Sign Up to Volunteer with Us!

Are you looking for a way to be involved in the Downtown Laurel community and Laurel Main Street? We have a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the year, and we’d love to have you or your organization or club as a partner for volunteering. Please fill out the form to register as an official LMS Volunteer!

Click Here to sign up!

Volunteering with Laurel Main Street means SO much! As an LMS volunteer, you are lending a helping hand to those who attend our events and aiding in the growth and revitalization of America’s Hometown, Laurel. You will get to be a part of events like Loblolly Festival, Downtown Countdown the Chili Cook Off, Crawfest, and so much more!

We are thankful for our past volunteers and volunteer organizations and we are looking forward to working with so many new volunteers! Will you be next??

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

 

Downtown Countdown to 2022

Come spend New Year’s Eve in Downtown Laurel for the Downtown Countdown to 2022 & let’s party like it’s 2022! 

Laurel Main Street and BancorpSouth Bank are proud to announce the return of Downtown Countdown after last year’s cancellation in caution of COVID-19. Witness the inaugural lighting of the 7 foot Rhinestone Pinecone suspended from the historic 1st National Bank at the corner of North Magnolia & Central Avenue, which is the Rock104 stage. This event is free to attend and family-friendly!

Countdown Kids: 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Sponsored by Shug’s Cookie Dough & Candy Bar, Countdown Kids will begin at 5 PM on North Magnolia Street. There will be jumps, games, music by DJ Peeches on the Rock104 stage, and face painting. Also, the first pinecone drop and fireworks show will be at 8 PM on the Rock104 stage!

Adults Celebrate: 8:00 PM – Midnight

We welcome all to come to Oak Street, North Magnolia Street, & Central Ave to celebrate, enjoy live music, food trucks, beer & celebratory toasting service, fireworks & midnight countdown lighting of the Loblolly Pinecone on the Rock104 Stage!

What else to expect this New Year’s Eve?

You can look forward to food trucks, beer and champagne services, live entertainment on the Rock104 Stage, and extended merchant and restaurant hours at the Downtown Countdown to 2022!

The live entertainment will be by DJ Peeches at 5:00-8:00 PM, Emerald Empire at 8:00 PM-Midnight, Sistaz with Soul at Midnight. Also, at 7:00-8:00 PM, Elegant Evenings will be hosting a fashion show in front of their shop!

Check out this map to help you navigate Downtown on New Year’s Eve!

 

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Along with a huge shoutout to all of our sponsors, we would like to give a special thanks to BancorpSouth for being a platinum sponsor of this event! We are grateful to these sponsors for making this event possible and better than ever this year, and hope to see you at Downtown Countdown to 2022!!

3…2…1…Happy New Year!!

Be Golden

A lot of things are golden — rules, ratios, the Laurel High School mascot, silence — and most of the visitors to our hometown are golden as well. But an issue has arisen in our city that we cannot remain silent about any longer. The safety and comfort of our neighbors is being invaded, and we wouldn’t be good neighbors ourselves if we didn’t address it. If you live or own a business in Laurel, please read this. If you’re a fan of our hometown and you’re planning a visit, please read this. If you’re bored at work, heck, you can read this too.

What We Learned in Waco

When Laurel learned that it would be broadcast into homes across the country, the city leadership formed a book club and read What to Expect When You’re Expecting a TV Show, and met each week for coffee and discussion. KIDDING! If only it were that simple! In actuality, several of our city leaders took a trip to Waco, TX, the home of Fixer Upper and the Gaines’s empire. They spoke with business owners, homeowners, and city leaders there, and learned about what we should expect and how we should prepare. The team learned from the mistakes Waco made in the wake of the Fixer Upper frenzy. They decided on the way home from that trip that the city of Laurel, and any organization that worked in cooperation with the city, would never offer tours, maps, or reveal the location of homes featured on the show. The merchants of downtown Laurel whole-heartedly agreed.

It’s Personal

Laurel has welcomed Home Town fans from across the country and around the world. Through all of this interaction with such a vast cross-section of people, we have noticed that good manners and the notion of being a good guest mean different things to different people.

