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.

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.

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!!

 

 

Shop Central Avenue and Be Mine this Valentine’s!

Shop Central Avenue and Be Mine this Valentine’s in Downtown Laurel! Let’s spread the love and shop local!

Pardon our progress as construction on Central Avenue continues! We know that some of the streets in the downtown area being closed is not ideal and we anticipate the day of completion, but while we patiently wait we can still support our local businesses that are in the midst of the construction. Let’s make an effort to show these businesses a little extra love as the beautification of Downtown Laurel finishes up!

Pasta Bella

Pasta Bella has temporarily closed its dining room, but thankfully you can still cure your Italian, Patsa Bella craving at Scotsman General Store in Downtown! At the General Store, they will be offering a variety of freezer meals for pick up. In addition to this, they are opening their dining room for private parties, special events, and reservations along with catering! If you would like to host a private party or event, contact Pasta Bella at 601-778-7974 or pastabellalaurel@gmail.com!

Sweet Somethings Bakery and Bed & Breakfast

Have a sweet tooth? Sweet Somethings has a treat for everyone! A local would suggest their sticky buns, but we suggest anything!! From cakes to pies to cinnamon rolls, they have it all on 543 Central Avenue.

Sweet Somethings Bed & Breakfast is a wonderful place to stay if you are looking for somewhere in the Downtown area with a little bit of history! This 1923 suite is just above the Bakery and cozy as can be. To book a stay, call 601-340-3880 or follow this link and click “reserve today!”

The Loft on Central Avenue

The Loft on Central Avenue offers a casual dining experience with indoor and outdoor seating! They are known for having the best steak in town along with pasta, seafood, and service! Follow them on Facebook and take your Valentine’s date to The Loft for a meal they won’t forget.

Forever Nutrition

If you are always on the go like us, a little pick-me-up from Forever Nutrition is just what you need! Located on 541 Central Avenue, Forever Nutrition specializes in healthy and delicious nutritional replacement shakes and loaded teas, that are packed with vitamins and energy! Stop in or call in your order at 601-342-2753. Until February 4th, for every combo purchased your name will be entered into a drawing for a Pasta Bella Date Night at home that would be so sweet for Valentine’s Day!

The Boutique on Central

Get ready for your Valentine’s Day date night at The Boutique on Central! They specialize in gorgeous clothing for sizes small to 3X at fabulous prices for all budgets. Get pretty in pink or stay classy in the perfect little black dress this Valentine’s when you shop at The Boutique on Central!

Be Amazing Paper Company

If you are in search of the perfect Valentine’s Day card for your sweetheart, Be Amazing Paper Company has many options that will be perfect! Along with cards, stationery, and journals, they have other items, like this mug, that would make for a sweet gift. You can shop in-store or online for this unique shop! They even offer custom printing.

Two A Tee & Company

Two A Tee & Company has little gift baskets that range in prices and are filled with a variety of Two A tee merchandise! Also, if you need the perfect date night outfit or just some finishing touches and accessories to dress you up “to a tee.” Shop with them in-store or online for all your clothing needs!

The Knight Butcher

 

 

The Knight Butcher, located on 520 Central Avenue, is bringing back the ‘Sweetheart Special!’ This Valentine’s Day Package includes a variety of items from the main course to desserts for the sweetest cooking date night. They also just launched a new item, the Knight Snackle Box! This item has over 4 pounds of snacking goodness to bring along on a picnic or your next fishing trip. Call The Knight Butcher at 601-651-2054 to order your items today!

Bella Bella

There is always something for the ladies and guys at Bella Bella! Feel festive for Valentine’s Day with a cute sweater, accessorize with amazing jewelry or a cute new bag, and finish off your outfit with Bella Bella’s favorite OnRunning shoes. They don’t forget about the guys at Bella Bella. They offer a range of products for men including OnRunning shoes, clothing, and gear for any occasion.

Office Products Center, Inc.

Providing you with the best office products, gifts, and home decor is Office Products Center, Inc.! They are known for providing their customers with the best service and quality products. Stop by and see our friends at Office Products Center, Inc. on 212 N 5th Avenue, just off of Central Avenue!

The businesses and eateries along Central Avenue greatly appreciate your support and business! We thank you for your time, patience, and support as the road construction continues. The sidewalks are open and so are the businesses, so when you are Downtown don’t forget to shop Central Avenue to show these businesses some extra love!