Venessa Lewis, the Louisiana Mermaid, is traveling this year representing the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Her travels will take her to 14 events around the state and will include a five-day expedition to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, for the annual Mermaid Portfolio Workshop — an event in which several “mermaids” from around the world meet to swim with the large, docile whale sharks during their spawning season, a release said.

At the workshop, the women are trained by professional divers for the event and photographed and videoed by several expert underwater photographers, the release said.

Most of her events are concentrated around the Baton Rouge and Livingston Parish areas.

She is also doing several mermaid appearances at local water parks.

Lewis was recently named Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Association of Louisiana.

She said her mission as the Louisiana Mermaid is to “inspire confidence and creativity in both children and adults by promoting imaginative play, positive role modeling and the belief in the power to achieve your dreams.”

“The best part of my job is seeing the sparkle in a child’s eyes when they meet me and are convinced that I am a real mermaid. For many children that have very little magic in their lives and will likely never make it to a place like Disney World, it gives them joy and fuels their imaginations,” she said.

For a complete schedule, visit facebook.com/Louisiana Mermaid.