Time for the Community Bank Downtown Crawfest!

On Saturday, April 21, 2018, Downtown Laurel will welcome the hungry masses for a cooking competition the likes of which Laurel has never seen before.  22 teams from across the state will bring their top secret crawfish recipes to compete in the Inaugural Community Bank Downtown Crawfest.  We are incredibly excited to partner with the Sertoma Club of Laurel to bring another fun and exciting event to downtown!

Know Before You Go

At 7:00 a.m. the teams will begin setting up and decorating their booths along Front Street.  Teams are given three hours to set up and decorate before the real work begins.  Come early to watch the teams cook and maybe figure out their secret ingredient! All of the teams will prepare their recipes from scratch as attendees look on, mouths watering with anticipation. The event officially begins at 10:00 a.m. when Pinebelt Pickers takes the stage.

You may enter the Downtown Crawfest at the intersection of Oak Street and Maker’s Alley (near hand+MADE) or at the Laurel Mercantile Co. parking area.  For just $15 per person, you can taste as much crawfish and fixins’ as your belly can handle.  For $30 per person, enjoy all you can taste crawfish and fixins’ PLUS two free drinks, five pounds of crawfish from the Craw Daddy Shack, and two additional drink tickets. Children 5 and under eat free.  Upon entry, everyone will receive one ticket to vote for People’s Choice.  This is easily one of the most coveted awards of any competition so be sure to vote for your favorite!  No crawfish can be served until the judging begins.  Tasting and serving will begin at 11:30 a.m.  We suggest bringing cash.  Checks will not be accepted as payment for entry.  However, if you forget or run out of cash, an ATM is located at 401 Central Ave. at the Laurel Welcome Center.

Pre-sold Touch a Truck tickets will be honored at this event. If you purchased Touch a Truck tickets and were unable to use them due to the weather, bring them to Crawfest and you will receive a $15 entry stamp.

At 11:00, our expert panel of judges will taste each entry and decide who wins the prize in each category.  Winners will be announced at 2:00 p.m.  All prizes have been generously provided by Community Bank.

Traditional Boil Award: $500 and a large platter by Mandy Buchanan

Covfefe (add-ins) Award: $500 and a large platter by Mandy Buchanan

People’s Choice: $100 and small platter by Mandy Buchanan

Spirit/Decorations: $100 and small platter by Mandy Buchanan

The Downtown Crawfest officially ends at 4:00 p.m., but we encourage you to stay downtown, eat out, and enjoy the after-party at Slowboat Brewing!

Meet the Judges

Pearl Campbell is a native of Laurel and a 1966 graduate of Oak Park.  Growing up, Pearl spent most of her days helping her grandmother in her store, Duncan’s Grocery.  Taught by her mother and Grandmother, Pearl has been cooking since the age of 12, and it was those two special ladies who taught Pearl the importance of hard work and to always put God first.  In 1989 Pearl opened her 1st restaurant, Pearl’s Southern Food, in Indianapolis, Ohio.  Pearl retired from the Ohio School District in 2010 and moved back to laurel in 2015 to take care of her father John Campbell.  Pearl’s cooking days were not over yet though.  Through her good friends, Charles Pickering and Susan Vincent, Pearl met Josh Nowell.  Josh was then renovating the old Burton’s Jewelry building and both Pearl and Josh saw a great opportunity in the making.  In fall of 2017 that historic building became what we now know as The Pearl Diner.  Pearl Campbell has been cooking great southern food for over 50 years and if you stop by the diner you can get a taste for yourself!
Randy Holland is the Sales Manager for Concrete Forming and Shoring Specialties Inc. of Laurel, MS and is a Life Member of the SERTOMA club of Laurel.
R
andy has been cooking Crawfish for over 30 years and has been involved with cooks all over the Southeast U.S.

Randy and his wife of 32 years Debbie, have 2 sons, Kevin & Curtis

 

Leslie Kelley began her banking career with Community Bank in 2003. Currently, she is the Vice President of Business Development for Community Bank.  Leslie concentrates on servicing Business and Commercial Banking as well as Personal Banking customers. 

Leslie is a 2013 graduate of the Mississippi School of Banking at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.  Leslie also volunteers and serves as the Co-Secretary for Biloxi Kiwanis Club, member of Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce currently serving as Chair for Chamber Champions program, current member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board , serves as Treasurer for her Neighborhood Association and is the current President of Ocean Springs Education Foundation.  She is also a current Leadership Gulf Coast participant. 

Additional Food and Drink Options

While most of the south is crawfish crazy at this time of year, we understand you might want some other options to cool down your mouth.  We’re happy to announce that Holifield’s corn dogs, ice cream, and lemonade will be on-site.  If you’re still hungry for crawfish, The Craw Daddy Shack will sell crawfish and add-ons as well.

