Houston, we have a great problem!

Have you ever experienced a moment in which you realized that only good things were happening? You look, and the troubles and tragedies are small compared to the mountains that are the positive events in life.

That’s where we are right now.

This past year has seen more good—new businesses, more visitors, record-breaking events—than we could have ever dreamed, and it caused an amazing problem.

Each year, we nominate businesses, merchants, projects, and citizens who have done exceptional things for the revitalization of Downtown for the annual Mississippi Main Street Awards. This year, we had so many remarkable people and projects to choose from, we couldn’t decide who and what to nominate!

“Everyone who sat in my office and whispered a dream they had is living it now.”

 –Judi Holifield

Ultimately, we had to get fairly creative to figure out what could fit in the different categories, and we are hopeful that we will have several winners this year. Thank you all for making Downtown Laurel so incredible!

We are growing and changing and becoming better everyday, and our projects are doing the same.

Touch A Truck

This year’s Touch A Truck was more successful than ever before and helped fund our Light the Downtown project, which is progressing wonderfully. We are well on our way to recapturing that timeless sense of Small Town America so many crave. Lights will fly across the streets and give a sense of safety and beauty to mark special occasions in Downtown.

Laurel once had lights much like the ones we plan to install, and we hope to help those that can remember them rediscover the magic they provide and those that have never seen them understand just how amazing they can be.

Central Avenue Looking West around 1938009

Courtesy of Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Archives, Approximately 1938

We are also excited about the 2016 Downtown Thursdays sponsored by Central Sunbelt Federal Credit Union! Every Thursday in June will have a Farmer’s Market and a Downtown Movie Night! Families can enjoy films along with all the vendors and atmosphere Movie Night promises. Plus, each Farmer’s Market will take place at the Brickyard, Laurel Main Street’s new development project.

As Downtown grows and becomes more vibrant, LMS wants to ensure that there is space for creative events and public enjoyment. We are investing in the pedestrian brick walkway at the end of 5th Ave. to transform that vision into a reality. It begins this summer with the Farmer’s Market. In a few years, we hope to have a shaded, comfortable space for everyone in Downtown Laurel to enjoy.

Why are Downtown Thursdays only in June?

Laurel Main Street believes in quality over quantity. Our goal is not always to have the biggest, but it is without question to have the best. Last summer, an average of 700 people attended the weekly market, and approximately 500 people enjoyed family movies every Thursday.


Essentially, we have outgrown our spaces and systems. How can emergency personnel get through the crowd? How can we lower the liability risks? How can we ensure health code standards? How can we meet our electrical needs?

The lists of questions for an expanding event go on and on, but we think about them so you don’t have to. However, we still need answers.

Ensuring the quality of our events and safety of our participants is a top priority for LMS, so we are taking this summer to answer these questions.

And don’t forget:

Downtown Laurel is a Top 25 Finalist for the America’s Main Streets Contest, and we are eligible for $25,000! It’s important to vote everyday because we can only expand and advance with your help.

The Brickyard is just an empty space without Laurelites to fill it up. Whether you want to see Downtown Laurel sparkling with lights, Downtown businesses flourishing, Downtown Thursdays filled with more vendors and activities, vote every day.

Click Here to Vote Now

We have a great problem!

We are moving forward so quickly that we have to take a breath and gather our wits; we have so many good things happening that we have to remember that we are not dreaming.

We are expecting another great year as Mississippi’s Downtown and hoping to be the #1 Main Street in the United States! Click here to make it happen, and hold on as we get swept away in all the good things to come!

Written by Keri Rowell

Keri is a member of the Laurel Main Street Board of Directors and the Promotions Committee Chair. She has been involved with Laurel Main Street since high school, and owns a small business in Downtown Laurel.