It’s Almost Time for Touch a Truck!

Some Like it LOUD!

The 5th annual Touch a Truck event will be on Saturday, April 14th from 9am – 2pm in the parking lot beside the Laurel Jones County Library.

Touch a Truck is a fun family event that offers hands-on opportunities for children (and children-at-heart) to EXPLORE, CLIMB and TOUCH trucks, emergency response vehicles, heavy machinery and other equipment. Kids have the opportunity to get behind the wheel and rub elbows with their hometown heroes, while exploring their favorite vehicles including big rigs, fire engines, police cars, construction trucks, tractors and much more. So put your imagination in gear and go!

Know Before You Go

We understand that some like it loud and others don’t.  That’s why we’ll have two opportunities for those with sensitive hearing to enjoy this event.  We will observe no horn hour from 10am – 11am and from 1pm – 2pm.

This is an outdoor event, so dress accordingly and be prepared to climb!  For the safety of our guests and our furry friends, pets are not allowed at Touch a Truck.

Tickets are $5 each at the event.  Family 4-pack tickets can be purchased in advance for $15.  Children 2 and under are FREE.

Laurel Main Street t-shirts will be available for purchase, as well as ice cream from Landrum’s Country, cotton candy from Crescent Line Toys, and a variety of food and beverage vendors.

New This Year

We are thrilled to add trolley rides around the event area!  Perfect for when little legs are tired from walking and climbing!  You’ll also notice a new opportunity for interactive play — Imagination Playground™ Blocks, donated by Team “Fours of Nature” of Leadership Jones County.  Imagination Playground™ Blocks are easy to stack, line up and move around. Children enjoy an endless variety of play patterns including construction, pretend play, role-playing and inventing their own games. Most importantly, they are deeply engaged, active and have hours of fun.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

Big Rig Sponsors

Jones County Board of Supervisors | Jones County Chamber of Commerce

Heavy Duty Sponsors

Burroughs Companies | Bush Construction

Steam Rolling Sponsors

B Clean, LLC

Tough Truck Sponsors

Dunn Roadbuilders, LLC | Neel-Schaffer | Caves & Caves, PLLC | Family Dental Center of Laurel & Waynesboro | Ghilchrist Sumrall Yoder Yoder & Leggett, LLC | CenterPoint Energy | ENT Surgical Clinic

Handy Helper Sponsors

Dixie Electric Power Association | Mississippi Power Company | Suez Water | BancorpSouth | Community Bank

We Look Forward to Seeing These Great Exhibitors!

Brian Ginn State Farm | Burroughs Companies | Bush Construction | Chancellor Electric | Leon Henderson, Jr. | UPS | Walter’s Construction | City of Laurel Fire Department | City of Laurel Police Department | EmServ | Jones County Sherriff | Rescue 7 | Powers Fire and Rescue |  Red Cross | B-Clean, LLC | CenterPoint Energy | City of Laurel Public Works | Coast Guard | Dixie Electric | Dunn Roadbuilders | Loomis | Mississippi Power | MMC Concrete | Mississippi Agriculture | Mississippi Army National Guard | Parish Transportation | Walter’s Construction | Lyle Machinery| Mr. Appliance | Suez Water | DJ Transit | Hammerhead | Pro-Flow Sports | Howard Transportation | The Service Co. | Coca Cola of Laurel

Coming Up Next

Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest — April 21st  | Hello Beautiful Market Garden & Home Show — April 27th & 28th | Rotary Club Magnolia Street Soapbox Derby — May 12th | Farmers Market and Downtown Movie Night — Thursdays in June

Vote Now for Best of the Pine Belt and Best of Mississippi

Voting for the Best of the Pine Belt and for the Best of Mississippi are both currently open. Help us celebrate the best of Jones County by voting in BOTH polls.  It just takes a few minutes to submit your ballots online!

Best of Mississippi

Best of MS 2018

Mississippi Magazine publishes an annual list of the Best of Mississippi — dining out, getting out, and seeking out .  Laurel and Jones County businesses have been featured many times in the past and we hope to see even more representation this year!  Vote for past honorees and new favorites from across our community to be featured as the Best of Mississippi.

You must enter votes for a minimum of 20 categories and you can only submit one entry per e-mail address.  Ready to vote for your favorites?  Click here to access the online ballot for Best of Mississippi 2018.  Voting is open until April 15th.

Best of the Pine Belt

BOTPB logo

Festival South and Signature Magazine will announce the Best of the Pine Belt winners on June 2nd and there are many local businesses nominated.  Look for these categories featuring Laurel/Jones County businesses: Best Bank, Best Men’s Clothing, Best Jewelry Store, Best Vintage/Antiques, Best Full-Service Bakery, Laurel’s Best Ambassador, Best Pine Belt Personality, Best Music Venue, Best Locally-Brewed Beers, Best BBQ, and Best Music Festival.

