri today. After checking into out hotel for the evening, we’ll come together as a group for a farewell dinner.
Meals: B, D
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll begin our journey home
Travellers could be required to walk on uneven surfaces regularly, and the day could be busy with activities from morning until evening. Any daytime rest is taken while travelling on the motorcoach from one attraction to another. There may also be a number of one-night stays that necessitate the need to pack up each morning. Many of our overseas tours fall into this category.