Some of our friends and neighbors have experienced some uncomfortable situations, but many have experienced things that are downright scary. The stories we’ve heard from friends and neighbors sound like they could be the beginning of a true crime TV show, but they’re actually the result of a home improvement TV show.

You may be wondering why Laurel Main Street, an organization that is committed to the economic vitality of downtown Laurel, is addressing this. To that, I’ll say, “It’s personal.” Its personal to all of us because this is our town. It’s personal because we loved Laurel before it was popular and we’ll love it long after the Home Town hype has faded. Laurel Main Street has worked for over a decade to make Laurel a great place to live and work, and we’d like it to stay that way.

If Good Fences Make Good Neighbors…

You know the saying, Good fences make good neighbors”? Its not about tall pieces of wood between two houses; its about respecting boundaries. For the first few years of the show, Home Town fans were happy for a glimpse into The City Beautiful on TV. Visitors to Laurel enjoyed driving down the avenues, trying to spot the homes, and we welcomed those visitors into our town and into our stores with open arms. However, in the past year, a new breed of fan has emerged. These fans don’t love our town. They don’t care about being good neighbors, and they’re not very respectful visitors either. We understand that many guests feel that Laurelites are their oldest and dearest friends. What can we say? Our locals are pretty amazing! Whether you’re a guest in someone’s home or in someone’s hometown there are a few guidelines to follow to make sure you’re respecting their boundaries and will remain friends even after you’re gone.

1. Follow the House Rules

Before you arrive, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the way things are done to avoid any misunderstandings.

  • Respect the personal space of others. Don’t ask where Home Town cast members live. Say hello if you see someone you recognize in public, but respect their privacy when they’re at home.

 

  • Don’t trespass. We have beautiful streets and avenues lined with sidewalks, and we LOVE seeing guests walking around, admiring the architecture and trying to guess who might be behind the front door. However, when someone enters a yard, garden, or porch uninvited, they are trespassing and nobody likes a trespasser.

 

  • Keep the noise to a minimum. Part of the reason that so many people choose to call Laurel home is because of its sleepy, small town qualities. Please don’t drive past homes while honking and yelling at the homeowners.

 

  • Observe polite parking protocol. If you suspect that you have found a home that was featured on Home Town, please do not park in front of it and wait for the home owners to exit. Please do not block driveways in the hopes that a local celebrity will come to personally ask you to move your vehicle and take a photo with you since they’re there.

2. Act More Appropriate Than Usual

Represent your neck of the woods. Make your mama proud. Put your best foot forward. There’s about a dozen ways to say it, but the bottom line is to be your best self. Isn’t that what Home Town does for you? The show features the best parts of small-town life and then invites you to experience it for yourself. Surely, you can return the favor when you visit.

3. Leave Things Better Than You Found Them.

  • Clean up after yourself, your pet, your kids.

Accidents and awkward situations are bound to happen. Be ready with an apology or a helping hand to try to mend the situation as quickly as possible. If you forget everything else, just follow the Golden Rule:

do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

(Matt. 7:12).

Would you want strangers peeking through the slit in your curtains to see what books are on your coffee table? Probably not. Would you want a group of tourists posing for pictures on your front porch swing? My guess would also be no. Would you want a strangers trying to photograph your kids while they play in your house? What about while they play in the yard? Is that ok? That’s a hard no. Children should be off limits.

There’s more to being a great guest than just showing up and being the life of the party. And speaking of parties, the city of Laurel and Laurel Main Street host multiple public events each year, and you’re invited to them all! This is a great way to get a feel for the city, and even to spot some familiar faces you might have seen on Home Town.

We have opened our town to you. We have invited you into our magical piece of the planet, and we are so glad you love Laurel. You can show your appreciation by being kind, courteous, and respectful.

Laurelites, be trustworthy. Show your neighbors you care by checking on them, looking out for their home and property, and protecting their privacy.

For the sake of our city and those who love it, we are asking you to Be Golden. Our city will thank you. Our neighbors will thank you. The Home Town family will thank you. We can make the world a better place one act of kindness at a time.