You may vote ONCE A DAY until April 29th, so keep voting!  Click here to access the online ballot and vote for Best of the Pine Belt 2018.

Thank you for supporting our local businesses.  We can’t wait to see who is recognized this year!

2018 Touch a Truck – Sponsors & Exhibitors Wanted!

Be a Touch A Truck Exhibitor!

Show off your trucks or equipment and engage your business in the community!  Be a Touch a Truck exhibitor! We’re looking for any and all unique trucks & equipment, big or small.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MARCH 25, 2018

Exhibitor Info At-a-Glance

  • FREE to exhibit
  • $50 refundable deposit
  • Vehicle attendants will have lunch and facilities provided at the event
  • We strongly encourage promotional materials appropriate for children, such as banners, stickers and giveaways.
  • If applicable, tickets to the event (for company employees, guests, etc.) will be provided before the event.
  • The Touch a Truck® Exhibitor Form, Payment, Letter of Agreement and Certificate of Liability Insurance must be received prior to the event in order to participate.

Types of Vehicles Needed

  • Unique/Rare/Novelty (Limos, monster trucks, antique trucks)
  • Construction (Cement & dump trucks, cement rollers, etc)
  • Emergency (Ambulances, sheriff & police vehicles, fire trucks & equipment, etc)
  • Farm Equipment (Big tractors, plows, etc)
  • Commercial (Postal, delivery, 18-wheelers, etc)
  • Military (All types)
  • Recreational (4-wheelers, motorcycles, etc)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MARCH 25, 2018

Be a Touch A Truck Sponsor!

If you don’t have a vehicle that your company can show off but you want to contribute to the success of this great event, you can join the fun as an event sponsor!

Sponsors and exhibitors will not only contribute to a fun and educational event, but will also help to support the projects and initiatives of Laurel Main Street.

Sponsors may bring banners, signage, decorations and giveaways to promote their business!

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MARCH 25, 2018

Become a Big Rig Sponsor:

  • $2,500
  • Name on Promo Materials
  • Mention in all radio and TV advertising
  • Logo/Sponsor name on Event Signage
  • Acknowledgement as Presenting Sponsor Day of Event
  • Name on all Event Press Releases
  • Name/Logo on website
  • Name/Logo on Thank You Ad
  • No fee for booth or vehicle space
  • 10 complimentary tickets

Become a Heavy Duty Sponsor:

  • $1,000
  • Name on Promo Materials
  • Logo/Sponsor name on Event Signage
  • Acknowledgement as Sponsor Day of Event
  • Name on all Event Press Releases
  • Sponsor Name/Logo on website
  • Name/Logo on Thank You Ad
  • No fee for booth or vehicle space
  • 8 Complimentary Tickets

Steam Rolling Sponsor

  • $750
  • Sponsor Name on Promo Materials
  • Sponsor Name on all Event Press Releases
  • Sponsor Name/Logo on website
  • Sponsor Name/Logo on Thank You Ad
  • No fee for booth or vehicle space
  • 6 Complimentary Tickets

Tough Truck Sponsor

  • $500
  • Sponsor Name on Event Press Releases
  • Sponsor Name/Logo on Website
  • Sponsor Name on Thank You Ad
  • No fee for booth or vehicle space
  • 4 Complimentary Tickets

Handy Helper Sponsor

  • $250
  • Sponsor Name on Thank You Ad
  • No fee for booth or vehicle space
  • 2 Complimentary Tickets

Register now to claim your spot as a Touch A Truck® exhibitor or sponsor!

 

Thank You for a Fantastic Chili Cook Off!

Cloudy skies and scattered showers didn’t keep the crowds away from the 7th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off.  It took a village of people to make this event a success and we couldn’t have done it without them!

Welcome to the Winner’s Circle!

This year’s teams brought their A-game to the 7th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!  Here’s a recap of the winners:

People’s Choice
Knights of Columbus ($200 cash prize and Carl Buchanan pottery)
2018 Peoples Choice
Spirit/Tent Decoration
Laurel Country Club ($200 cash prize and Carl Buchanan pottery)2018 Decoration
Homestyle Category:
3rd – Perfect Temp Storage
2nd – Southern Spice/Ryan Scarborough
Winner – Southern Hospitality ($1,000 cash prize and chili pot trophy)2018 Homestyle Winner
Traditional Category: 
3rd – Peddler’s Junktion
2nd – Phillip’s Drive In
Winner – Crossroads Grilling ($1,000 cash prize and chili pepper trophy)2018 Traditional Winner

Thank You to…

Special thanks to our event chair, Robby Scruggs, for his work in making this event such a success each year.  Robby, and his wife, Angie, open studio5fifty for Laurel Main Street many times each year.  Their staff is always courteous and helpful and we simply can’t thank them enough!

