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 at 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!

 

#ShopSmall with Us on Small Business Saturday – November 30th

 The #ShopSmall Movement is Coming to The City Beautiful!

For decades we’ve rushed off to the big chain stores on Black Friday to crowd the aisles in search of that one great deal, or this year’s must-have Christmas toy.

Sometimes, in the excitement of it all, we forget that some of our most enjoyable shopping experiences were found at a local shop, far from the hustle and bustle of the crowded department stores.

Small business owners pour their hearts into every detail of their business.  They strive to create an enjoyable and unforgettable shopping experience for their guests.  Now it’s time to celebrate these entrepreneurs who put so much love into every detail of their business and the experiences they provide for their customers.  

On November 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we will celebrate Small Business Saturday.

Be a Part of the #ShopSmall Movement

On November 30th businesses all over Downtown Laurel will not only open their doors, but will welcome shoppers with special events, giveaways, promotions and more! 

Business owners, As a Laurel Main Street member your business can join the #shopsmall movement and receive the attention of our nationwide audience as well as customized promotional tools and tips. You don’t have to be a Main Street member to participate, but we’d love to have you as a part of our #shopsmall team.

Shoppers, do you believe in supporting small businesses?  The #shopsmall movement is a great way for you to support local entrepreneurs while enjoying a unique shopping experience. The effect of an event like Small Business Saturday has a direct impact on the goals and dreams of local folks just like you. When you support Laurel’s small business owners, you’re telling them that you appreciate the work they are doing to further our city’s growth, and that you believe in them. So invite friends to shop with you.  Share your shopping experiences on social media using the hashtag #shopsmallinLaurel.  Let small business owners know you value their efforts.     

Why #ShopSmall?

The impact of an event like Small Business Saturday can’t be limited to a tally of a single day’s sales, or a list of great deals. The value of an event like this represents something much bigger — an appreciation and support of small business owners, and the impact on the local economy.

Small businesses help communities thrive.  There are 254,598 small businesses operating in Mississippi.  They make up 99.3% of all businesses in our state.  Small businesses in Mississippi created 6,652 new jobs in 2018 alone.  That means that almost half of all employees in the state of Mississippi work for a small business.  Small businesses help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant.  When small businesses succeed, we all do.

Consider this: When you spend $100 at a locally-owned small business, $68 stays in the local economy. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a chain store where only $43 remains locally. With the average American shopper likely to spend over $684 on holiday gifts this year, shopping at independent businesses in your hometown has the potential to make a major impact on the health of the local economy.

As the official Neighborhood Champion for Laurel’s Small Business Saturday, Laurel Main Street has worked to bring together an incredible group of local retailers who are ready to welcome you during the November 30th event!

So join us on Small Business Saturday to get great deals, find some incredible, unique local gifts, and enjoy a fun shopping experience, but, most importantly – to support the folks who are making a difference in our city!

Small Business Saturday is a national initiative aimed at helping local businesses compete during the critical holiday shopping season and aims to drive shoppers to local small merchants the Saturday following Thanksgiving.  More than 100 million Americans shopped small on Small Business Saturday last year.  Join the movement and shop local on November 30th this year!

#ShopSmall #ShopLocal #ShopLaurel

Tagged christmasdowntownentrepreneureventlaurel msshop localshop smallshoppingsmall business saturday

Loblolly Festival: Things to Know Before You Go

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — It’s time for Loblolly Festival!  This year’s festival is one you won’t soon forget and here are some tips to help you enjoy Loblolly Festival, whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran.  The Loblolly Festival is one of Laurel’s biggest events with over 12,000 people attending annually, so lace up your walking shoes, it’s festival time!

Beat the Crowds:

The festival officially starts at 9am, so if you want to get first pick of the merchandise or avoid the crowds, come early.

Get a T-Shirt While You Can:

Stop by the Laurel Main Street trailer, which will be station on West Oak St., and purchase a commemorative Laurel Main Street 10 year anniversary t-shirt or a Loblolly Festival t-shirt.  Make this one of your first stops because these shirts will go fast!

Wear Your Walking Shoes:

Loblolly Festival covers almost all of the central business district of downtown Laurel and includes over 120 vendors, crafters, performers, and activities. You’re bound to see a lot of people you know and some you forgot you knew!

