Know Before You Go: Loblolly Festival 2021

Loblolly lovers rejoice! Loblolly Festival is back, this Saturday from 9-4pm in Downtown Laurel. Get ready for the biggest event of the year. 

What’s Playing

Enjoy live music on two stages all day long. Bring a chair, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Loblolly Festival as long as you’d like.

The Loblolly Stage (Front Street)

9:00am-10:15am Free N’ Easy

10:45am-12:00 noon Jones & Pine

12:30pm-2:00pm Ryan Cooper

2:30pm-4:00pm Cary Hudson & The Piney Woods Players

The Knight Butcher Stage (Central Avenue) 

11:00am-2:00pm Free N’ Easy

Drink Up!

The Southern Beverage beer trailer will be located on Oak Street by Trustmark Art Park (and the Laurel Main Street tent) serving up brews for you to enjoy while you stroll around the festival. Be sure to bring cash or visit one of the ATMs Downtown, as cards will not be accepted at the trailer.

Many of our eateries also serve alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages for your convenience. Drink local!

What’s Cookin’

Over 20 food vendors will be on Oak Street featuring corn dogs, funnel cakes, barbecue, and more. Not to mention our delicious Downtown eateries…take your pick! (We recommend filling up on a little bit of everything.)

Fun for the Family

Loblolly Festival is an event for the whole family! Expect games, jumps, and activities for the littles of all ages.

The pumpkin patch at First United Methodist Church, the Heritage Arts Festival at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and the viewing of the Art on Masonite contest at The YWCO are also great options for family fun.

Shop Small

While you’re Downtown, make sure to visit our Downtown businesses. This is a great opportunity to check out a shop you’ve never been in before! (Or your very favorite)

It’s important to still make your way down Central Avenue to support the stores and eateries affected by road closures and temporary construction. Not to mention, The Knight Butcher stage will be featuring live music from 11am-2pm.

Scarecrow Invasion

Our Downtown merchants will unveil their scarecrows on Saturday! Check out all their larger-than-life creations while you enjoy the festival. The winners of the competition will be announced on our social media pages on October 5th.

Helpful Tips

  • Furry friends are allowed to attend the festival, but be mindful of city leash laws and please pick up after your pets.
  • Loblolly Festival is free! 
  • Keep the City ‘Beautiful’! Make sure to discard pet waste, food, and garbage in trash receptacles.
  • When you’re sippin’ and strolling, make sure to follow the city’s open container laws, and stay in the leisure district.
  • Ample parking is available in outer lots. Don’t be afraid to get your steps in!
  • Grab a Loblolly Guide from the Laurel Main Street tent by Trustmark Art Park for a map and more information on the event.
  • Loblolly Festival is rain or shine! Don’t worry, we won’t cancel on you.


A special thanks to all of our sponsors and volunteers who make this event happen! Loblolly Festival is presented by our signature sponsor, Howard Industries. 

 

Save the Date: Loblolly Festival is Back!

We have great news: Loblolly Festival is on. 

Mark your calendars and call your friends, because Loblolly Festival will be held Saturday, October 2nd, 2021! After a missed year, we are so excited to bring back everyone’s favorite festival this Fall.

This event has steadily grown over the years to become the biggest annual event in Downtown Laurel. We look forward to welcoming thousands to stroll our streets, enjoy live music, unique shopping, and lots of fun and good eats.

What better way to welcome Fall?

What to Expect

Loblolly Festival is held in the central Downtown district of Laurel 9AM-4Pm, usually covering Front Street, N Magnolia Street, Central Avenue, Oak Street, and part of N 5th Avenue. We hope for this year’s event to be the biggest and the best, but please note ongoing construction on Central Avenue and Leontyne Price Boulevard.

Due to street closures, vendors will not be placed in areas of active construction. Because of this, our layout will look a little different this year. However, our shops and eateries in that area will still be open and ready to serve you! Keep watch closer to the event for more information on parking and maps.

Loblolly Festival is always the first Saturday in October, rain or shine! Regardless of the weather, we will be Downtown having lots of fun. Make sure to watch the forecast to see what to wear and to bring along.

Arts, Crafts, Food, and Family Fun

This is a great event for everyone in the family! Be ready to enjoy kids activities, live music, specials at local businesses, a variety of shopping from vendors all over the region, and craft beer.

Loblolly coincides with Laurel Main Street’s annual Scarecrow Invasion, the Heritage Art Festival, and First Methodist Church of Laurel’s pumpkin patch.

A yearly cash prize contest for middle school and high school artists is sponsored by The Laurel Arts League.  Students paint a door skin section supplied by Masonite Corporation in cooperation with a chosen theme.  Themes vary from year to year, and  the art is judged by a blind panel of visual art experts. The art will be on display at the festival in the downtown YWCO on W. Oak St. during Loblolly Festival!

More to Explore

More information on Loblolly festival is coming soon! While you’re making plans to be there, check out these blogs on where Loblolly came from and how it celebrate’s Laurel’s Heritage.

Loblolly Festival: Celebrating the Town that Timber Built

Loblolly: The Power of a Historical Name

Be a Vendor

We are still accepting vendors for this year’s festival!

There are four categories of vendors at the Loblolly Festival: Food Vendor, Activity Vendor, Organization, Arts & Crafts.   Applications are available beginning every July (early rate), August (standard rate), and September (late rate).

We would love to have you: Apply Here


Check back with us for more announcements to come like our annual Scarecrow Invasion, the music lineup for Loblolly Festival, and more fun this Fall! We will meet you back here with a complete guide of everything going on at Loblolly festival.

Thank you to Howard Industries, Inc. for helping make this year’s event possible!

 

Loblolly Festival: Celebrating the Town that Timber Built

Like most southerners, I have a love/hate relationship with pine trees.  They’re immensely useful when building a picnic table or fluffing flower beds with the straw they provide.  But they also wreak havoc on allergy sufferers when pollen falls in sheets, changing the color of everything on which it lands.

Love them or hate them, the graceful southern pine tree is the foundation for our town and in a few short weeks we’ll forget all about its yellow pollen and sticky sap, and celebrate the town that timber built.

From Swamps to Splendor

Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Co.

In 1891, the Gardiner brothers from Iowa arrived in Jones county and purchased a sawmill operation and 16,000 acres of timberland and the Eastman-Gardiner Lumber Company was born.  The Gardiners and their cousins, the Eastmans, sent for their families and set out to build their own slice of paradise amidst the piney woods of Laurel.  As the men developed their business, Catherine Marshall Gardiner made it her mission to create a beautiful city for her family in the yellow pine capital of the world.      

Like many great innovators before him, John Lindsey watched the progress of the ever-growing lumber town. He recognized a need and created a way to solve it. Soon, The 8-wheeled Lindsey Log Wagon was patented and folks from all over the world came to hear of a little town in South Mississippi.

The 8 Wheeled Lindsey Log Wagon

The 8 Wheeled Lindsey Log Wagon

By 1908, Mississippi ranked 3rd in the country for lumber production and Laurel was turning out 1,000,000 board feet of lumber a day.

Next, Laurel Machine & Foundry was created to supply parts for the Lindsey wagon and William H. Mason invented a process to create a hardboard from the waste provided by the mills, supplying the little piney woods town with more jobs and even more opportunities for growth.

Masonite Corporation

Each inspiration, each problem solved was another brick laid in the bustling streets of a town on the rise. Laurel owes its foundation and its very spirit to the yellow Loblolly pine and those who saw ever-present opportunity even as the pollen covered their boots.

Be a #LoblollyLover and join us on Saturday, October 6, 2018 for a celebration of heritage in the town that timber built.