Livingston-Tangipahoa community photo gallery for Nov. 27, 2014 _lowres

Photo provided by MICHELLE JESTER -- Louisiana 'Mermaid' Venessa Lewis

The Denham Springs-based “Louisiana Mermaid” signed a deal this month with the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to promote tourism and recreational waterways in the parish with her unique “hook,” — a swimmable, realistic fish tail, a news release from the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau said.

The “Louisiana Mermaid,” also known as Venessa Lewis, splashed onto the local scene this summer with a custom designed, silicon neoprene mermaid tail that is fully functional in the water, the release said. Lewis swims seasonally at local pools and waterparks, surprising children who can barely contain their excitement at the opportunity to interact with a “live” mermaid. She also makes appearances at charity functions, fundraisers, parades and other land-based events in the tail as well. Her mermaiding adventures received local and national buzz throughout the summer when several media outlets carried reports of her unique hobby and the stories were picked up by nationwide television affiliates, including the Weather Channel.

Because of her popularity with families and children, the Louisiana Mermaid will be making appearances on behalf of Livingston Parish Tourism at several major events throughout the year such as Spring Fest, Tickfaw 200, Blessing of The Bikes, and many others.

“We are excited to utilize the Louisiana Mermaid in an effort to promote our 600 plus waterway miles in Livingston Parish that attracts tourists from miles around for fishing, boating, tiki tubing and swimming,” said Eric Edwards, director of the Livingston Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Lewis already made several appearances at Livingston Parish’s AquaPards WaterPark during the summer, and she drew large crowds each time as children waited for her to sign autographs, take pictures and swim with them. “I hope to bring a bit of that magic to each event I attend and to show how fun, unique and family-oriented our wonderful parish is,” Lewis said.

For information, contact Lewis at (225) 664-0829 or (225) 603-4229 or Jonathan Taylor at (225) 567-7899.