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.

###

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.

Crawfest: Pinch, Peel, Eat, Repeat

It is officially time for the return of Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest this Saturday, April 23rd starting at 11 AM and continuing on until 3 PM! There will be live music, drinks, and LOTS of crawfish to taste all day long in Downtown Laurel!

 

Save Me Some Crawfish!

If you are looking for the perfect thing to do this Saturday, it is to come to Front Street for our annual crawfish festival! Check-in will begin at 11 Am at the corner of West Oak & Front Street, where you can purchase a $15 ticket for all the tastings you desire, or a $30 ticket for endless tastings and 5lbs of crawfish & add-ins! Tickets will be available for purchase at check-in or online by clicking here. Kids under TWELVE enter & eat for free! Not wanting to indulge in any crawfish? That’s okay, you can purchase Chick Fil A on-site and still hang out with us!

What else is happening?

  • We will be “splitting the pot” for cash! Purchase 1 ticket for $10 OR 5 tickets for $40. You do not have to be present to win.
  • T-Shirts will be available for purchase $25! Check out our social media page to enter a giveaway to win a free shirt plus another goodie thanks to Community Bank.

  • We will have live music by Ty Taylor & Kinfolk!

  • Our Downtown merchants will be open for business. Stop by and shop around, you may even get a good deal during the event!

 

We are so excited to have you join us this Saturday for a day full of fun and crawfish! This event would not be possible with out the support of our amazing sponsors and volunteers. We would like to give a special thank you to Community Bank & the Sertoma Club of Laurel!! Make sure to check out who will be picking our winners of the crawfish festival on our blog: 2022 Crawfest Judges plus a Surprise Judge! See y’all Saturday!!

 

 

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