“Wine Down” in Downtown Laurel this Fall

It’s time to “wine” down after hours in Downtown Laurel this Fall! Join us under the lights for 3 more unforgettable evenings this year. 

Sip Back and Relax

May all wine lovers rejoice! Wine Down is back for 3 more dates in 2021, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Over 20 Downtown Laurel merchants are pouring, with quite a few others still opening for business, including our amazing restaurants!

This is the perfect opportunity for you and the girls, or you and the family, to #getdowntown and see what we have to offer.

Know Before you Go

Wine Down Downtown is a wine tasting event. You’ll purchase your $15 reusable, collectible wine tumbler from one of the 2 Laurel Main Street event check-ins to take all over town to “wine stops”. The wine stops are our pouring businesses–your ticket is the tumbler! (Be prepared to show your ID.)

Each wine stop will serve 1 2-ounce pour of their select wine and depending on the stop, you might get something else special to taste! Some of our merchants are not pouring, but will be open for business and ready to serve you! Guests can even expect specials, sales, and entertainment at various stops.

The check-ins are located at 500 Central Ave, Laurel, MS 39440 AND 414 Front St, Laurel, MS 39440. After purchasing your ticket, you will also receive a map of Downtown, including all the wine stops and other shops/restaurants open during the event.

All 3 dates are 5-8 pm, but some businesses or restaurants could have longer hours or be closed during the event.

You may purchase tickets on-site or online.

*Make sure you choose the correct date you wish to attend!

Everything to Enjoy

Every date will feature live music in Trustmark Art Park. You may also catch live entertainment at one of the wine stops or other open businesses depending on the date.

Don’t forget our restaurants! Take a break and grab something delicious to eat between stops. Laurel has plenty of food to offer.

Don’t like wine or just don’t want to drink? No worries. You may attend Wine Down for free, if you don’t intend on tasting at the wine stops. It’s a great night to shop and eat anyway!


Make sure to walk on down to Central Avenue during the event to visit our members in the area of active construction. Don’t skip out on supporting our businesses affected by the temporary road closures!

If you need more information, check out our Facebook event. Watch our social media for more announcements to come!

 

 

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!

 

Get Back to School Ready in Downtown Laurel

Back to school times are upon us! Whether you’re going back to school, work, or want to shop for fun, this weekend is going to be the best time! Read on to find out where to go.

This weekend, Friday July 30th and Saturday July 31st, is Mississippi’s tax free weekend. These two days only, you can purchase school supplies and clothing sales tax free.

Here’s some of our members Downtown you need to visit to get yourself back to school ready!

Clothing and Accessories

Allie’s on Magnolia

Allie’s on Magnolia (Photo taken from @shop.alliesonmagnolia on instagram

Take a stop at Allie’s on Magnolia for ladies clothing and accessories, or if you need a spray tan! Allie’s is known for staying on top of trends and keeping the store fresh and new every time you come by.

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Bella Bella

Bella Bella (Taken from @shopbellabellalaurel on instagram)

Need some new tennis shoes? You can get the very popular On Cloud tennis shoes right here in Downtown Laurel! Bella Bella also has men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, and more! This would be a great stop to get something for everyone in the family.

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Epic Styles Salon

Epic Styles Salon (Taken from @epicstylessalon Instagram)

Here’s your one-stop-shop for a haircut, beauty treatments, nail services, beauty products, gifts, handbags, and more! Epic Styles makes it easy to find everything you need in one place.

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Guild & Gentry, Burks Barber Shop

Guild & Gentry (Taken from @guildandgentry instagram)

Guild & Gentry is a menswear store where you can find anything from sunglasses to suits, as well as get a cut and shave in the same trip. They’re known for having all types of goods and clothing suited to men. Grab something new to wear (or snack on!) and enjoy the old-tyme barber shop before you get back to school.

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Leila Boutique

Leila Boutique (Taken from @leilaboutiquems instagram)

Another fantastic ladies boutique! At Leila’s you can find clothing, shoes, and various accessories. They even offer alterations services! Get a custom made dress or having something tailored that you already have right here.

