That's why we're sharing our top 10 reasons why you should make Laurel your destination this summer.
Home Town Sight-Seeing
Laurel's very own, Home Town, the hit show on HGTV that focuses on restoring old homes around the historical district to their original glory, has been renewed for a third season! The best part about being in a small town is that it's not hard to spot the hosts of the show at Laurel Mercantile or walking their dogs downtown. You might even see the film crews hanging out in the shade to avoid the summer sun. If you don’t have any star sightings, you’re sure to notice some of the homes from the first and second season of the show and get some inspiration for your own home!
The YWCA’s Celebrate America Event
On June 28th, the community celebrates our country with a barbecue lunch, performances by the community kids choir, an exhibition of the ROTC from Laurel High School, and guest speaker Larry Callahan and Jimmy Bass. Only $10 a person and proceeds go towards helping the community build more programs! Find out more here.
The Downtown Laurel Farmer’s Market and Downtown Movie Night are some of the most anticipated summer events in Laurel. The Farmer’s Market is held on Magnolia Street in Downtown Laurel each Thursday in June from 5pm – 8pm. Farmers, home cooks, and artisans come from all over Mississippi to bring you homegrown produce and handmade goodies. Fresh bread, heirloom tomatoes and fresh squeezed blueberry lemonade are always local favorites. Plus, admission to the Farmer’s Market and Downtown Movie Night is FREE.
After the Downtown Farmer’s Market winds down, walk on over to The Backlot for Movie Night. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy family-friendly films such as “Coco” and "Ferdinand" that are shown each week on a giant outdoor movie screen. Food and drinks are available for purchase or you can bring your own and enjoy a picnic under the stars! Movies start at 8 p.m.
Here’s the line-up:
May 31st – Performances by Kerry Thomas + Movie Night showing of Coco + Fireworks Show at 8pm
June 7th -- Appearance by Ben & Erin Napier + Movie Night showing of Ferdinand
June 14th – Performance by Grayson Capps + Movie Night showing of Boss Baby
June 2st – Performance by John Milham + Movie Night showing of Peter Rabbit
June 28th—Vroom Bike & Car Show + Movie Night showing of Despicable Me 3
Laurel’s very own Central Creativity is a dynamic, innovative learning facility that provides immersive instruction in art, music, drama, craft, science, culinary arts, math, engineering, technology, reading, and writing to students in grades PreK-12.
This summer they’re offering multiple camps and workshops for the kiddos, like:
Astro Camp, where kids explore the mysteries of space with us as they take spacewalks in virtual reality, build working robots, plan a lunar colony, launch rockets, explore the surface of mars, make out-of-this-world astronaut ice cream, and collaborate as a crew to complete challenging space missions. Other camps include Urban Ecology, MiceCRAFTers, Drama, Art, Music, Culinary Arts, Literacy, Digital media, Fashion Design, S.T.E.A.M. camps and more!
Arts & Culture
Laurel has always been an epicenter for arts and culture. Every elementary school child in Jones County takes a field trip to the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art to see the Native American basket collection, but did you know that this museum also hosts some of the world’s finest traveling art exhibits too? LRMA is also the host to Free Family Art Days, summer art camps, and even art classes for adults. Better yet, admission is FREE for locals and visitors! Check their website or call for a complete schedule of summer events and special exhibits.
Laurel’s Only Craft Brewery
If you’re looking to kick back and enjoy a cold one in a place with awesome atmosphere, look no further than Slowboat Brewing Company. Take a tour of the brewery and see what it takes to make some of the best craft beer in the state of Mississippi. Slowboat also hosts regular trivia nights and live music acts that might surprise you. Saturday afternoons at Slowboat are completely family friendly with board games, giant Jenga, and food trucks to satisfy everyone. Guided tours begin at the top of every hour. Tours include six 6 oz of samples of Slowboat beer. Children, designated drivers, and pets are welcome and tour for free.
We have no words for what we witnessed yesterday. It was an amazing day and we couldn't have done it without y'all. We are nothing without our friends and family, and friends who have become family along the way. We love you all and hope you had as much fun as we did yesterday! See y'all soon! #iliveinlaurel #drinkmississippi #drinkbeerfromhere #rocktheboat
After sampling local craft beer at Slowboat Brewing Company, you might want a nice place to sit and take in the scenery. Gardiner Park and Mason Park are the perfect spots for this.
For you history lovers, Carrie Cullum, a Laurel native shares, "In the early 1900s, Laurel was experiencing rapid growth. The amazing mansions that line 5th Avenue today were brand new and the City Beautiful philosophy had taken hold. Mrs. Catherine Gardiner, decided that the cutover lands that her husband’s timber business had left behind would be the perfect place for public parks. As a wealthy and well-travelled woman, she insisted on hiring only the best architects she could find. She engaged the firm of Fredrick Olmsted, known as the “father of American Architecture” to design a city parkway system for tiny Laurel. He had already designed New York City’s Central Park and the grounds surrounding the U.S. Capitol so Mrs. Gardiner believed he was just the person to bring her vision to life. As a result, Laurel was soon declared by the National Recreation Association as having the best park system of any small town in America. Laurel’s public parks are well-preserved, serene and beautiful places to enjoy an afternoon with family and friends."
Treats & Eats
Food is part of the Laurel experience, and we want you to experience it all! Take a look at some of the best places to eat in Laurel:
To top off our Eats & Sweets portion from yesterday, the guests of @laurelmercantile can vouch that Lee’s Coffee and Tea is a local and guest favorite. Perfect fit for any palette with its vast selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Not to mention the poured-over coffee available now! If you’re visiting this week, drop by @leescoffeetea and try their warm pimiento cheese sandwich, the chicken and rice soup, and the famous, perfectly-sweetened tea. Be sure to check out all of the local eats in the @visitlaurel story! #iliveinlaurel
Laurel is filled with creators, makers, and entrepreneurs. Each store offers a unique experience. Here’s a list of places to #shoplocal when you come:
7th Style | Adam Trest Home | Fine Art by Amy Luker | Baptist Bible & Book House | Bella Bella | Closet Candy | Guild & Gentry | Goodness Gracious | HAND+made by Clairmont&Co. | J. Parker Reclaimed | Jack & Jill Children’s Consignment| The Laurel Leaf | Laurel Mercantile Co. | The Loblolly Boutique | Lott Furniture Co.| Misty’s | Molly Renee’s | New Look | Office Products Center | Patina’s | Peddler’s Junktion| Quarter Century| Six Point Furniture | The Paper Studio | The Rusty Chandelier | Southern Antiques | Woodcut Funhouse | The Gift Shop at Oak Street Place
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Blues Bash
On June 8th, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art will host their 25th Annual Blues Bash on the front lawn of the museum. The artist line-up is unmatched, as is the barbecue! Locals set up picnic blankets, lawn chairs, and coolers along the oak-lined streets of Fifth Avenue that could rival a Saturday in The Grove on game day. If you're lucky, you can find a good porch swing to rest easy on with a few neighbors. Advance tickets are available at the museum and online or you can buy them the day of the bash.