Ready, Set, Boil!

One of our favorite times of the year is finally here! Saturday, April 17th, 2021, is the annual Community Bank’s Crawfest! After the year that we have had, everyone is itchin’ to get out of the house in some beautiful weather and eat as much crawfish as they can physically stand.

The corner of West Oak and Front Streets will be lined with several teams that are fired up to win Crawfest 2021! Not only will the title of winner be on the line, but these cooks have worked hard to hone their skills to showcase some unique and delicious recipes that will make us Laurelites take notice.

This year’s judges are ready to see what our teams have brought to the crawfish table! From enthusiasts to down-home cooks, expect them to really dig in!

Schedule

10:00 A.M. – Teams check in.

11:00 A.M. – Gates open and crawfish is served!

2:30 P.M. – Our Crawfest 2021 winner will be announced!

3:00 P.M. – End of event. Time to head home and sleep off that crawfish coma!

Our list of prizes for our winners are as follows:

Traditional Award – $500 cash prize/Large platter by local artist

Covfefe Award – $500 cash prize/Large platter by local artist

People’s Choice Award – $100 cash prize/Small platter by local artist

Spirit of Crawfest Award – $100 cash prize/Small platter by local artist

This is a cash only event, but you can purchase your tickets early online! $15 gets you inside the gate, and it allows you to taste the entire time. For $30, you get endless tasting, add-ins, AND 5 whole pounds of crawfish to take with you for that after-nap snack! There will be live music and beverages to add to your experience.

Click link to purchase your tickets!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-banks-crawfest-tickets-144495583179?fbclid=IwAR36Bj-CqJlTB5XeKhyYaOajUoN-bESNBrNHT4xxSsBWtT1YCU3QQGnWtsU

Kids under the age of 12 get free entrance and tasting, and Chik-Fil-A will be available for anyone wanting to enjoy the fun of the event without the crawdaddies.

Remember to bring out your inner judge when tasting because you will be voting for the winner of the People’s Choice Award!

Also, we love pets, but please remember to leave them at home during this event! We can almost guarantee that when you step through your front door smelling of delicious boil, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from your fur babies!

We Love our Sponsors and Producers!

We could not even begin to bring fun and family-friendly events like this to you without the support from our local businesses and sponsors. Because of their endless gratitude we are able to keep Downtown Laurel on the up-and-up with improvements! This benefit is also benefitting the Sertoma Club of Laurel!

Meet Our Sponsors

 

 

Laurel Main Street’s Chili Cook-off Canceled in Caution of COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Susan Ladd
Laurel Main Street
(601) 433-3255 info@laurelmainstreet.com

CHILI COOK-OFF IS CANCELED

Laurel Main Street’s Chili Cook-off Canceled in Caution of COVID-19

Laurel, MS––January 14, 2021–– Laurel Main Street h​ as confirmed the cancellation of this year’s Chili Cook-off, sponsored by Magnolia State Bank, originally scheduled for February 13, 2021. After discussion between the Laurel Main Street Board and Mayor Johnny Magee, the formal decision has been made to call off this event.

Due to the nature of this event, there would be no way to effectively socially distance or guarantee the health and safety of attendees. Laurel Main Street will continue to abide by any COVID-19 related mandates or regulations in place and will follow the advice of state and local leaders.

The organization has plans to move forward with seasonal events in 2021 and will follow any regulations that may still be in place. It is of the utmost importance that all locals and visitors of Downtown Laurel get to live, work, eat, and play safely.

Founded in 2007, Laurel Main Street is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to revitalizing historic downtown Laurel, Miss., through preservation and economic growth. To learn more about Laurel Main Street, please visit www.laurelmainstreet.com.

page1image22542976\

Top 5 Reasons to Shop Local This Holiday Season

This holiday season looks a little different, but we can still share joy. Shop Small and support your favorite small businesses – both in-store and online – all holiday season long.

1. Economic Stimulus. Supporting local is more than just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle. Shopping locally supports local families and our local economy by keeping dollars local, so they can make more of an impact in our town. When someone opens their own business, they hire local people, pay local taxes, and source goods locally. When you shop local, you expand opportunity for others in your community. The health of small business is a direct reflection of the overall well-being of a community. Healthy Small Businesses = Healthy Local Economy.

 

2. Connect & Experience. We live in a “buy with one click” world. But there are still many consumers who want an experience, who desire interaction; that’s where small businesses and downtowns can thrive. They serve as a place to socialize and gather. Shopping locally means bumping into friends, benefitting from the expertise of local retailers, enjoying lively streets, and discovering something new. In a world where people are plugged in 24-7, many folks still desire a unique shopping experience.

3. Job Creation. Small, local businesses are the largest employers nationally. Compared to Amazon, independent retailers create 2x as many jobs for the same amount of revenue.1 Plus, the more jobs you have in your local community, the less people are going to have to commute, which means more time and less traffic.

