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.”

Mississippi Main Street Announces 2022 Award Winners

JACKSON, Miss. (June 16, 2022) –

The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) celebrated achievements of Mississippi Main Street Communities at the Annual Awards Luncheon at The South Warehouse in downtown Jackson.

The annual awards luncheon honors Main Street directors, board members and volunteers and recognizes the most outstanding downtown development and preservation projects and events from Main Street communities in Mississippi.

“The Annual Awards Luncheon is the highlight of our year where we get to celebrate the people, projects, and initiatives that make Mississippi’s downtowns the hub of activity in their communities,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA Executive Director. “Our local Main Street programs work hard to implement a strategic plan of work focused on downtown revitalization, and we are proud to recognize the success stories that our programs accomplished over the past year.”

MMSA staff presented the 2022 awards to recipients from Designated Main Street Communities throughout the state.

This year’s award recipients are:

Biloxi Main Street

Team Cleveland Main Street

Main Street Clinton

Main Street Columbus

Main Street Greenville

Main Street Greenwood, Inc.

Downtown Hattiesburg Association

Holly Springs Main Street Chamber

Laurel Main Street

Nettleton Main Street

New Albany Main Street

Ocean Springs Main Street

Main Street Pascagoula

Picayune Main Street, Inc.

Pontotoc County Main Street Chamber

Ripley Main Street

Senatobia Main Street

Sumrall Main Street Association

Starkville Main Street Association

Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association

Vicksburg Main Street Program

West Point Main Street

Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street Association

2021-2022 MMSA Board President Chris Chain of Renovations of Mississippi recognized award sponsors, annual investors, and special guests before presiding over the general business meeting.

In addition, the 2022 Nationally Accredited Main Street programs were recognized, as well as new community members, and Main Street directors who have served for 10 years or longer in their communities.

This year’s Annual Awards Sponsors include Hotel 27, Atmos Energy, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Belinda Stewart Architects, Mississippi State University Extension, the Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center, Main Street Pascagoula, and New Albany Main Street. Mrs. Paula Beasley of Gulfport provided the Charles Beasley Scholarship Award for the Outstanding Main Street Director of the Year.

The Mississippi Development Authority, Entergy Mississippi, Mississippi Power, and Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area were recognized as corporate sponsors of this year’s awards program.

In 2021, Mississippi Main Street’s Designated Communities generated 193 net new businesses, 49 business expansions to existing businesses, 603 net new jobs, 58 building rehabilitations, and 241 downtown residential units. In addition, 95 public improvement projects were completed as well as 14 new construction projects in downtown business districts. More than $186 million was invested by the public and private sectors in 2021, and more than 28,452 volunteer hours were recorded.

Every dollar spent in this organization results in $80 of private investment, the highest return on investment of any economic activity in the state. Since 1993, MMSA has generated more than $5.9 billion in private and public investment (including more than $1.6 billion in public investment).

MMSA currently has 48 Designated Main Street Communities, five Network Communities, and 13 Associate Communities.

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2022 Award Winners

Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) is a catalyst for the preservation and economic revitalization of Mississippi’s historic downtowns and districts. As a Main Street America™ Coordinating Program, MMSA helps lead a powerful, grassroots network consisting of more than 40 Coordinating Programs and over 1,200 neighborhoods and communities across the country committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.

Crawfest: Pinch, Peel, Eat, Repeat

It is officially time for the return of Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest this Saturday, April 23rd starting at 11 AM and continuing on until 3 PM! There will be live music, drinks, and LOTS of crawfish to taste all day long in Downtown Laurel!

 

Save Me Some Crawfish!

If you are looking for the perfect thing to do this Saturday, it is to come to Front Street for our annual crawfish festival! Check-in will begin at 11 Am at the corner of West Oak & Front Street, where you can purchase a $15 ticket for all the tastings you desire, or a $30 ticket for endless tastings and 5lbs of crawfish & add-ins! Tickets will be available for purchase at check-in or online by clicking here. Kids under TWELVE enter & eat for free! Not wanting to indulge in any crawfish? That’s okay, you can purchase Chick Fil A on-site and still hang out with us!

What else is happening?

  • We will be “splitting the pot” for cash! Purchase 1 ticket for $10 OR 5 tickets for $40. You do not have to be present to win.
  • T-Shirts will be available for purchase $25! Check out our social media page to enter a giveaway to win a free shirt plus another goodie thanks to Community Bank.

  • We will have live music by Ty Taylor & Kinfolk!

