What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

The 1920s was a decade of prosperity and dissipation, and of jazz bands, bootleggers, raccoon coats, bathtub gin, flappers, flagpole sitters, and marathon dancers, and in a few short weeks, the streets of downtown Laurel will be filled with revelers welcoming the “Roaring 20s” back to Laurel.

In the 1920s, Laurel was a city on the move. The Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company was booming and Laurel was known as the Yellow Pine Capital of the World. The sawmills were shipping out one million board feet of lumber daily on rail car. People were moving to town for jobs at the newly formed Masonite Corporation and visitors and residents alike enjoyed going to the picture show at the newly constructed Arabian Theatre.

The inaugural Downtown Countdown is a free event held in the heart of Downtown Laurel. Beer and Champagne will be served, as well as food from food trucks. Some of your favorite downtown restaurants will also be open during the festivities: Lee’s Coffee & Tea, Slow Boat Brewing Co., and The Loft on Central.

VIP Area

The VIP tent will be in front of Mimmo’s Ristorante Pizzeria and will be open from 6:00 p.m. until the end of the event. Guests will enjoy exclusive live entertainment, seating, firework show viewing, refreshments by The Gables, a fully stocked cash bar, casino games, a cigar bar by Guild & Gentry, private restrooms, and premium parking. Our theme for the Downtown Countdown VIP area is “Roaring into the 20s,” so get creative and dress to impress! Click here to purchase VIP tickets for $100 each. Please note, the VIP area is for those 21 and up only.

On the Main Stage

Live entertainment is brought to you by our platinum sponsor, Howard Industries. Red & the Revelers is a collection of musicians from Mobile, AL and the Gulf Coast, and they’re sure to delight with their mixture of Americana and Deep South Soul. Emerald Empire from Birmingham, Alabama will follow with their high energy performances of the songs you know and love.

Be sure to stay until midnight when we lower our custom made 70 foot Pinecone and for a spectacular fireworks display! This dazzling display would not be possible without the creative team at Headrick Signs & Graphics and the generous sponsorship of Bancorp South.

For the Kids

The children’s area will be located on the 400 block of N. Magnolia Street and will feature music, games, activities, and face painting. At 8:00 p.m. there will be a kids countdown by Ben and Erin Napier of HGTV Home Town, a balloon drop, and a mini firework show. The appreciate the generous sponsorship of Shug’s Cookie Dough and Candy Bar, Crescent Line Toys and The Loblolly Boutique for the children’s activities.

Event Schedule

6:00 p.m.

Food Truck and Beer Service begins on Oak Street

Kids Area activities begin on the 400 block of North Magnolia Street

8:00 p.m.

Kids balloon drop and firework show

Red & the Revelers begin on the Main Stage

9:00 p.m.

Emerald Empire on the Main Stage

11:30-11:55 p.m.

Champagne Service

12:00 a.m.

Pinecone Drop

Firework Show

Midnight Performance

Loblolly Festival: Things to Know Before You Go

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — It’s time for Loblolly Festival!  This year’s festival is one you won’t soon forget and here are some tips to help you enjoy Loblolly Festival, whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran.  The Loblolly Festival is one of Laurel’s biggest events with over 12,000 people attending annually, so lace up your walking shoes, it’s festival time!

Beat the Crowds:

The festival officially starts at 9am, so if you want to get first pick of the merchandise or avoid the crowds, come early.

Get a T-Shirt While You Can:

Stop by the Laurel Main Street trailer, which will be station on West Oak St., and purchase a commemorative Laurel Main Street 10 year anniversary t-shirt or a Loblolly Festival t-shirt.  Make this one of your first stops because these shirts will go fast!

Wear Your Walking Shoes:

Loblolly Festival covers almost all of the central business district of downtown Laurel and includes over 120 vendors, crafters, performers, and activities. You’re bound to see a lot of people you know and some you forgot you knew!

Check the map and entertainment schedule:

When you arrive be sure to pick up a map.  It will help you get the lay of the land, and if you’re a strategic shopper, this will definitely make it easier for you to find any specific vendors you came to see.

 

Bring cash:

Some vendors accept credit cards, but not all do.  There is an ATM located downtown at the Laurel Welcome Center inside the First National Bank building as well as BancorpSouth.

Be sure to check out the brick and mortar merchants too:

Most downtown retail stores are open during the festival and many offer sales, specials, and live music.

Check the weather:

Loblolly Festival is a rain or shine event so check the weather and dress accordingly.  The Laurel YWCO will be open and available to the community from 10am – 2pm during the Loblolly Festival.  Come in to cool off and enjoy your lunch in the tea room! 

Sip & Stroll:

The walkable downtown area comprises a social district, which allows downtown patrons to “sip and stroll” as long as their beverages are in a “to-go” cup.  Open container laws are still in effect.  Please drink responsibly.

“The One” Awards

Once a year the Laurel Main Street organization honors members of our downtown community for their commitment to the Main Street cause and their dedication to our community with “The One” Awards.  The awards were named for a phrase that pops up again and again during brainstorming or event planning sessions:

“Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of THE ONEs who are doing it!” 

We celebrate the dreamers, the doers, and THE ONES whose desire to improve their community is evident in all their pursuits.Attendees enjoying dinner at Laurel Main Street's annual awards banquet.

LMS President, Lew Yoder, welcomes attendees to the annual awards banquet.

Our attendees enjoyed great food and fellowship at Studio5Fifty with those who share their affinity for downtown Laurel.  Awards were created by local calligrapher and artist Jade Yoder of Paper Studio and were presented by Laurel Main Street President, Lew Yoder.