Southern Beverage will be on-hand with your favorite Budweiser products and your hometown favorite, Slowboat Beer.  If you plan on purchasing or drinking beer at this event, please remember to be your I.D. 

Be sure to stop by the Laurel Main Street concession trailer to purchase your Crawfest T-shirt!  Laurel Main Street will also be selling Coca-Cola products, Capri Suns, and water.

Kids’ Activities

Thanks to the generous donation of Leadership Jones County and Team “Fours of Nature” the new Imagination Playground blocks will be available for kids to get creative and play all day!

Thank you to our incredible Sponsors and Producers!

Events like the Downtown Crawfest just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Facade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in Downtown Laurel.  Additionally, this event will the benefit the Sertoma Club of Laurel whose mission is to enhance the lives of those who have Speech or Hearing impairments.

Lagniappe Sponsor: Community Bank

Big Pincher Sponsor: B Clean, LLC & Southern Beverage

Craw Daddy Sponsors: Kim’s No Bull & The Craw Daddy Shack

Mud Bug Sponsors: Shuff Mauldin State Farm, Woodland Realty, Endom Trailer, Phillips Building Supply, Rent All of Laurel, Caves & Caves, PLLC, and The Laurel Country Club

Event producers:  Suez Water, The City of Laurel, Lott Furniture, Laurel Main Street & Sertoma of Laurel

Stage Sponsor: Trans Safe

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

Calling all Crawfish Cookers!

Want to come?

It’s crawfish season and we’re ready to get boiling!  The inaugural Community Bank Downtown Crawfest will take place downtown at the corner of West Oak Street and Front with live music, food trucks, beverages, and teams competing to be the winner! All entries are cooked on site and will be judged by a team of crawfish experts and lovers.

The gates will open at 11:00am and the event will end at 4:00pm. $15 entry band will get you in the gate and all the tasting you can handle!  A $30 entry band will get you in the gate and 5lbs of crawfish to enjoy! KIDS under five enter & eat free! For those who don’t or can’t eat crawfish, “fair food” options will be available for purchase.

Teams will have tasting trays to serve crawfish. Both entries allow attendees to browse teams and taste any or all the crawfish & add-ins, so that they can vote for the People’s Choice of best overall boil.

A Bayou Classic Crawfish Cooker with accessories will be raffled during the event.  1 Ticket for $10 or 3 Tickets for $20 & you do not have to be present to win.

Please note:  Although we love our furry friends, we ask that you leave your pets at home.  Thank you!

The Sertoma Club of Laurel is a local civic organization whose main goal is to help people with speech and hearing disabilities. The organization raises funds through t-ball programs, an annual golf tournament, and the Sertoma Christmas Parade held each year in downtown Laurel.  Funds raised are given back to the community and are used to help with speech therapy, hearing aids or hearing accessories.  The mission of the Sertoma Club is to mission is to improve the quality of life today, through education and support, for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss or speech impairments.

The focus of Laurel Main Street is the preservation and economic growth of Laurel’s Central Business District. Main Street is a unique and effective path to economic development through preservation. Using the four-point approach of organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring, Main Street communities boost local business from the city center outward.  Laurel Main Street raises funds through various community events throughout the year and those funds support the LMS Façade & Amenities grant program as well as downtown beautification projects.  This grant program was created to help downtown business owners refresh and update their downtown buildings. This grant will reimburse up to $5,000 per project for exterior improvements to buildings within downtown Laurel.

Want to compete?

The following links contain contestant information, rules, schedules, etc. for this year’s event.

Crawfish Cook off Rules

Crawfish Cook Off Team Entry Form (Print Version)

Crawfish Cook Off Team Entry Form (Online Version)

Sponsor Levels

Sponsor Letter

Event Schedule

Please download each file and return relevant forms to Laurel Main Street at:

409 W Oak Street, Suite 204                          OR                     P.O. Box 1256
Laurel, MS 39440                                                                       Laurel, MS 39441

Prizes generously provided by Community Bank.

  • Traditional Boil Award:  $500 & a Large Platter by Mandy Buchanan
  • Covfefe (add-ins) Award: $500 & a Large Platter by Mandy Buchanan
  • People’s Choice: $100 & Small Platter by Mandy Buchanan
  • Spirit Tent: $100 & Small Platter by Mandy Buchanan

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!

 

It’s Time for the 7th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

On Saturday, February 10, 2018, Downtown Laurel will once again welcome over 3,000 hungry customers and 27 competition teams with their top secret chili recipes. The annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off is one of Laurel Main Street’s most popular events each year. 

