If you always wanted to be on television, your chance is coming up in Bay St. Louis next week -- for the fifth year in a row, New Orleans television station WGNO is scheduled to bring a full production team to the historic Bay St. Louis Depot grounds to broadcast its "News with a Twist" at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12.
"They're going to be here to promote Hancock County," Myrna Green, manager of the Hancock County Tourism bureau, said last week. "They've been filming around the area for the past two weeks, and they're already running promos for the broadcast. … We want a big crowd to show up."
The big "twist" for this year's event, Green said, is that "it will be a tribute to our veterans."
She's asking all veterans to come by the Depot for the event, in uniform or street clothes, to receive special honors.
People who want to participate are asked to be at the Depot by 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.
""The more people we have here for the broadcast, the better," Green said.
The event will also offer a sneak peek at PT-305, a patrol-torpedo boat that was actually in service during World War II. The National World War II Museum in New Orleans fully restored the boat and will be bringing it to the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor for tours on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
WGNO has already been running promotions for the live broadcast, prominently featuring Bay St. Louis to New Orleans viewers.
The News With a Twist promotion was arranged by the Hancock County Tourism Bureau to attract New Orleans-area residents to all the fun, food, culture and shopping available in Hancock County.
"It gives us an hour of primetime television promotion in New Orleans," Green said. "You can't hardly buy that kind of exposure."
According to the National WWII Museum's website, "built in New Orleans by Higgins Industries, the patrol-torpedo (PT) boat PT-305 was a critical asset for the US Navy during World War II, serving in European waters from 1944 to the end of the war. Heavily armed, equipped with advanced technology, uniquely maneuverable, often ingeniously modified, and reliant on cooperation and teamwork, PT boats were a perfect naval expression of the American Spirit at war. With small crews within collaborative 12-ship squadrons, they were also the home to a colorful collection of Navy sailors and a dramatic backdrop for moving personal stories of war, including the trials of cramped quarters, the terrifying thrill of combat, and humorous tales of shore-leave escapades.
"Following her wartime service, PT-305 served as a New York tour boat, a fishing charter, and an oyster boat, undergoing modifications along the way: new, less-costly engines; several new paint jobs; and a dramatic reduction in length. When she was acquired by The National WWII Museum, PT-305 was in dry dock in Galveston, Texas, and in serious disrepair. In April 2007, accompanied by Museum curators, PT-305 found her way back to New Orleans, where The National WWII Museum became her home on land until she could be restored to her former glory."
Volunteers donated more than 120,000 hours to restore PT-305.
For more information about the boat or the tour at Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor, call 504-528-1944, ext. 40s, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.