Check the map and entertainment schedule:

When you arrive be sure to pick up a map.  It will help you get the lay of the land, and if you’re a strategic shopper, this will definitely make it easier for you to find any specific vendors you came to see.

 

Bring cash:

Some vendors accept credit cards, but not all do.  There is an ATM located downtown at the Laurel Welcome Center inside the First National Bank building as well as BancorpSouth.

Be sure to check out the brick and mortar merchants too:

Most downtown retail stores are open during the festival and many offer sales, specials, and live music.

Check the weather:

Loblolly Festival is a rain or shine event so check the weather and dress accordingly.  The Laurel YWCO will be open and available to the community from 10am – 2pm during the Loblolly Festival.  Come in to cool off and enjoy your lunch in the tea room! 

Sip & Stroll:

The walkable downtown area comprises a social district, which allows downtown patrons to “sip and stroll” as long as their beverages are in a “to-go” cup.  Open container laws are still in effect.  Please drink responsibly.

Wine Down Downtown

We’re ready to Wine Down Downtown again!  One Friday each month, we will host a wine tasting and shopping event from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with downtown merchants and restaurants staying open late.  We look forward to the fun and fellowship this will provide our community and the opportunities this will provide our merchants.

Important Information

Please note: We are only serving tastes — equivalent to about a 2 ounce pour.  Pours will be limited to 2 pours per person, per location.  Wine will only be poured into Laurel Main Street wine tumblers.

How do I get a Laurel Main Street wine tumbler?

The Laurel Main Street tent will be set up at the intersection of Central Ave. and Magnolia St. and will serve as the entry point for the event.  Stop by the tent to purchase your wine tumbler ($15, cash only) and pick up an event map. Don’t forget your ID!  LMS volunteers will check IDs at the event tent.  Only those 21 and older are allowed to purchase wine tumblers. If you forget cash, there are two ATMs downtown: Rasberry Financial and BancorpSouth.

Where should I park?

There are several events happening downtown this weekend, so we suggest parking on the outskirts of downtown.

What if I don’t want wine?

Folks that don’t drink wine or don’t want to participate in the tasting are still welcome! We encourage everyone to come! Beer/Liquor/non-alcoholic drinks can be purchased from several downtown restaurants. The 5000, The Knight Butcher, Mimmo’s, Cafe Lafleur, The Loft, Shug’s, Lee’s Coffee and Tea, and Scotsman General Store will also be serving various drinks besides wine.

Special thanks to our volunteers, downtown business owners, supporters, and sponsors. 

#GetDowntown This Thursday!

The temperatures are rising and school’s out for summer! Everyone is looking forward to the longer days and activities that summer brings. A favorite summertime event in Laurel is “Downtown Thursday,” a series of family-friendly evenings every Thursday night beginning May 30 and lasting until June 27. Friends from all over Mississippi and beyond are welcome to attend this exciting, fun-filled season of fresh produce, live entertainment, movies, and community.

The evenings will kick off with a Farmers Market from 5-8 p.m. and will continue with a family-friendly movie at The Backlot. Each night will feature live music on the Coca-Cola Main Stage outside of Southern Antiques, along with great food and endless fun.

The Laurel Farmers Market

The Laurel Farmers Market is definitely not your usual farmers market! It offers a street fair environment with something different going on each week, with kids’ activities, food trucks, and live music! At its new location on North Magnolia Street, the Laurel Farmers Market will be open for business from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. under the lights of downtown. Aside from stocking up on fruits, vegetables, and an assortment of homemade foods, visitors to this market can also stop by the many merchants along Magnolia Street and the entire downtown. This seasonal market attracts local farmers, gardeners, artisans, and craftsmen, resulting in an impressive variety of merchandise. Check out the Laurel Farmers Market for yourself every Thursday starting May 30 – through June 27.

If you’re interested in becoming a vendor at the Laurel Farmers Market, click here to register.

Farmers Market Entertainment Line-up

entertainment lineup

 

Downtown Movie Night

Downtown Movie Night is a highly anticipated summertime event and it gets bigger and better each year! Join us in The Backlot at the end of Magnolia Street after the Farmer’s Market for family-friendly movies under the stars.

movie line up

 

These fantastic events would not be possible without signature sponsor, Sunbelt Federal Credit Union. Laurel Main Street is proud to partner with The Agape Church and Sunbelt FCU to continue bringing Downtown Thursday fun to Laurel!