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.

Wine Down Downtown is Back for 2022

Wine Down Downtown is back for 2022 and we are SO excited! Will you be joining us to ‘wine down’ after a long week? This Spring, Wine Down Downtown will be hosted on March 25th, April 8th, and May 13th from 5PM until 8PM in Downtown Laurel! For more information on all things ‘Wine Down Downtown’ check out the page on our website by clicking here!

I’m Ready! I Want a Ticket!

If you will be joining us at Wine Down, you can purchase your tickets online here for $15! Make sure you select the corrcet day you would like and you must be 21 or older (ID required) to participate in wine tasting.We serve tastes that are equivalent to about a 2 ounce pour with pours being limited to 1 pour per person, per location. Also, there will be ONE entrance and check-in at the Laurel Main Street entry tent on the corner of Central Avenue & Magnolia Street. One unique aspect of this event is that your ticket is Laurel Main Street Wine Tumbler that changes every month!

Attend Wine Down March 25th to get this wine tumbler when you purchase a ticket to taste!

Fun for Everyone

Beer/Liquor/non-alcoholic drinks can be purchased from several downtown restaurants as well as The 5000, The Knight Butcher, Mimmo’s, Cafe La Fleur, The Loft, Shug’s, Lee’s Coffee & Tea, and Scotsman General Store will also be serving various drinks besides wine. Bring your kids and family to allow them to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather at the parks in downtown and some live music by The Classix at the TrustMark Art Park! We will also have BINGO cards at check-in that can be stamped at the businesses along Central Avenue and within the construction areas.

Limited Edition Wine Down Tees

‘Sip Sip, Horray!’ We will be selling limited edition Wine Down Downtown tees for $25 at the event & we will have sizes S-3X! T-shirts can be purchased when you check-in at the Laurel Main Street tent. These t-shirts will be first come first serve, so get to Downtown early to get yours!

We would like to extend a special thanks to our volunteers, downtown business owners, the City of Laurel, sponsors, and donations provided by Community Bank, Doc’s Eastside Wine and Liquor & George’s Wine and Liquor.

 

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.

Meet the 2022 Chili Cook Off Judges!

The teams are doing final preparations until the big competition of the 2022 Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off in Downtown Laurel! Make sure to get your tickets and be ready to taste the best chili in Mississippi on Saturday, February 12th. The chili cook off judges are going to have a tough job of picking a winner.

 

Let’s Meet the Judges!

For the first time EVER, we’re choosing a Chili Cook-Off judge by random draw! All you have to do to enter is become a member of Laurel Main Street. The chance to be a 2022 judge comes along with playing the important role of being a supporter of Downtown Laurel’s bright future. To be entered into the drawing to become the surprise judge, head over to www.laurelmainstreet.com to become a Laurel Main Street member!

 

 

 

 

Elliot Bell is the chef and owner of Bird Dog on Short 7th Avenue here in Laurel, Mississippi, which he runs with his family. He has spent most of the last two decades working in various kitchen roles along highway 30A in Walton County Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirk Durham is the director of Hometown and producer of Ben’s Workshop. He is so excited to call Laurel home – and to be a judge!  In Kirk’s 20+ years in TV, he’s produced cooking shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and Emeril Lagasse’s Eat the World.  Originally from California, he lives in Laurel with his wife, Christy, and son, Nolan – with a daughter in college in San Diego.

 

 

 

 

 

Jermarcus Ross is the Director of Tumbling at ACE Cheer of Laurel! He’s been serving Laurel as a mentor and leader for years. Recently, he’s been traveling more and experiencing various foods and cultural cuisines. He is super thrilled to see what the Chef’s throw at them. Jermarcus said that he will be sure to help bring energy and excitement to the judges’ panel!

 

 

 

 

Thank you to our amazing sponsors for making this event possible!

 

So much hard work goes into this event and it would not be possible without the incredible sponsors by our side! Thank you!

 

Signature Sponsor: Magnolia State Bank

Blazing Sponsors: B Clean, LLC & Jones County Board of Supervisors

Hot Sponsors: Sanderson Farms, The City of Laurel, Jones County Chamber of Commerce, and Southern Beverage Company

Spicy Sponsors: Mississippi Power & Mike Axton

Our Producers: B95 Country/Rock 104, Supertalk Laurel, Studio5fifty, The Laurel Shop, Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar, Jeremy Brooke, United Way of the Pine Belt, The Loft on Central Ave, Dunn Roadbuilders, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, and Endom Trailer

 

10th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!

Do you smell that? That’s the smell of homemade chili cooking up for the 10th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off! Things are heating up and we have a great lineup for the competition!!

On Saturday, February 12, 2022, Downtown Laurel will host the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off! This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of this event! Join us from 11 AM until 3 PM in Downtown as some of the best cooks in the area serve up their best bowl of chili! In the previous years of the chili cook off, the event has been hosted on Central Avenue, but due to the construction, the event will be hosted on Magnolia and Oak Street. We look forward to bringing this event back to its home on Central avenue next year.

Where can I buy a ticket?

Chili will be sold by the ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ $15 entry and by the ‘Bottomless’ $30 keepsake pottery bowl. The bottomless bowls are handcrafted by local potter, Jeremy Brooke, as pictured above. Each team is given tasting cups by which to serve chili. $15 entries allow attendees to browse teams and taste all the chili so that they can vote for the People’s Choice and fill up on delicious food along the way! You can purchase tickets by following this link!

Handcrafted, pottery bowls by Jeremy Brooke that are being sold for the ‘Bottomless’ Chili Cook Off tickets.

Don’t forget to bring the whole family to this event! There will be Coke products, beer, and live music! Also, kids under the age of twelve can grab a hot dog at the Magnolia State Bank Hospitality Tent, sample the chili, and enjoy the festivities for FREE! Although we love our furry friends, we ask that you leave your pets at home for this event.

Who picks the winners?

There will be a panel of qualified judges that will be picking the Chili Cook Off winners! Check out our blog to Meet the Judges to find out who is picking the 10th Annual Chili Cook Off winner!!!

What are the prizes?

The prizes awarded to the winners are generously provided by Magnolia State Bank.

  • Grand Prize (Traditional): $1000 & The Chili Pepper traveling trophy
  • 2nd Place Traditional:  $300

 

  • Grand Prize (Homestyle): $1,000 & The Chili Pot traveling trophy
  • 2nd Place Homestyle:  $300

 

  • People’s Choice: $200 & Hand-crafted pottery by Jeremy Brooke
  • Spirit Tent Theme Award: $200 & Hand-crafted pottery by Jeremy Brooke

Previous winners of the Chili Cook Off.

Thank you to all of the amazing sponsors, participants, and Magnolia State Bank for this amazing event year after year!

We are so excited to be hosting this event for the 10th year, and we look forward to seeing you in Downtown Laurel On Saturday, February 12th @11 PM – 3 PM for the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off!!