January is a cruel month. It’s cold, credit card statements from Christmas are in, and everyone seems to have the flu. This is, by far, the strangest winter I’ve experienced in my lifetime of living in Mississippi. I can’t recall the last time it was so cold for so long, yet this week brought about temperatures that would bring daffodils into premature bloom. If you’re over the cold weather or sick of being cooped up with sick people, you’re in luck because downtown Laurel has something for everyone. You’ve recovered from your Christmas coma and your holiday hangover… now it’s time to return to the land of the living.
If you want to get creative, downtown Laurel is DEFINITELY the place for you! One of our newest merchants, Magnolia Alley Artists’ Co-op, has a calendar jam-packed with chances to let loose. Your kids will love the “Drop & Dine” events on select Friday nights while you enjoy date night at one of our downtown restaurants. No kids? No problem! Magnolia Alley also hosts couples’ painting nights, photography, quilting, and doll classes! Give them a call at (601) 342-5188 and plan your next night out downtown!
The folks at HAND+made always have something going on too. From their DIY open studio to Mommy and Me and calligraphy classes, you’ll definitely find something to pique your interest and stretch your creative boundaries. If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, why not try Lott Furniture’s “Wine & Design” workshops every second Tuesday of each month? I’m not sure if they intentionally planned it on Mary Poppins’s day off, but it’s practically perfect in every way if you ask me. 😉 Stop by after work, enjoy a beverage, live music, and design tips to make your home your haven.
If you still appreciate the creative and entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in downtown Laurel, but prefer to be the subject rather than the artist, you’ll want to reserve your appointment for a one-of-a-kind family heirloom as Guild & Gentry hosts portrait artist Michael Foster. He will be at the store on February 17th doing ambrotypes, so click here to reserve your appointment!
Most of our downtown retailers have just wrapped up their buying trips and soon the shelves of their stores will be brimming with more goodies than your house can possibly hold. Keep an eye out for the overloaded delivery trucks making their way down the brick streets of downtown!
The YWCO will be the new home to the monthly downtown book club, which meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 6-7PM. Follow Cottage Books on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the current book selection and for updates on meeting times and new arrivals in the store. The YWCO also hosts numerous community events throughout the year, many of which are free, so be sure to check them out on Facebook to see what’s happening!
Slowboat Brewing Company hosts trivia and live music on alternating Friday nights and live music every Saturday night of the month starting at 7PM. Check out their Facebook page to see which of your favorite groups are coming to town or maybe even discover a new favorite at Laurel’s liveliest local music scene and Jones County’s only locally owned brewery!
Lee’s Coffee & Tea provides more than a good cup of coffee and the best pimento cheese you’ll ever eat. They also have some pretty cool events lined up for the month of February! Enjoy Open Mic Night on the first Friday of the month, Board Game Night on the second Friday, and Vinyl Night on the third Friday.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off happening downtown on February 10th. We’ll have lots of cold beer, lots of hot chili, and plenty of fun too!
If you’re like me and spend 90% of your waking hours behind a computer screen, all of these opportunities for actual human interaction might be a little intimidating, but I PROMISE YOU, you’ll thank me later. If not, your next cup of coffee’s on me. Get downtown y’all!