SAVE THE DATE: Magnolia State Bank’s Chili Cook-Off

We are proud to present the 2023 date of Chili Cook-Off now that it’s back home on Central Avenue!

Go ahead and put this one on your calendar, because you sure don’t want to miss this! Look forward to more details soon–below is what you need to make your plans now.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

500 Block of Central Avenue

Downtown Laurel

Tickets

Chili is sold by the All-You-Can-Eat $15 entry and by the Bottomless $30 keepsake pottery bowl. Bottomless bowls are hand crafted by local potter, Jeremy Brooke.

Purchase online here.

Stay tuned for judge announcements and more fun as the event gets closer! 

It’s Time for Loblolly Festival!

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year–time for Loblolly Festival! 

This year’s event can’t be missed. It’s going to be the biggest and best Loblolly we have ever hosted–clocking in at over 230 vendors from all over Mississippi.

Loblolly Festival is on Saturday, October 1st from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This event is rain or shine, and thankfully, the weather looks perfect!

Know Before You Go

  • Furry friends are allowed to attend the festival, but be mindful of city leash laws and please pick up after your pets.
  • Loblolly Festival is free! 
  • Keep the City ‘Beautiful’! Make sure to discard pet waste, food, and garbage in trash receptacles.
  • When you’re sippin’ and strolling, make sure to follow the city’s open container laws, and stay in the leisure district.
  • Ample parking is available in outer lots. Don’t be afraid to get your steps in!
  • Visit the Laurel Main Street trailer to get this year’s Loblolly T-shirts! $25, limited quantity

What is Loblolly?

We get so many questions every year surrounding the name and history of this event. Check out some of our past blogs to read more about the history of Loblolly Festival and of Laurel, MS.

Loblolly Festival: Celebrating the Town that Timber Built

Loblolly: The Power of the Historical Name

Vendors

Expect plenty of unique vendors, including all kinds of food & drink, arts & crafts, and organizations. This year’s event is completely packed for the first time in history!

Demonstrations vary, but a crowd favorite is Dayton Scoggins, the chainsaw artist. Dayton will be on-hand this year selling his creations, as well as demonstrating the art of chainsaw sculpture.

Live Entertainment

One of the best parts about about Loblolly Festival is the entertainment. The line-up this year is not to be missed!

Bring your lawn chair, grab a beer from the Southern Beverage trailer, and enjoy music all day long.

Main Stage (located on Front Street)

  • 9:00 AM- 10:00 AM Stephen Wade Scott
  • 10:30 AM- Noon Ra’Shad the Blues Kid
  • 12:30 PM- 2:00 PM Tyler Tisdale
  • 2:30 PM- 4:00 PM Red & the Revelers

The Knight Butcher Stage (Central Avenue)

  • 11:00 AM- 12:30 PM Jesse Howell
  • 12:30 PM- 3:00 PM BIG

Kids Activities

Head on down to 5th avenue to check out the Kids Zone, full of fun for all ages like jump houses, activities, and games.

Shop Small

Don’t forget to eat and shop with our Downtown businesses this Saturday! Get your day started as early as 6:00AM with a loaded tea from Forever Nutrition and end your night at one of our amazing restaurants with even more live music, like 320FifthStreet.

Scarecrow Invasion 2022

This year’s Scarecrow Invasion debuts on September 30th, and will last through October 31st. Loblolly Festival is the perfect time to get out and view these whimsical creations!

Get ready for something new! Vote for your favorite scarecrow display in the “People’s Choice” category on our Facebook page. Voting begins October 2nd.

Other Fun Around Town

Our friends at Laurel Arts League are hosting the annual “Art on Masonite” competition at the YWCO for viewing during Loblolly Festival. Sit down, enjoy the AC, and support our talented young artists around Jones County!

The 30th Annual Heritage Arts Festival will take place on the lawn at Lauren Rogers Museum of art from 10:00AM- 1:00 PM during the festival. Best part? It’s free!


We can’t wait for Loblolly Festival, and we hope that you and your family join us this year! #loblollylover

Sign Up to Volunteer with Us!

Are you looking for a way to be involved in the Downtown Laurel community and Laurel Main Street? We have a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year, and we’d love to have you or your organization or club as a partner for volunteering. Please fill out the form to register as an official LMS Volunteer!

Click Here to sign up!

Volunteering with Laurel Main Street means SO much! As an LMS volunteer, you are lending a helping hand to those who attend our events and aiding in the growth and revitalization of America’s Hometown, Laurel. You will get to be a part of events like Loblolly Festival, Downtown Countdown the Chili Cook Off, Crawfest, and so much more!

We are thankful for our past volunteers and volunteer organizations and we are looking forward to working with so many new volunteers! Will you be next??

Final Downtown Thursday of the Summer

Do you love homemade and homegrown items? Are you looking for a place to relax on a Thursday evening? Shop for those Mississippi-grown items at the Laurel Farmers Market, and then relax with some live music and a movie night on the FINAL Downtown Thursday of the summer!

This Thursday, July 14, will be our last Downtown Thursday of the summer! First, join us for the farmers market and live music featuring Charayana & Band from 5 to 8 PM. Then, settle down in the back lot to enjoy an outdoor movie night featuring Encanto.

Everyone has had so much fun on Downtown Thursdays, and we don’t want you to miss your chance to join in on the fun! Thank you to Central Sun Belt and all volunteers who make Downtown Thursdays with the Laurel Farmers Market and Downtown Movie Night possible!! Laurel Main Street is so happy to be a part of this event that makes summertime in Downtown extra fun!

Laurel Main Street Winner of the Outstanding Community Engagement Effort Award

Thomas Steinwinder with MMSA Executive Director Thomas Gregory

Outstanding Community Engagement Effort – This award recognizes an effort by a local Main Street program that brings a diverse cross-sector of the community together for a common purpose.

Winner: Laurel Main Street – Laurel Leap Day Tournament

“One of our most closely held beliefs is that good events can bridge gaps between cultures, demographics, and individuals. In an area where high school sports still fill bleachers in gyms and stadiums, a street ball tournament had all the markings of community engagement. Laurel Leap Day (a pun on both basketball and the leap year) took place the last Saturday in February, and it was a resounding success. The main event was an elimination-style tournament. 3-on-3 streetball sparked all the competition and fun Laurel Main Street could have hoped for, with crowds cheering for their favorite teams and players.

20 teams banded together to compete for the $500 top prize and, of course, bragging rights. For those who lost the tournament, a slam dunk competition and a three-point shoot-off gave chances for redemption. Attendees milled about shopping at downtown businesses and munching on the street fair food. With entry fees and sponsorships, the event was both free to the public and a fantastic fundraiser.”