Thank You for an Awesome April!

Laurel Main Street welcomed spring with back to back events in April and we can’t thank you enough for your support!  All Laurel Main Street events serve to further the purpose of our organization, which is to establish a vibrant commercial district in and around Downtown Laurel, enhance our community and heritage, foster a center of activity and ensure economic stability for the heart of our city.  While Touch a Truck didn’t got exactly as planned, we’re so thankful for the exhibitors and attendees who came and enjoyed the morning with us.

The inaugural Community Bank Downtown Crawfest was a smashing success!  Crawfest goers were treated to a day of all you care to eat crawfish from our 22 competition teams, plus unique fixins’ such as pineapple and ravioli.  The teams went above and beyond to set themselves apart, which made for a fun day for everyone!  We were so thankful for the beautiful weather, great music from the Pinebelt Pickers, and copious amounts of crawfish!  It was our honor and privilege to partner with the Sertoma Club of Laurel for this event and we look forward to doing it again next year!

 

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural Community Bank Downtown Crawfest!

Most Spirited: Southern Spice

Sprit Award

People’s Choice: Dr. Mudbug and the Crawfish Bandits

People's Choice

Covfefe (add-ins) Category:

3rd place — Tails & Ales

2nd place — Crossroad Grilling and Catering

1st place — Family Heritage

Covfefe winner

Crawfish Category:

3rd place — Brian Ginn State Farm

2nd place — Stew’s Crew

1st place — Humana Tail Pinchers

Crawfish winner

Special thanks to Powers Fire & Rescue for providing cooking water for our teams.  We would also like to thank the City of Laurel, Laurel Police Department, Laurel Fire Department, Sertoma Club of Laurel and Sertoma Teen Volunteers, Suez Water, Lott Furniture Co., Southern Beverage, B Clean LLC, Kim’s No Bull, The Crawdaddy Shack,  Shuff Mauldin State Farm, Woodland Realty, Inc., Endom Trailer, Phillips Building Supply, Rent All of Laurel, Inc., Caves & Caves, PLLC, and Laurel Country Club!

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. Randy 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

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