Downtown Business of the Year

Wayne & Melissa Bryant, owners of The Loblolly Boutique & Crescent Line Toys were named Downtown Business of the Year.  They are THE ONES who have worked tirelessly to create an engaging and inviting atmosphere inside their store, and even on the sidewalk in front!  Their work in the downtown community is widespread and we appreciate their dedication to downtown Laurel and Laurel Main Street!  Whether they are rallying downtown merchants, creating the most magical scene in Trustmark Art Park for The Magic of Downtown at Christmas, the Bryants have shown that their love for downtown knows no bounds.

award recipients accepting their award

The children of Wayne & Melissa Bryant accepting the award for Downtown Business of the Year on their behalf.

THE ONE Award

THE ONE Award is presented each year to Laurel Main Street’s top volunteer.  This year, Carl & Mandy Buchanan received THE ONE Award.  The Buchanans are fixtures of the downtown scene and are always ready to lend a hand.  At Main Street events, you’ll often find Mandy helping out in the t-shirt trailer, but their real dedication shines in their artwork.  For years, attendees to the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off have had the opportunity to purchase one of Carl’s “bottomless” chili bowls.  These one-of-a-kind bowls have somewhat of a cult following, with people from around the world asking if they can purchase one and have it shipped to them.  Carl and Mandy also create the awards for the Chili Cook Off and Crawfest — unique platters, which serve as a reminder of a wonderful day in downtown Laurel.  The Buchanans serve with a cheerful heart and are always on board to lend a hand or throw an extra bowl in the kiln.  Thank you for your service to Laurel Main Street!

award recipients accepting their award

Carl & Mandy Buchanan receive “The One” award for Laurel Main Street volunteers of the year.

 

 

 

All photos property of Robby Scruggs and Scruggs Photography.

#GetDowntown This Thursday!

The temperatures are rising and school’s out for summer! Everyone is looking forward to the longer days and activities that summer brings. A favorite summertime event in Laurel is “Downtown Thursday,” a series of family-friendly evenings every Thursday night beginning May 30 and lasting until June 27. Friends from all over Mississippi and beyond are welcome to attend this exciting, fun-filled season of fresh produce, live entertainment, movies, and community.

The evenings will kick off with a Farmers Market from 5-8 p.m. and will continue with a family-friendly movie at The Backlot. Each night will feature live music on the Coca-Cola Main Stage outside of Southern Antiques, along with great food and endless fun.

The Laurel Farmers Market

The Laurel Farmers Market is definitely not your usual farmers market! It offers a street fair environment with something different going on each week, with kids’ activities, food trucks, and live music! At its new location on North Magnolia Street, the Laurel Farmers Market will be open for business from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. under the lights of downtown. Aside from stocking up on fruits, vegetables, and an assortment of homemade foods, visitors to this market can also stop by the many merchants along Magnolia Street and the entire downtown. This seasonal market attracts local farmers, gardeners, artisans, and craftsmen, resulting in an impressive variety of merchandise. Check out the Laurel Farmers Market for yourself every Thursday starting May 30 – through June 27.

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor at the Laurel Farmers Market, click here to register.

Farmers Market Entertainment Line-up

entertainment lineup

 

Downtown Movie Night

Downtown Movie Night is a highly anticipated summertime event and it gets bigger and better each year! Join us in The Backlot at the end of Magnolia Street after the Farmer’s Market for family-friendly movies under the stars.

movie line up

 

These fantastic events would not be possible without signature sponsor, Sunbelt Federal Credit Union. Laurel Main Street is proud to partner with The Agape Church and Sunbelt FCU to continue bringing Downtown Thursday fun to Laurel!

Coming Attractions: Downtown Thursday!

Agape Church, in partnership with Laurel Main Street, proudly presents Downtown Thursday! This is the premier community and entertainment event of the summer sponsored by Sunbelt Federal Credit Union! Downtown Thursday combines Farmers Market and Downtown Movie Night into a Thursday Night experience for all ages. This year’s season begins on Thursday, May 30 and will continue EVERY THURDAY through June 27, 2019.

The LAUREL FARMERS MARKET is back from 5pm-8pm on the 300 block of North Magnolia Street in front of our downtown merchants like Adam Trest Home, Southern Antiques, JParker Reclaimed, Café LaFleur, The Loblolly Boutique and many more. The Laurel Farmers Market is not only a great place to purchase local produce and goods, but it is a place to enjoy the day with family and friends. The Coca-Cola Stage will feature live music acts with a variety of genres country, r&b, rock, jazz and more! The Laurel Farmers Market is a rain or shine event.

“We are hoping to add even more vendors to this year’s market so we can provide a nice selection of goods. The number of vendors usually increases as the growing season progresses and there is still time to participate,” said Nece Hill, Laurel Farmers Market manager. Applications are online at DowntownThursday.com and are first come, first served for spaces.

The 10th SEASON OF DOWNTOWN MOVIE NIGHT begins at 8pm at The BACKLOT, located on the corner of N. Magnolia and Library Street. This year we have some surprises to make this the best season yet! The Kick-Off Fireworks Show is back again this year on Thursday, May 30th at 8pm! Food, drinks and T-shirts will be available for purchase each night. So, grab your friends, family, neighbors, a lawn chair, or favorite blanket and join us for a great summer in beautiful, Downtown Laurel. Vendor applications are now being accepted at DowntownThursday.com as well!

For more information, entertainment schedule, movie line-up or to purchase one of this year’s custom t-shirts, check out the Downtown Thursday websitewww.DowntownThursday.com.

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