Journal



Fall-ing for Mississippi's Downtown

Southerners crave fall more than any other group of people I know. The cooler temperatures bring a break from the oppressive heat, the humidity is nearly non-existent, and the flaming leaves of autumn trees put on a show that makes us all feel warm and cozy. 

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This is what the perfect day sounds like. 🌧🍂

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In Laurel, we welcome fall with Laurel Main Street’s annual Loblolly Festival, which takes place each year on the first Saturday in October. Food, arts, and crafts vendors from all over the southeast set up on the brick streets of downtown Laurel for a full day of family fun and live music in celebration of our town and the Loblolly Pine tree, which helped turn Laurel from a lowly swamp to the Yellow Pine Capital of the World. Festival goers will also enjoy seeing the decorative scarecrows from Laurel’s “Scarecrow Invasion,” a friendly competition among our downtown merchants. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, October 6th and will feature 5 live music acts on the Loblolly stage, craft demonstrations, children’s activities and food trucks from across the south.

  

 

In conjunction with Loblolly Festival, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art hosts the Heritage Arts Festival. This is a FREE family program that includes hands-on art activities. While you’re there, pop inside and take in LRMA’s newest exhibit “Da Vinci’s Machines,” in Laurel through November 11th. Heritage Arts Festival and Loblolly Festival are the perfect way to spend an early fall day in Historic Downtown Laurel!

 

 October schedule of events:

Open Mic Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 10/5

Laurel Main Street Loblolly Festival - 10/6

LRMA Heritage Arts Festival - 10/6

Wine & Design at Lott Furniture Co. - 10/9

Board Game Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 10/12

Vinyl Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 10/19

The Rusty Chandelier 10/18-10/21

 Live Music at Slowboat Brewing Co - every Saturday evening

 

 

As the temperatures drop in November, the activities really ramp up! On November 4th, the merchants of Downtown Laurel will host their annual holiday open house. It’s a fantastic afternoon of shopping, sampling, and specials and is a great opportunity to accomplish some Christmas shopping. If all that shopping doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, you might need to attend a performance of The Christmas Story — The Musical at the historic Arabian Theatre.

The Laurel Little Theatre is currently in its 58th season and is looking forward to welcoming the holidays with this classic story on stage! Tickets for performances of A Christmas Story — TheMusical will go on sale on November 2nd. The fantastic shows produced by the Laurel Little Theatre usually sell out and we’re sure this one will not be an exception. Performances are scheduled for November 9th-11th and 16th-18th. For more information, visit the Laurel Little Theatre online at www.laurellittletheatre.com.

 To get into the holiday spirit, we invite you to join us as we light the official Christmas tree for the City of Laurel on November 29th. This beautiful event is held just after dark in Pinehurst Park, next door to the historic Arabian Theatre and across from Laurel’s City Hall. The lighting of the downtown Laurel Christmas Tree features holiday performances from local dance troupes and choirs. Many of our downtown merchants also offer extended shopping hours for this event. It’s a lovely night to take stroll under the twinkling lights of downtown Laurel.

 

 

November schedule of events:

Open Mic Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 11/2

Downtown Holiday Open House - 11/4

Board Game Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 11/9

 The Christmas Story — The Musical at Laurel Little Theatre - 11/9-11 and 11/16-18

 Wine & Design at Lott Furniture Co. - 11/13

The Rusty Chandelier - 11/15-11/18

Small Business Saturday - 11/24

Christmas Tree Lighting - 11/29

The Market Beautiful - 11/30-12/1

Live Music at Slowboat Brewing Co. every Saturday evening

One of the most highly anticipated events of the holiday season is Pancake Day, which coincides with the Laurel Sertoma Club’s annual Christmas Parade, the largest Christmas parade in the state, I might add. Pancake Day is such a big deal, such a Laurel tradition that The Laurel Mercantile even offers a candle bearing its name. On December 1st, beginning at 6am, hungry patrons line up at the YWCO downtown or at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center for all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage prepared and served by Kiwanis and Key Club members. Tickets are $5 in advance and $6 at the door. It’s just not Christmas in Laurel until you’ve eaten pancakes and watched the parade!

 

 

 The next weekend in Laurel will also get you in the holiday spirit as well. On December 6th, the YWCO of Laurel will host its annual Ladies’ Victorian Christmas Tea. On December 7th, the Arabian Theatre welcomes renowned percussionist, John Milham, and The Joe Cool Trio for the Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas Concert. This concert is truly a delight and a holiday tradition all ages will enjoy. On December 8th, wander back over to the YWCO for brunch with Santa.

This is a one-day-only event (Santa’s a busy guy, y’all!), but oh so fun for kids and kids at heart.

For a magical shopping experience you won’t forget, Laurel Main Street and the merchants of Downtown Laurel invite you to experience the Magic of Downtown Laurel on December 21st.

Stores extend their hours and open their doors to shoppers and browsers alike. There will be trolley rides throughout downtown, family arts and crafts, cookies with Mrs. Claus, as well as opportunities to see the beautiful homes of Laurel’s historic district all lit up for the holidays.

 

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It's a magical time to say #iliveinlaurel.

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December schedule of events:

Kiwanis Club Pancake Day - 12/1

Laurel Sertoma Christmas Parade - 12/1

 LRMA Gala - 12/1

The Market Beautiful - 12/1

Victorian Christmas Tea at the YWCO - 12/6

Open Mic Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 12/7

Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas Concert at Laurel Little Theatre - 12/7

Brunch with Santa - 12/8

Wine & Design at Lott Furniture Co. - 12/11

Board Game Night at Lee’s Coffee & Tea - 12/14

The Rusty Chandelier - 12/20-23

The Magic Downtown Laurel - 12/21

Live Music at Slowboat Brewing Co. every Saturday evening

 

Whether you’re planning a full day of family fun, reconnecting with old friends, or starting a magical holiday tradition, Downtown Laurel has something for everyone this fall!

 

Carrie is a native of Laurel and graduated from R.H. Watkins High School.  She graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.  Carrie started her social media marketing business, The Social Pages, in 2013.  She enjoys partnering with small business owners and watching their businesses grow and succeed.