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Quarter Century

Quarter Century (Taken from @quartercenturylaurelms instagram)

Shoes, purses, clothing, jewelry, and more! Quarter Century carries beautiful clothing to match styles of all types of women and brands you recognize. This has been a Laurel gem in the warehouse district for quite a while.

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The Boutique on Central

The Boutique on Central (Taken from @shoptheboutiqueoncentral)

You know where to go! The Boutique on Central is known for ladies clothing and accessories available in a variety of sizes. If you’re looking for a boutique that has it all, this is it. They even have a beer fridge!

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Studio R3

Studio R3 (Taken from @studior3laurel instagram)

Get back to school and back to work ready with a new cut and color! Studio R3 is an Aveda style studio, so you can also buy all your favorite Aveda products there.

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Two a Tee & Co.

Two a Tee & Co. (Taken from @twoateeco instagram)

Two a Tee & Co. is your stop for ladies clothing for all ages, shapes, and sizes! If you’re looking for a variety in style and size, this is a great choice for you.

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Merle Norman

Merle Norman Laurel (Taken from @merlenorman_laurel instagram)

Grab some new makeup or gifts to make back to school more fun. Guess what? They also do makeovers! Making a stop at Merle Norman will have you refreshed and ready to take on the new school year.

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The Ivy Springs Boutique

The Ivy Springs Boutique (Taken from @theivysprings_boutique)

Just look at all that fun stuff to choose from! Now located in The Rusty Chandelier, so you can shop around for all kinds of other fun stuff too!

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The Remnant

The Remnant (Taken from the @theremnantlaurel instagram)

A thrift store with a purpose! All sales from The Remnant are for the benefit of Dwell: A Transitional Housing Community for Women. This is a great place to get deals on clothing, accessories, and home decor and put your money towards a great cause.

They’re having a “Blue Tag Sale” this week!

“Any items in store (clothes, home decor, etc.) with a blue indicator on their price tag will be an additional 50% off of its original price. Come see us and score some great deals!” (As per their Instagram post)

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LollyBell’s Boutique

LollyBell’s Boutique (Taken from @lollybellsboutique instagram)

Need some new clothes for the kids? Stop by LobllyBell’s Children’s boutique! They carry children’s clothing in sizes 0-16. LollyBell’s also does monogramming. If you need something monogrammed, you can now get it done in Downtown Laurel!

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Maddie Lee’s Boutique

Maddie Lee’s Boutique (Taken from @maddieleesboutique instagram)

There’s nothing better than a new graphic tee and sneakers. Perfect for school! Stop by Maddie Lee’s to shop ladies clothing and accessories.

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Oak Street Salon

Oak Street Salon (Photo from the Oak Street Salon Facebook)

Make yourself an appointment at Oak Street Salon to get beautified and back to school ready! We know you need a haircut.

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Freedom Professional Nail Salon & Spa

Freedom Professional Nail Salon & Spa (Taken from the Freedom Professional Nail Salon & Spa Facebook Page)

Don’t forget to get your nails done! Head on down to Freedom Professional Nail Salon & Spa for all the beauty treatments you may need. They now have added spa treatments.

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This weekend is the perfect time to get Downtown and shop local! While we’re spending more money during the back to school season, let’s work together to spend as much as we can locally in Downtown Laurel.

Can’t make it in person? Check out the social media links for each business. Many offer online shopping!

Top 5 Reasons to Shop Local This Holiday Season

This holiday season looks a little different, but we can still share joy. Shop Small and support your favorite small businesses – both in-store and online – all holiday season long.

1. Economic Stimulus. Supporting local is more than just a hashtag, it’s a lifestyle. Shopping locally supports local families and our local economy by keeping dollars local, so they can make more of an impact in our town. When someone opens their own business, they hire local people, pay local taxes, and source goods locally. When you shop local, you expand opportunity for others in your community. The health of small business is a direct reflection of the overall well-being of a community. Healthy Small Businesses = Healthy Local Economy.

