The 4th Annual Scarecrow Invasion

It’s time for the 4th annual Scarecrow Invasion!

The Scarecrow Invasion is a time when our downtown Laurel community comes alive with colorful and creative life-size scarecrows. We invite businesses, non-profit organizations, schools, civic groups, families and individuals to design and display their own whimsical scarecrows.  Anyone is welcome to create a scarecrow and join the fun! This year’s theme is Famous Mississippi: Persons, Places, and Things.

Last year, our downtown merchants’ creations ranged from sweet to spooky and everything in between!

Peddler’s Junktion was awarded third place for their “cheeky” display.

2019 Scarecrow Invasion – 3rd Place – Peddler’s Junktion

Magnolia State Bank took their scarecrows to frightening heights with zombies scaling the building and encouraging passersby to save lives by donating blood.

2019 Scarecrow Invasion – 2nd Place – Magnolia State Bank

The top prize went to the creative team at Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar! Shug’s is the perfect place for Cookie Monster to hang out, don’t you think?

2019 Scarecrow Invasion – Winner – Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar

This event is absolutely free to enjoy! All scarecrows will be installed by Friday, October 2, 2020, and judging will begin at noon. Scarecrows will remain on view through the month of October, and will be removed by Friday, November 6, 2020.

Be Golden

A lot of things are golden — rules, ratios, the Laurel High School mascot, silence — and most of the visitors to our hometown are golden as well. But an issue has arisen in our city that we cannot remain silent about any longer. The safety and comfort of our neighbors is being invaded, and we wouldn’t be good neighbors ourselves if we didn’t address it. If you live or own a business in Laurel, please read this. If you’re a fan of our hometown and you’re planning a visit, please read this. If you’re bored at work, heck, you can read this too.

What We Learned in Waco

When Laurel learned that it would be broadcast into homes across the country, the city leadership formed a book club and read What to Expect When You’re Expecting a TV Show, and met each week for coffee and discussion. KIDDING! If only it were that simple! In actuality, several of our city leaders took a trip to Waco, TX, the home of Fixer Upper and the Gaines’s empire. They spoke with business owners, homeowners, and city leaders there, and learned about what we should expect and how we should prepare. The team learned from the mistakes Waco made in the wake of the Fixer Upper frenzy. They decided on the way home from that trip that the city of Laurel, and any organization that worked in cooperation with the city, would never offer tours, maps, or reveal the location of homes featured on the show. The merchants of downtown Laurel whole-heartedly agreed.

It’s Personal

Laurel has welcomed Home Town fans from across the country and around the world. Through all of this interaction with such a vast cross-section of people, we have noticed that good manners and the notion of being a good guest mean different things to different people.

Some of our friends and neighbors have experienced some uncomfortable situations, but many have experienced things that are downright scary. The stories we’ve heard from friends and neighbors sound like they could be the beginning of a true crime TV show, but they’re actually the result of a home improvement TV show.

You may be wondering why Laurel Main Street, an organization that is committed to the economic vitality of downtown Laurel, is addressing this. To that, I’ll say, “It’s personal.” Its personal to all of us because this is our town. It’s personal because we loved Laurel before it was popular and we’ll love it long after the Home Town hype has faded. Laurel Main Street has worked for over a decade to make Laurel a great place to live and work, and we’d like it to stay that way.

If Good Fences Make Good Neighbors…

You know the saying, Good fences make good neighbors”? Its not about tall pieces of wood between two houses; its about respecting boundaries. For the first few years of the show, Home Town fans were happy for a glimpse into The City Beautiful on TV. Visitors to Laurel enjoyed driving down the avenues, trying to spot the homes, and we welcomed those visitors into our town and into our stores with open arms. However, in the past year, a new breed of fan has emerged. These fans don’t love our town. They don’t care about being good neighbors, and they’re not very respectful visitors either. We understand that many guests feel that Laurelites are their oldest and dearest friends. What can we say? Our locals are pretty amazing! Whether you’re a guest in someone’s home or in someone’s hometown there are a few guidelines to follow to make sure you’re respecting their boundaries and will remain friends even after you’re gone.

1. Follow the House Rules

Before you arrive, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the way things are done to avoid any misunderstandings.

  • Respect the personal space of others. Don’t ask where Home Town cast members live. Say hello if you see someone you recognize in public, but respect their privacy when they’re at home.