At 6:00 a.m. the teams will begin setting up and decorating their booths along Central Avenue.  Teams are given two hours to set up and decorate before the real work begins.  Come early to watch the teams chop and dice their way to victory! All of the teams will prepare their recipes from scratch as attendees look on, mouths watering with anticipation. The event officially begins at 10:00 a.m. 

For just $10, you can enjoy an “all-you-can-eat” bowl.  For $25, enjoy a “bottomless” Carl Buchanan keepsake pottery bowl.  Be sure to eat breakfast before you come though; no chili can be served until the judging begins at 11:00 a.m.

Our expert panel of judges will taste each entry and decide who wins the $1,000 prize in each category.  Who are these experts you ask?

Meet the Judges

Kerri Hinton

Kerri Hinton enjoys catering weddings throughout the south with Special Events Catering Service.  Her favorite way to show love to friends and family is with a gift of home cooked food.  Kerri is married to James Hinton and has two daughters, Valerie and Jamie.  She is expecting her first grandson in April!  Kerri is a member of First Baptist Church of Laurel where she volunteers with the Hospitality Committee and belongs to The Joy Sunday School Class.  She is a graduate of Leakesville High School, JCJC and Mississippi College of Beauty Culture, and is currently a hairdresser at The Nail and Hair Gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

Kris Mangum has been employed with Magnolia State Bank since 2009, and served as the President at the Petal location until 2016 when he was named CEO. Kris, a member of the Magnolia State Bank Board of Directors, graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1996 with a BS in Public Administration. At Ole Miss he received All Southeastern Conference and All American honors in the sport of Football. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 1997, where he had a successful 10 year career.

 

 

 

 

 


Akeem Davis is a Defensive Back in the NFL.  Akeem was born and raised in Laurel, MS.  He lead Laurel High School to the state title his senior season at QB.  The following year, he attended JCJC before transferring to University of Memphis.  Akee, was the star of the hit NFL Network show, Undrafted.  In 2014, he signed with the Washington Redskins, and played his rookie season in Washington, DC.  Akeem has also played for the Bucs, Saints, Seahawks, Colts, Chiefs, and Jaguars.  He is also the founder of the AD47 Football Leadership Academy, a free, one-day, football skills camp dedicated to promoting leadership, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

Akeem and his wife, Sierra, are the proud parents to a daughter, Carsyn, and a son, CJ.

 

 

 

Mimmo Rendina is originally from Salerno, Italy.   He is the chef and owner of Mimmo’s Ristorante Pizzeria with his wife, Jeannie.  Mimmo attended the Culinary School of Florence before moving to the U.S.  He has worked as chef at Tuscany Italian Bistro in Destin, FL and Mimmo’s Pizza in Destin before opening Mimmo’s Ristorante Pizzeria in Quitman.  He opened his Laurel restaurant in November 2017.  Mimmo and his wife, Jeannie, are parents to Elijah and Grayson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Activities

Each year, at the end of the event, we raffle a 10 gallon cast iron Bayou Classic Jambalaya pot and tripod stand — a $325 value! Tickets for the raffle are $10 for 1 or $20 for 3 and can be purchased from any LMS member or at the event.

Kids Activities

Central Creativity, HAND+made, and Magnolia Alley Artist Co-op will be in the Magnolia Room at Magnolia State Bank from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. providing fun and education activities for kids of all ages!

Thank you to our incredible Sponsors and Producers!

Events like the Chili Cook Off just wouldn’t be possible without the support and backing of local businesses. These sponsorships help pay for the prizes, supplies and more! Their donations also help fund the Laurel Main Street Facade & Amenities grant and are directly responsible for the improvements you see in Downtown Laurel.

Our Signature Sponsor

Magnolia State Bank

The Chili Cook Off’s signature sponsor is Magnolia State Bank. We are so thankful for the financial support and helping hands they provide every year to make this event a successful one.

Hot Sponsors

The City of Laurel

Jones County Chamber of Commerce

Jones County

Sanderson Farms

Spicy Sponsors

Carl & Mandy Buchanan, Community Bank, Mississippi Power, B Clean LLC, Mike Axton and Southern Beverage Company

Our Producers

Event producers provide in-kind support of the event by providing products, services or advertising to make the event a reality. Thank you to WBBN B95 Country, iHeart Radio and SL100, WDAM, and Studio5Fifty for helping to organize the event and to Central Creativity, HAND+made, and Magnolia Alley Artist Co-op for providing the children’s activities.

Join us February 10, 2018 in Downtown Laurel for the 7th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!