  • Our Downtown merchants will be open for business. Stop by and shop around, you may even get a good deal during the event!

 

We are so excited to have you join us this Saturday for a day full of fun and crawfish! This event would not be possible with out the support of our amazing sponsors and volunteers. We would like to give a special thank you to Community Bank & the Sertoma Club of Laurel!! Make sure to check out who will be picking our winners of the crawfish festival on our blog: 2022 Crawfest Judges plus a Surprise Judge! See y’all Saturday!!

 

 

2022 Crawfest Judges plus a Surpise Judge

Ready, Set, Boil- Let’s Meet the judges of Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest for 2022 that is taking place in Downtown Laurel this Saturday, April 23rd at 11 AM – 3 PM!

Be Our Surprise Judge

All you have to do to is click this link http://laurelmainstreet.com/join/ to become a member of Laurel Main Street to be entered into a drawing to be on the 2022 Crawfest judge’s panel as a SURPRISE JUDGE!
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Lucy Nguyen

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We are so excited to announce that our Surprise Judge for Crawfest is Lucy Nguyen!! Lucy is a Laurel resident, originally from Pensacola, FL with a deep love for Cajun food. She recently opened Elysian Beauty Bar in Downtown Laurel, where she offers luxury nail services to guarantee that you’ll have the best nails while pinchin’ tails! She’s so excited to be this year’s Surprise Judge!!

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Stalekracker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stalekracker, aka Justin Chiasson, is a TikTok star known for his humorous and instructive cooking videos. This Louisiana native is an expertise when it comes to crawfish!

Jonathan Papelbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Papelbon is a former Major League Baseball player, most notably for the Boston Red Sox as a relief pitcher, while also playing for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals. Jonathan is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and currently resides in Hattiesburg, MS.

Jim Provost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Provost is a Laurel resident and has been a knife maker since 1979. Jim crafts each knife with handmade products and various materials. He is also a retired engineer, which is beneficial when crafting knives.

Thomas Gregory

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Thomas Gregory is the State Coordinator for the Mississippi Main Street Association, where he leads the organization’s administrative, advocacy, and development efforts. He currently resides in his hometown of Greenwood, MS with his wife and their two children.

Jump into March with Laurel Leap Day

This Saturday, March 5th, from 10 AM to 5 PM, the second annual Laurel Leap Day 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will be taking place in Downtown Laurel on Front Street!

Get your teams together and register to play in the tournament! Cash prizes will be awarded at the end of the tournament. 1st place will win $500, 2nd place $200, and 3rd place $100. The 1st place team will also receive the Laurel Leap Day trophy and bragging rights for a year!

If playing on a team isn’t your style, then enter the Slam Dunk Competition or the 3-Point Shootout to really show off your skills during half-time! Each of these competitions is $10 to enter, kids and adults are welcome, and you can also win cash prizes. There will also be a Best Uniform overall winner!

2022 Schedule of Events

Friday, March 4th

3:00 PM: Blind drawing for bracket slots (Facebook live).

5:00 PM: Tournament bracket will be posted to social media with estimated times for the first games.

Saturday, March 5th

10:00 AM: Tournament begins

12:00 PM: Tournament pauses:

Kids Free Throw competition 

Announcement of Best Uniform award

3-Point Competition

Dunk Competition

1:30 PM: Tournament resumes

3:30 PM: Youth dance team performs before the championship game

4:00 PM: Winners announced!

 

Our Distinguished Judges

 

 

 

 

 

 

First up, we have HGTV’s HomeTown star, Ben Napier!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next is Grace Amos from Laurel City Council, Ward 6!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least is Darren Dodd, the Senior Vice President at First State Bank!

 

Fun On & Off the Court

Come out this Saturday to cheer on these teams and all your local basketball players participating; FREE admission! There will be food trucks, beer and beverages, and a DJ! We are so excited to have DJ Trey Trizzle at this event. The food vendors that will be at Laurel Leap Day will include: Boochie Brothers BBQ, Norton Holifield Corn Dogs & Tea, and Pasta Bella. There’s been a lot of big talk between the teams this year, and the competition is definitely going to be heated on the court!!

Thank You, Sponsors!

Nothing is possible without the support of these fantastic sponsors making this event bigger and better than the first year! Thank you for your sponsorship!

Slam Dunk Sponsor:

First State Bank

Sharp Shooter Sponsors:

Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder, Yoder & Leggett

South Central Regional Medical Center

PlayMaker Sponsors:

Lott Furniture

Longleaf Tea Co.