Holidays Downtown in Laurel

Holidays Downtown in Laurel have already begun, but the events get bigger and better as the month progresses.

By now, everyone has started Christmas shopping, and we hope you are shopping local! Cherish the special moments that come with the holidays, and spend the holidays downtown in Laurel and Christmas season to savor these precious moments.

Bancorp Tree Lighting

On Friday, December 3rd @6 PM, the Mayor of Laurel will be lighting the city Christmas tree in Pinehurst Park sponsored by BancorpSouth!  Enjoy music by First United Methodist Church, and indulge in a cup of hot cocoa from local businesses to stay warm!

Sertoma Christmas Parade

Following the Downtown Tree Lighting @7 PM on Friday, December 3rd is the 39th annual Laurel Sertoma Christmas parade!  Delight in ‘The Blessing of Christmas’ downtown. The parade will begin east on Mason Street and end on Sawmill Road. The Grand Marshal will be the Honey Island Clydesdales. Also, the Coca-Cola Christmas truck will also be featured in the parade.

Kiwanis Pancake Day

The Kiwanis Club of Laurel will be hosting the annual Kiwanis Pancake Day on Saturday, December 4th from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the YWCO located at 428 West Oak Street and First Baptist Church of Laurel located at 607 West 5th Street. Dine-in or to-go plates will be available. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from a Kiwanis Club member. This event is a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Laurel with the proceeds going to scholarships at local schools. Come enjoy the tradition of all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage!

Laurel Mercantile 5th Anniversary

Head downtown to the Laurel Mercantile Co., owned by Ben and Erin Napier as seen on HGTV’s Hometown, on Saturday, December 4th to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the store! There will be vendors on the lawn, carolers, and more to help celebrate Laurel Mercantile Co.!

Magic of Downtown

Come experience the ‘Magic of Christmas’ in Downtown Laurel on December 17th from 5:00 until 9:00 PM!  There will be more details to come soon, but the evening will be filled with shopping, Christmas cheer, and holiday activities!

Downtown Countdown

Stay tuned for a blog post full of details for Laurel’s New Year’s Eve celebration! Here is a little sneak peek…we WILL be dropping the pine cone at midnight!

 

Wine Down is Winding Down for 2021

October’s Wine Down Downtown Laurel Main Street Wine Tumbler.

The last Wine Down Downtown for the year is in Downtown Laurel, Mississippi, on Friday, November 12th, from 5-8 PM! Head Downtown as Wine Down is winding down for the year for a relaxing night of wine tasting.  

What’s happening in Laurel in November?

Wine Down Downtown is a wine tasting event hosted by Laurel Main Street during various months throughout the year. Tasting stations are located at the businesses in the walkable downtown area, and a vast range of wines will be available. Tastes of about 2 ounces are served to all guests who have their ticket, which is your wine tumbler purchased at check-in.

How do I purchase a ticket for Wine Down?

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the check-in on Central Avenue, Front Street, or online via Eventbrite. Your ticket for tasting at Wine Down is a re-usable Laurel Main Street wine tumbler! The color of the wine tumbler changes for each month. You must be 21 to purchase/ID required to buy wine tumblers/tickets. When you come to Wine Down, you are buying a ticket and a Laurel souvenir all in one!

Eventbrite Pre-Event Ticket Purchase:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wine-down-downtown-tickets-167772673583 

The Classix, the featured band for the October event. DJ Peaches will be entertaining everyone at Wine Down in November at the Trustmark Art Park.

Not a wine drinker?  Shop and enjoy a good time!!

If you are not a wine drinker, there is still something for you at Wine Down! The businesses participating in Wine Down Downtown will be open for extended hours for this event from 5-8 PM. Enjoy some early Christmas shopping at Wine Down!  There may be some great deals going on during this event. You can also enjoy live music at the TrustMark Art Park during this time by DJ Peaches for free! The Art Park is an excellent space for you to sit back, relax, and if you have kids, this is a wonderful space for them to play! 

November 12th is the very last Wine Down of 2021, so you do not want to miss this event!! Let’s relax, enjoy a good time, and wind down for 2021 at Wine Down Downtown before the holidays begin.

Wine not come to the last Wine Down of 2021?? We will see you soon!

Save the Date: Loblolly Festival is Back!

We have great news: Loblolly Festival is on. 

Mark your calendars and call your friends, because Loblolly Festival will be held Saturday, October 2nd, 2021! After a missed year, we are so excited to bring back everyone’s favorite festival this Fall.

This event has steadily grown over the years to become the biggest annual event in Downtown Laurel. We look forward to welcoming thousands to stroll our streets, enjoy live music, unique shopping, and lots of fun and good eats.

What better way to welcome Fall?

What to Expect

Loblolly Festival is held in the central Downtown district of Laurel 9AM-4Pm, usually covering Front Street, N Magnolia Street, Central Avenue, Oak Street, and part of N 5th Avenue. We hope for this year’s event to be the biggest and the best, but please note ongoing construction on Central Avenue and Leontyne Price Boulevard.

Due to street closures, vendors will not be placed in areas of active construction. Because of this, our layout will look a little different this year. However, our shops and eateries in that area will still be open and ready to serve you! Keep watch closer to the event for more information on parking and maps.