We also owe a huge thanks to the following:

Laurel Main Street board members – for the countless hours you put into making each endeavor we undertake a successful one.

Chili Cook Off Judges – for selflessly giving of your time and taste buds in the name of chili.

Laurel Fire Department & Laurel Police Department – for keeping our volunteers and attendees safe, for being on call, and for going above and beyond your duties.

The City of Laurel Parks and Recreation Department – for your assistance in preparing the downtown area for the influx of visitors.

Carl and Mandy Buchanan – for the beautiful pottery that we awarded and for the “bottomless” bowls that we look forward adding to our collection each year.

Jim Thornhill – DJ extraordinaire – thank you for keeping the tunes going and making the atmosphere downtown bright and sunny, even during torrential downpours!

Diamond Productions – you guys are top notch!  The video screen and live footage during the chili cook off elevated this event beyond our expectations and we can’t wait to work with you again!

Community Volunteers – for the hours of service you provide selling tickets and t-shirts and all you do to make Laurel Main Street events run smoothly.

Of course, this event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of Magnolia State Bank.  Not only do they sponsor this event each year, but the bank staff also volunteers countless hours in preparation for the event and on the day of the event as well.  This year, Magnolia State Bank opened their Magnolia Room to host an indoor kids’ zone with educational and creative activities from Magnolia Alley Artist Co-op, Central Creativity, and HAND+made.  We are so grateful for the partnership of Magnolia State Bank!

Then Comes the Thaw

January is a cruel month.  It’s cold, credit card statements from Christmas are in, and everyone seems to have the flu.  This is, by far, the strangest winter I’ve experienced in my lifetime of living in Mississippi.  I can’t recall the last time it was so cold for so long, yet this week brought about temperatures that would bring daffodils into premature bloom.  If you’re over the cold weather or sick of being cooped up with sick people, you’re in luck because downtown Laurel has something for everyone.  You’ve recovered from your Christmas coma and your holiday hangover… now it’s time to return to the land of the living.

If you want to get creative, downtown Laurel is DEFINITELY the place for you!  One of our newest merchants, Magnolia Alley Artists’ Co-op, has a calendar jam-packed with chances to let loose.  Your kids will love the “Drop & Dine” events on select Friday nights while you enjoy date night at one of our downtown restaurants.  No kids?  No problem!  Magnolia Alley also hosts couples’ painting nights, photography, quilting, and doll classes!  Give them a call at (601) 342-5188 and plan your next night out downtown!

The folks at HAND+made always have something going on too.  From their DIY open studio to Mommy and Me and calligraphy classes, you’ll definitely find something to pique your interest and stretch your creative boundaries.  If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, why not try Lott Furniture’s “Wine & Design” workshops every second Tuesday of each month?  I’m not sure if they intentionally planned it on Mary Poppins’s day off, but it’s practically perfect in every way if you ask me. 😉 Stop by after work, enjoy a beverage, live music, and design tips to make your home your haven.

If you still appreciate the creative and entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in downtown Laurel, but prefer to be the subject rather than the artist, you’ll want to reserve your appointment for a one-of-a-kind family heirloom as Guild & Gentry hosts portrait artist Michael Foster.  He will be at the store on February 17th doing ambrotypes, so click here to reserve your appointment!

Most of our downtown retailers have just wrapped up their buying trips and soon the shelves of their stores will be brimming with more goodies than your house can possibly hold.  Keep an eye out for the overloaded delivery trucks making their way down the brick streets of downtown!

The YWCO will be the new home to the monthly downtown book club, which meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 6-7PM.  Follow Cottage Books on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the current book selection and for updates on meeting times and new arrivals in the store. The YWCO also hosts numerous community events throughout the year, many of which are free, so be sure to check them out on Facebook to see what’s happening!

Slowboat Brewing Company hosts trivia and live music on alternating Friday nights and live music every Saturday night of the month starting at 7PM.  Check out their Facebook page to see which of your favorite groups are coming to town or maybe even discover a new favorite at Laurel’s liveliest local music scene and Jones County’s only locally owned brewery!

Lee’s Coffee & Tea provides more than a good cup of coffee and the best pimento cheese you’ll ever eat.  They also have some pretty cool events lined up for the month of February!  Enjoy Open Mic Night on the first Friday of the month, Board Game Night on the second Friday, and Vinyl Night on the third Friday.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off happening downtown on February 10th.  We’ll have lots of cold beer, lots of hot chili, and plenty of fun too!

If you’re like me and spend 90% of your waking hours behind a computer screen, all of these opportunities for actual human interaction might be a little intimidating, but I PROMISE YOU, you’ll thank me later.  If not, your next cup of coffee’s on me.  Get downtown y’all!