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.

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.

2022 Events at a Glance with Laurel Main Street

Save the dates for 2022!!!  Here are the official Laurel Main Street events for 2022! Start planning your trip to Downtown Laurel, Mississippi today just in time for one (or more) of our amazing events. 2022 is well underway and we could not be more excited for all of the fun events that it will bring. Let’s check them out together!

 

Magnolia State Bank’s Chili Cook Off

February 12th

Laurel Leap Day

March 5th

Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest

April 23rd

Wine Down Downtown

March 25th, April 8th, May 13th, June 17th, July 22nd, August 19th

Downtown Thursday

June 23rd thru July 14th

Loblolly Festival

October 1st

Downtown Laurel Christmas Tree Lighting

December 2nd

Downtown Countdown

December 31st

 

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

 

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!