 

2. Connect & Experience. We live in a “buy with one click” world. But there are still many consumers who want an experience, who desire interaction; that’s where small businesses and downtowns can thrive. They serve as a place to socialize and gather. Shopping locally means bumping into friends, benefitting from the expertise of local retailers, enjoying lively streets, and discovering something new. In a world where people are plugged in 24-7, many folks still desire a unique shopping experience.

3. Job Creation. Small, local businesses are the largest employers nationally. Compared to Amazon, independent retailers create 2x as many jobs for the same amount of revenue.1 Plus, the more jobs you have in your local community, the less people are going to have to commute, which means more time and less traffic.

4. Community Investment. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future. Local business owners also donate more to local charities than non-local owners. In places with more local businesses, people have stronger social ties2 and participate in more civic affairs.3

5. You Matter More. You might have read about exerting influence with your purchasing choices, or “voting with your wallet.” It’s a fact that all businesses respond to their customers, but your values and desires are much more influential to your local business than the big box stores.

Promoting the “support local” initiative is something that we celebrate as an organization on a daily basis. We value strong partnerships with the business community, and we believe that people want to support local businesses too. But if you MUST shop on Amazon, consider enrolling in the AmazonSmile program and designating Laurel Main Street as your charity of choice. Click here for more information on the AmazonSmile program and how you can help local non-profits.

 

Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources, employ local workers, and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.

– paraphrased from Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

 

  1. “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Nov. 2016
  2. “The Health and Wealth of US Counties,” Troy C. Blanchard, et. All., Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society, 2011.
  3. “The Configuration of Local Economic Power and Civic Participation in the Global Economy,” Troy Blanchard and Todd L. Matthews, Social Forces, June 2006.

What’s Up With Wine Down

Thank you! Thank you for your steadfast support, patience, and understanding as we navigate this new normal. As many of our readers and followers know, our events are how we fund much of the work that we do. Planning events during a typical year comes with its own set of challenges, but planning events in the time of COVID requires us all to operate with heightened levels of flexibility and caution. We hope it brings you peace of mind to know that we are making every effort to ensure fun and safe events in downtown Laurel. So without further ado…

Welcome Back to Wine Down!

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you back to downtown Laurel on Friday, July 17 for Wine Down Downtown. A few things about the event have changed in an effort to minimize contact touch points, but we know you’ll still enjoy this evening in The City Beautiful!

Some things have not changed

Retailers will still offer wine tastings, equivalent to about a 2 oz. pour. Each store serving wine will have a different type for you to taste. There are also stores that will be open for extended shopping hours, but will serve non-alcoholic beverages instead. If you want to participate in the wine tasting, you must purchase a $15 wine tumbler at the Laurel Main Street tent or online. The Laurel Main Street tent will be located at the corner of Central Ave. and Magnolia St., outside of Rasberry Financial, and serves as the “gate.” Your tumbler will serve as your “ticket.” Wine will not be poured into any other container.

We will still check IDs. All attendees will be asked to present identification with proof of age.

There will also be live music in Trustmark Art Park, located on the corner of Oak St. and Magnolia St., and multiple other venues downtown.

So what’s new?

We highly encourage you to purchase your wine tumbler online. Tumblers purchased online will be available for pick up beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17 at the Laurel Main Street tent on the corner of Magnolia St. and Central Ave. To purchase tumblers online, click here.

If you are unable to purchase your tumbler in advance, we ask that you bring exact change. In an effort to minimize interactions, we will not have change on-site. If you do not have exact change, we ask that you consider donating your payment overage to Laurel Main Street.

When verifying your age, our volunteers will not touch IDs. You will be asked to show it to them instead.

We ask that you respect social distancing guidelines and stay six feet away from those not living in your household. There will be markings on the street to help.

All Laurel Main Street volunteers will be wearing masks. There will also be hand sanitizer available at the LMS tent as well as hand sanitizing stations throughout downtown. Our retailers have been encouraged to host sidewalk sales and pour wine tastings outside to encourage social distancing and minimize crowds in stores.

All are welcome downtown! If you do not drink wine, we hope you will still #getdowntown and enjoy an evening of live music and shopping with the merchants of Laurel Main Street!