by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner –

On a bright, clear spring day April 1, 2023 was the opening day of the 25th Annual Art in the Pass at War Memorial Park. The festival had over 100 artists, numerous food vendors, several other vendors, live music and fun for all ages that concluded Sunday, April 2, 2023 with student scholarships through local Mississippi Gulf Coast high schools and Art Departments.

Despite a number of other events happening on the clear Saturday, Art in the Pass provided a unique opportunity to see local artists, eat local cuisine, and hear great live music.

“The Art in the Pass is a program of the Pass Christian Main Street that has a two fold issue: 1) support arts in the Harrison County School and Arts Departments 2) enhance Pass Christian’s reputation as a town that values arts. We knocked it, literally out of the park,” stated Pass Christian Ward 1 Alderwoman Betty Douglass Sparkman, the director of the Arts in the Pass program serving her first term in the city. “We provided almost $40,000 in scholarships to students and two award to schools and individuals interested in pursuing the arts. Secondly, we set a record last year of having 10,000 visitors whereas this year we had 11,000.”

Sparkman thanked Main Street, the numerous volunteers, the city’s departments of beautification and public works. The alderwoman thanked these hundreds of volunteers for showing up and showing out.

The Art in the Pass Program awarded seven high school students scholarships for their work. They were:

*Lane Trosclair – West Harrison High School, Best of Show

*Timme Davis – Biloxi High School Dusti Bonge Award

*Alexander Ford, Dakota Wilson, Sara Putnam, Georgi Keasler, and Kambri LaFontaine received a total of $12,500 for their artwork.

Art in the Pass awarded the Pass Christian School District $3000 in scholarship funds along with $1250 for the nine other local high schools.

The Silent Auction featured original artwork from artists participating in the Festival. Each artist contributed a featured artwork item to our Silent Auction.