Loblolly Festival is always the first Saturday in October, rain or shine! Regardless of the weather, we will be Downtown having lots of fun. Make sure to watch the forecast to see what to wear and to bring along.

Arts, Crafts, Food, and Family Fun

This is a great event for everyone in the family! Be ready to enjoy kids activities, live music, specials at local businesses, a variety of shopping from vendors all over the region, and craft beer.

Loblolly coincides with Laurel Main Street’s annual Scarecrow Invasion, the Heritage Art Festival, and First Methodist Church of Laurel’s pumpkin patch.

A yearly cash prize contest for middle school and high school artists is sponsored by The Laurel Arts League.  Students paint a door skin section supplied by Masonite Corporation in cooperation with a chosen theme.  Themes vary from year to year, and  the art is judged by a blind panel of visual art experts. The art will be on display at the festival in the downtown YWCO on W. Oak St. during Loblolly Festival!

More to Explore

More information on Loblolly festival is coming soon! While you’re making plans to be there, check out these blogs on where Loblolly came from and how it celebrate’s Laurel’s Heritage.

Loblolly Festival: Celebrating the Town that Timber Built

Loblolly: The Power of a Historical Name

Be a Vendor

We are still accepting vendors for this year’s festival!

There are four categories of vendors at the Loblolly Festival: Food Vendor, Activity Vendor, Organization, Arts & Crafts.   Applications are available beginning every July (early rate), August (standard rate), and September (late rate).

We would love to have you: Apply Here


Check back with us for more announcements to come like our annual Scarecrow Invasion, the music lineup for Loblolly Festival, and more fun this Fall! We will meet you back here with a complete guide of everything going on at Loblolly festival.

Thank you to Howard Industries, Inc. for helping make this year’s event possible!

 

LAUREL MAIN STREET CANCELS NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENT

 

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                       Contact: Susan Ladd,

Laurel Main Street                                                                                                                                                     Executive Director

                                                                                                                                                                                                  (601) 433-3255

      

LAUREL MAIN STREET CANCELS NEW YEAR’S EVE EVENT

Laurel, Mississippi (December 15, 2020) — It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that Laurel Main Street (LMS) announces the cancellation of this year’s Downtown Countdown, due to take place on December 31, 2020.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but given the growing concerns around COVID-19, the Laurel Main Street Board of Directors felt it was the right decision. Downtown Countdown was an incredibly successful event in its inaugural year, and one we looked forward to continuing, but we must prioritize the health and safety of our partners, volunteers, and community.

“We are devastated to share this news and had held out hope that our county and city would be in a much healthier situation, but that is not the case,” LMS President, Truitt Taylor, stated.  “After reviewing the Governor’s mandates, the rise of COVID-19 cases in our area, and in close consultation with our city leaders, we believe that cancellation is the appropriate call.”

We remain committed to downtown Laurel and our mission of economic revitalization. We appreciate the support of our city leaders, Main Street Partners, Members, and event sponsors, and we look forward to resuming in-person events in 2021.

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Laurel Main Street is an organization dedicated to the revitalization of Historic Downtown Laurel. 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 is an accredited Main Street America organization.

Top 5 Reasons to Shop Local This Holiday Season

This holiday season looks a little different, but we can still share joy. Shop Small and support your favorite small businesses – both in-store and online – all holiday season long.

1. Economic Stimulus. Supporting local is more than just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle. Shopping locally supports local families and our local economy by keeping dollars local, so they can make more of an impact in our town. When someone opens their own business, they hire local people, pay local taxes, and source goods locally. When you shop local, you expand opportunity for others in your community. The health of small business is a direct reflection of the overall well-being of a community. Healthy Small Businesses = Healthy Local Economy.

 

2. Connect & Experience. We live in a “buy with one click” world. But there are still many consumers who want an experience, who desire interaction; that’s where small businesses and downtowns can thrive. They serve as a place to socialize and gather. Shopping locally means bumping into friends, benefitting from the expertise of local retailers, enjoying lively streets, and discovering something new. In a world where people are plugged in 24-7, many folks still desire a unique shopping experience.

3. Job Creation. Small, local businesses are the largest employers nationally. Compared to Amazon, independent retailers create 2x as many jobs for the same amount of revenue.1 Plus, the more jobs you have in your local community, the less people are going to have to commute, which means more time and less traffic.

4. Community Investment. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future. Local business owners also donate more to local charities than non-local owners. In places with more local businesses, people have stronger social ties2 and participate in more civic affairs.3

5. You Matter More. You might have read about exerting influence with your purchasing choices, or “voting with your wallet.” It’s a fact that all businesses respond to their customers, but your values and desires are much more influential to your local business than the big box stores.

Promoting the “support local” initiative is something that we celebrate as an organization on a daily basis. We value strong partnerships with the business community, and we believe that people want to support local businesses too. But if you MUST shop on Amazon, consider enrolling in the AmazonSmile program and designating Laurel Main Street as your charity of choice. Click here for more information on the AmazonSmile program and how you can help local non-profits.

 

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources, employ local workers, and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.

– paraphrased from Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

 

  1. “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nov. 2016
  2. “The Health and Wealth of US Counties,” Troy C. Blanchard, et. All., Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society, 2011.
  3. “The Configuration of Local Economic Power and Civic Participation in the Global Economy,” Troy Blanchard and Todd L. Matthews, Social Forces, June 2006.