4. Community Investment. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future. Local business owners also donate more to local charities than non-local owners. In places with more local businesses, people have stronger social ties2 and participate in more civic affairs.3

5. You Matter More. You might have read about exerting influence with your purchasing choices, or “voting with your wallet.” It’s a fact that all businesses respond to their customers, but your values and desires are much more influential to your local business than the big box stores.

Promoting the “support local” initiative is something that we celebrate as an organization on a daily basis. We value strong partnerships with the business community, and we believe that people want to support local businesses too. But if you MUST shop on Amazon, consider enrolling in the AmazonSmile program and designating Laurel Main Street as your charity of choice. Click here for more information on the AmazonSmile program and how you can help local non-profits.

 

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources, employ local workers, and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.

– paraphrased from Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

 

  1. “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nov. 2016
  2. “The Health and Wealth of US Counties,” Troy C. Blanchard, et. All., Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society, 2011.
  3. “The Configuration of Local Economic Power and Civic Participation in the Global Economy,” Troy Blanchard and Todd L. Matthews, Social Forces, June 2006.

“The One” Awards

Once a year the Laurel Main Street organization honors members of our downtown community for their commitment to the Main Street cause and their dedication to our community with “The One” Awards.  The awards were named for a phrase that pops up again and again during brainstorming and event planning sessions: “Those who say it can’t be done should get out of the way of THE ONEs who are doing it!” On September 10, we celebrated the dreamers, the doers, THE ONEs whose desire to leave things better than they found it is evident in all their pursuits.

Downtown Business of the Year

The Loft on Central, a downtown staple for 10 years, is a Laurel Main Street Partner and was named downtown Business of the Year. Their steadfast support of our community includes hosting fundraisers for those in need, animal rescuers, and opening their doors on holidays to feed our first responders. They also lead the way in figuring out how to survive and serve during the Covid-19 crisis of 2020.

Business of the Year – The Loft on Central

 

Volunteers of the Year

THE ONE Award was presented to two longtime LMS Board Members whose years of service will come to an end this year. Heather Brown and Lew Yoder have seen more than their fair share of sunrises in downtown Laurel while setting up for events. Their dependability is rivaled only by that of the U.S. Postal Service — they truly have served LMS in rain, hail, sleet, and snow, and let’s not forget about hurricanes and tornadoes!

 

Lew has served as Secretary of the Board, Chair of the Organization Committee, and is the immediate multiple-term Past-President. Lew Co-chaired the Loblolly Festival and chaired the search committee for the new LMS executive director.

Volunteer of the Year – Lew Yoder

Heather also served as Secretary of the Board, Promotions Chair, and Co-chair of the award-winning Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off.

Volunteer of the Year – Heather Brown

We appreciate the service of our volunteers, members, and partners, and their dedication to our community.

Laurel Main Street Recognized at Mississippi Main Street Annual Awards

Laurel Main Street was recently honored for Outstanding Creative Placemaking at the Mississippi Main Street Association’s annual awards. Leontyne Price musical park was a collaboration among multiple businesses and community organizations.

Laurel loves Leontyne Price. The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art’s (LRMA) year-long celebration of the beloved opera singer and Laurelite’s 90th birthday proves that, along with Laurel’s new musical park. Leontyne Price Park represents the collaboration of almost a dozen different entities including the City of Laurel, Laurel Main Street, LRMA, the Price family, Laurel Machine and Foundry (LMF), Sonny & Cille Screen Printing, The Knight Butcher, and Central Creativity.

The “Treble Makers,” a Leadership Jones County team, raised over $15,000 to fund the project and worked hard to reach out to the community for both input and arts education. The park was built to enable people of all ages—but especially formative youth—to experience the enrichment that music can provide through both sheer enjoyment and gaining an understanding of musical concepts. The many students who come to the park to play and learn will be inspired by Laurel’s most famous daughter.

What is Creative Placemaking?

This award recognizes a creative placemaking endeavor that involves artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners who have deliberately integrated arts and culture into community revitalization work. The placemaking project should show how it enhances quality of life for existing residents, increases creative activity, and creates a distinct sense of place.

The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities with a special virtual awards presentation this year. MMSA staff presented the 2020 awards from the Old Capitol Inn in downtown Jackson via Facebook Live. The annual awards honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development projects from Main Street communities in Mississippi.

“Mississippi Main Street is excited to celebrate the achievements of our Main Street communities,” said Steven Dick, MMSA Board President. “Our local leaders have worked tirelessly to provide economic opportunities, increase quality of life, and preserve what makes our downtowns special.” Thomas Gregory, MMSA State Coordinator, Jennifer Prather, Director of Community Development, and Jeannie Zieren, Director of Communication and Marketing, presented the awards.