Local Experiences


2/10/2017 | Play The Coast

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The 65th annual Spring Pilgrimage of "Coastal Treasures" will be held April 9-12th this year. Presented by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Council of Garden Clubs, it is the South’s only complimentary Home and Garden Pilgrimage. Featured, will be dozens of residential, garden, church, and other historical sites that will be open for free public tours across the Gulf Coast.

"Our 65th Spring Pilgrimage is celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of our homes across the Coast,” said this year’s Spring Pilgrimage Chairwoman Beth Margherio. "Every day is different and interesting, including flower exhibits and art shows, and each day is complimentary so guests can pick and choose which events they would like to attend. We invite everyone to visit with us and enjoy the treasures of our Gulf Coast.”

Seventy years ago, a group of women who would get together to talk about their gardens formed a Coast garden club to build friendships while enjoying refreshments in each other’s homes. The group grew to include neighboring towns, welcoming members to visit each other’s gardens and homes, becoming known as The Gulf Coast Council of Garden Clubs and the Spring Pilgrimage was born.

Quickly becoming known as a Gulf Coast favorite, the event has steadily grown every year by locals and tourists alike, with The American Business Association even giving the Pilgrimage the honor of being one of the "Top 100 Events in North America” in 2002-2004.

The Pilgrimage vacationed for five years in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina destruction of much of the Coast, but had a rebirth in 2011 after the historic homes were repaired and charming new ones were built. It’s been steadily growing and getting better every year since.

This year the Spring Pilgrimage will feature a tour of twenty-five locations from Moss Point to Diamondhead, highlighting some of the areas' most beautiful homes and gardens.
Dickie Roberts, who is on the board of directors for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Council of Garden Clubs, informed me there are twelve individual garden clubs comprising close to 450 volunteers that sponsor the homes, flower exhibits, and art shows. The clubs work with homeowners to decorate the houses with beautiful arrangements, leaving guests with a wealth of knowledge about Mississippi plants and the history of many of the sites.
As in years past, the garden clubs will be holding a raffle for the chance to win a piece of art.
"Our raffle item for this year, bird houses, represent the variety of homes on the Coast,” Margherio said. "Our artists and craftsmen have created interpretations on this theme. The dwellings for our feathered friends are elevated to works of art and symbolize our homes.”  
To see the bird houses and get more information, please visit www.springpilgrimage.com or contact them at springpilgrimage@gmail.com. Brochures with homes and schedules will also be available after March 6, at the following locations:

Burnham Drugs, Moss Point
Gautier City Hall
Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce
Gulf Hills Hotel and Conference Center
Biloxi Visitors Center
Bank House Coffee, Long Beach

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