Small town festivals aren’t about the vendors, the funnel cakes or the music – they’re about the people who call that tiny town home, and the celebration of all of the things that make it deserving of the name.
In a few short days we will celebrate our beautiful home town during the 2016 Loblolly Festival sponsored by Jones County Mississippi, Howard Industries, Southern Beverage Co., South Central Regional Medical Center, C-Spire Wireless, Sanderson Farms and Trustmark National Bank. Will you join us?
The Loblolly Experience
Celebrating Laurel, Mississippi
Every year the Loblolly Festival draws craftsmen, cooks, artists and musicians together atop the historic, brick streets of Downtown Laurel, MS.
A swarm of locals and travelers alike come to view their creations, taste their wares and ride bumping along between the buildings in the tractor-pulled train.
Mothers and fathers hold tiny kids by the hand who watch wide-eyed as the chainsaw artists create beautiful works of art. The children imagine their own hands creating and building as they watch familiar shape emerging from the raw wooden materials.
Their dream is soon realized as they step into the Children’s Arts and Crafts area to build a creation of their own from the very same materials that made their city great – raw wood and an imagination.
Surrounded by delicious smells and the bustle of the crowd, they taste the first fair-style foods of the season then make their way to the stage to listen to talented musicians perform a familiar song.
Even then, they’ve only had a taste of what the Loblolly Festival has to offer. This year, there is so much more and so much to be proud of in our little city.
Things to Do and See at the
2016 Loblolly Festival
1. FESTIVAL INFO Stop by the Gazebo at Pinehurst Park for any information you may require during the day’s event. The Laurel Main Street Trailer parked across the street at Bancorp South is the place to purchase your limited-edition 2016 Loblolly Festival, Eastman Gardiner Lumber Company, and Lindsey Wagon T-shirts!
2. FIRST TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH TOURS Come and enjoy “Laurel’s cathedral” and explore part of the history of Laurel and First-Trinity Presbyterian Church. Hear lovely organ music performed by First-Trinity’s Director of Music, Nathan Jones. Guided tours begin at the front steps at 10:30am and 1:30pm, and organ music begins in the sanctuary at 11:00am and 1:00pm. The church building will be open in between these times for self-guided tours as well.
3. LOBLOLLY STAGE Live music performances begin at 9:30AM at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Sawmill Road, near the courthouse. See the music lineup below.
4. CHICK FIL A RUN Beginning at 7:30 AM in the Sawmill Mark Parking Lot, the Chick-fil-A run will feature a 5K, 10K and 1 Mile Fun Run for families. Come out and race for a chance to win FREE Chick-fil-A for a year! Wear your best cow costume for a chance at other great prizes! For more information call 601.319.6064.
5. WOOD CARVING DEMO BY DAYTON SCOGGINS International World Cup Champion chainsaw artist, Dayton Scoggins, carves all day long just south of the flag pole beside Elegant Evenings.
6. BIRDS OF PREY The Birds of Prey exhibit, located in the lot at the corner of Oak & Front Streets, will feature 7 birds of prey including hawks, owls, a vulture and a falcon. The exciting presentation will give you a chance to see these beautiful creatures up close and learn about the roles they play in the animal kingdom. Watch for a stunning red-tail hawk and turkey vulture flying over the festival during the presentation!
7. THE KID ZONE offers fun jumps, slides, train rides, face painting, a craft area and more. On Yates & 5th Avenues next to City Hall, across from the Laurel-Jones County Library, on Central Avenue and at Oak & Front Streets.
8. THE CHILDREN’S ART & SCIENCE AREA Sponsored and created by Clairmont Designs, the Children’s Art Area is the place to be for kids of all ages. STEM Discoveries will be on hand to help children learn about the Loblolly tree with great hands-on activities! The art and science area will be located beside Clairmont Designs near the corner of Oak & Front Streets.
9. MASONITE ART COMPETITION Sponsored by Laurel Arts League, student artwork painted on Masonite door skins will be on display at Lee’s Coffee & Tea depicting this year’s theme, “Life in Your Home Town.”
10. SOUTHERN BEVERAGE CO. LOBLOLLY BEER GARDEN Stop by the beverage wagon in Pinehurst Park one block down from the Loblolly Stage for a cup your favorite domestic or craft beers. Don’t miss your chance to meet the folks from Downtown Laurel’s own Slowboat Brewing Company. Join us after the festival for the Slowboat After Party!
11. HERITAGE ARTS FESTIVAL The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will hold its FREE 24th annual Heritage Arts Festival from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on the Museum’s front lawn in recognition of National Arts and Humanities Month. This year’s festival theme will be “Fall Fun!”
* THE LOBLOLLY LUMBERJACK The Loblolly Lumberjack is a definite crowd favorite as he towers over the festival goers adorned in plaid and carrying his trusty axe. Take a photo with the Lumberjack as he explores the festival throughout the day.
* DOWNTOWN MERCHANT SCARECROW HARVEST Downtown Laurel will be alive with colorful and creative life-size scarecrows on display at various retail, restaurant and business locations throughout Downtown! Enjoy this fun display and friendly competition among the downtown merchants.
Post a photo of your favorite Loblolly sights and activities on Instagram with the official #loblollylover hashtag for a chance to win a FREE 2016 Loblolly t-shirt!
Old Memphis Kings // 9:30 – 10:45am
Born under the tutelage of a blues man named Willie King, adapted to fit the time around it, The Old Memphis Kings is a blues/rock band based in Mississippi.
Phat Alley// 11:15 – 12:30pm
Pinebelt Pickers // 1:00 – 2:15pm
The band has a great mixture with unique instruments and harmonic voices playing their original music like no other.
Molly Thomas & the Rare Birds // 2:45 – 4:15pm
Molly’s music stirs up a plethora of emotions. Sometimes, tied to a sense of loss, but if you are able to step out of this disjointed world in which we live, you will find that there is also plenty of room for toasting, loving and laughing.
Johnny Sansone // 4:45-6:00pm
Sansone’s howling, rip-through-the-plaster voice and deep grooved harmonica riffs are the main attractions, but hard core fans will appreciate the wit and wisdom of his character songs.
Stop by the Beer Garden sponsored by Southern Beverage near the stage in Pinehurst Park as you enjoy great music by these talented local artists!
The Arts & Crafts Vendors come in every shape, size and variety and are a huge part of the Loblolly Festival. From children’s clothes to christmas gifts and decor, handmade apparel to wooden toys, the arts and crafts vendors are the first stop for many festival goers.
The Food Vendors will be ready to fill your belly with delicious fair food, unique creations and festival favorites. The food trucks and booths will be dishing out everything from smoked turkey legs and blooming onions to funnel cakes, corndogs, kettle corn and sausage dogs. Don’t miss the Catfish on a Stick!
The Organizations booths will feature those who are dedicated to helping others and information on how you can join them. Community organizations from throughout Jones County will be on hand to help you better understand not only what they do and how they help, but how you can get involved!
The 2016 Festival Sponsors & Producers
South Central Regional Medical Center
Gilchrist, Sumrall, Yoder, Yoder & Leggett, PLLC
Laurel Ford Lincoln/Kia of Laurel
Thank you to our festival sponsors, producers and LMS partners for making this all possible!
Wondering “What is a Loblolly?” Get your answer here.
See y’all at the Loblolly Festival!