 

  • Don’t trespass. We have beautiful streets and avenues lined with sidewalks, and we LOVE seeing guests walking around, admiring the architecture and trying to guess who might be behind the front door. However, when someone enters a yard, garden, or porch uninvited, they are trespassing and nobody likes a trespasser.

 

  • Keep the noise to a minimum. Part of the reason that so many people choose to call Laurel home is because of its sleepy, small town qualities. Please don’t drive past homes while honking and yelling at the homeowners.

 

  • Observe polite parking protocol. If you suspect that you have found a home that was featured on Home Town, please do not park in front of it and wait for the home owners to exit. Please do not block driveways in the hopes that a local celebrity will come to personally ask you to move your vehicle and take a photo with you since they’re there.

2. Act More Appropriate Than Usual

Represent your neck of the woods. Make your mama proud. Put your best foot forward. There’s about a dozen ways to say it, but the bottom line is to be your best self. Isn’t that what Home Town does for you? The show features the best parts of small-town life and then invites you to experience it for yourself. Surely, you can return the favor when you visit.

3. Leave Things Better Than You Found Them.

  • Clean up after yourself, your pet, your kids.

Accidents and awkward situations are bound to happen. Be ready with an apology or a helping hand to try to mend the situation as quickly as possible. If you forget everything else, just follow the Golden Rule:

do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

(Matt. 7:12).

Would you want strangers peeking through the slit in your curtains to see what books are on your coffee table? Probably not. Would you want a group of tourists posing for pictures on your front porch swing? My guess would also be no. Would you want a strangers trying to photograph your kids while they play in your house? What about while they play in the yard? Is that ok? That’s a hard no. Children should be off limits.

There’s more to being a great guest than just showing up and being the life of the party. And speaking of parties, the city of Laurel and Laurel Main Street host multiple public events each year, and you’re invited to them all! This is a great way to get a feel for the city, and even to spot some familiar faces you might have seen on Home Town.

We have opened our town to you. We have invited you into our magical piece of the planet, and we are so glad you love Laurel. You can show your appreciation by being kind, courteous, and respectful.

Laurelites, be trustworthy. Show your neighbors you care by checking on them, looking out for their home and property, and protecting their privacy.

For the sake of our city and those who love it, we are asking you to Be Golden. Our city will thank you. Our neighbors will thank you. The Home Town family will thank you. We can make the world a better place one act of kindness at a time.

What’s Up With Wine Down

Thank you! Thank you for your steadfast support, patience, and understanding as we navigate this new normal. As many of our readers and followers know, our events are how we fund much of the work that we do. Planning events during a typical year comes with its own set of challenges, but planning events in the time of COVID requires us all to operate with heightened levels of flexibility and caution. We hope it brings you peace of mind to know that we are making every effort to ensure fun and safe events in downtown Laurel. So without further ado…

Welcome Back to Wine Down!

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you back to downtown Laurel on Friday, July 17 for Wine Down Downtown. A few things about the event have changed in an effort to minimize contact touch points, but we know you’ll still enjoy this evening in The City Beautiful!

Some things have not changed

Retailers will still offer wine tastings, equivalent to about a 2 oz. pour. Each store serving wine will have a different type for you to taste. There are also stores that will be open for extended shopping hours, but will serve non-alcoholic beverages instead. If you want to participate in the wine tasting, you must purchase a $15 wine tumbler at the Laurel Main Street tent or online. The Laurel Main Street tent will be located at the corner of Central Ave. and Magnolia St., outside of Rasberry Financial, and serves as the “gate.” Your tumbler will serve as your “ticket.” Wine will not be poured into any other container.

We will still check IDs. All attendees will be asked to present identification with proof of age.

There will also be live music in Trustmark Art Park, located on the corner of Oak St. and Magnolia St., and multiple other venues downtown.

So what’s new?

We highly encourage you to purchase your wine tumbler online. Tumblers purchased online will be available for pick up beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17 at the Laurel Main Street tent on the corner of Magnolia St. and Central Ave. To purchase tumblers online, click here.

If you are unable to purchase your tumbler in advance, we ask that you bring exact change. In an effort to minimize interactions, we will not have change on-site. If you do not have exact change, we ask that you consider donating your payment overage to Laurel Main Street.

When verifying your age, our volunteers will not touch IDs. You will be asked to show it to them instead.

We ask that you respect social distancing guidelines and stay six feet away from those not living in your household. There will be markings on the street to help.

All Laurel Main Street volunteers will be wearing masks. There will also be hand sanitizer available at the LMS tent as well as hand sanitizing stations throughout downtown. Our retailers have been encouraged to host sidewalk sales and pour wine tastings outside to encourage social distancing and minimize crowds in stores.

All are welcome downtown! If you do not drink wine, we hope you will still #getdowntown and enjoy an evening of live music and shopping with the merchants of Laurel Main Street!

 

Some Like it Loud!

The 6th annual Dixie Electric Touch a Truck event will be on Saturday, March 7 from 9am – 2pm in the parking lot beside the Laurel Jones County Library.

Dixie Electric 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.

Landrum’s Country ice cream will be for sale, as well as Chick-fil-a sandwiches, Coke products and more from Laurel Main Street. 

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B CLEAN , LLC  //   CAVES & CAVES LAW FIRM
DUNN ROADBUILDERS, LLC // NEEL-SCHAFFER // FAMILY DENTAL OF LAUREL & WAYNESBORO // MS POWER // CENTERPOINT ENERGY
ENT SURGICAL // OFFICE DEPOT // COMMUNITY BANK

We Look Forward to Seeing These Great Exhibitors!

B Clean, Burroughs Commpanies, Centerpoint Energy, City of Lauel, Fire, City of Laurel Police, City of Laurel, Public Works, Community Bank, Dixie Electric Power Assoc. , Dunn Roadbuilders, Emserv, Howard Trasnportation, Jones County Sheriff, Jones County Supervisors, Landrum’s Ice Cream Truck, Laurel Coca Cola, Laurel Main Street, LMS Concessions, Laurel Rotary Club Soap Box Derby,  Mississippi Power, MS Agriculture, Powers Fire & Rescue ,Rescue 7, Roy Rogers Body Shop, Suez, and Walter’s Construction!

Coming Up Next

WINE DOWN DOWNTOWN // MARCH 20
WINE DOWN DOWNTOWN // APRIL 17
COMMUNITY BANK’S CRAWFEST & LAUREL ROTARY SOAP BOX DERBY // APRIL 18
HOME TOWN FINALE PARTY // MAY 11
WINE DOWN DOWNTOWN // MAY 21
FARMERS MARKET // THURSDAYS IN JUNE
DOWNTOWN MOVIE NIGHT // THURSDAYS IN JUNE

Inaugural Laurel Leap Day This Saturday

Teams have been assembled, practices are popping up, and the trash talk has begun! That can only mean one thing: the Inaugural Laurel Leap Day Basketball Tournament is this weekend!

On Friday, we will draw for bracket slots and announce the brackets on social media.

Official Schedule of Events:

8: 30 a.m. — Bracket Board Up 

9:30 a.m. — Courts open for warmup

9:50 a.m. — Invocation

10:00 a.m. — Tournament begins 

12:00 p.m. — Tournament pauses for

Proclamation honoring Coach Therrell

3 Point Competition

Dunk Competition

(dunk competition will be on a 9ft goal)

1:30 p.m. — Tournament resumes 

4:30 p.m. — Winners announced at end

Events of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

Slam Dunk Sponsor

First State Bank

Ankle Breaker Sponsor

The Print Press

Buzzer Beater Sponsors

Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder, Yoder & Leggett

David L. Sullivan PLLC, Attorney at Law 

Scotsman Co.

Playmaker Sponsors

Ear, Nose and Throat Surgical

South Central Sports Medicine & Performance

Whitney Pickering

Chris Wilson, Realtor

In Memory of H. Gordon Myrick, Sr

It takes a lot of muscle, time, and man-power and time to put on events like Laurel Leap Day. We are thankful for our event producers:  Columbia Block & Brick, Laurel Parks & Recreation Department, City of Laurel, Laurel Mercantile, studio 5 fifty, Laurel Main Street, Endom Trailer, Supertalk, B95 Country, Rock 104 and WDAM TV.

Please note: In the event of rain, the tournament will be held in the gymnasium at Laurel High School.

We hope you’ll join us for the next great downtown Laurel event: Dixie Electric Touch a Truck March 7, 2020.