Jones County Chamber hosts Governor’s Job Fair!

The Jones County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to host the I-59 Job Fair on September 16th. The registration deadline for companies to have a booth is September 3. The Job Fair will be inside the Sawmill Square Mall in the old JCPenny space. Find more information about how to register your company HERE.

 

 


Advertise for the World Series!

Advertise on the Visit Laurel – Jones County app & reach 1,500 visitors a week! The Dixie Youth World Series welcome bags will include information on how to use the Visit Laurel-Jones County trip planning app. This is where players and parents can access complete lists of where to eat, shop and explore. Plus there will be a featured Points of Interest list that will have details on registration, opening ceremonies, games and wherever YOU want to lead them to in-between! We are offering two ways to gain exposure for your business. The first is by purchasing Ad space on the “EAT” or “SHOP” list for $50 an ad. The second is by purchasing a featured stop on the World Series Points of Interest List. To purchase one or both of these ads, click HERE! 


2021 Women In Business Forum Announced!

Mark your calendars for August 24th! The 2021 Women In Business Forum brought to you by Community Bank is a must attend event.

The Keynote speaker for the 2021 Women In Business Forum is Leisha Pickering, Founder and CEO of Musee Bath. Leisha founded Musee Bath with a wonderful mission at its core. Musee makes handcrafted, natural bath products in Madison County, Mississippi with the mission of restoring lives by providing dignified work for vulnerable people in the community. They primarily hire women in recovery, people with disabilities, and people who have lived in chronic poverty. Musee products are handmade in the USA with ethically sourced, natural ingredients. Musee bath balms are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free and safe for all skin types. Leisha is sure to be an absolutely wonderful keynote speaker.

This event is not just for women. Our Women in Business Forum is a great educating tool for EVERYONE in the workforce.  If you are a working woman, boss of women, or coworker to women, you are invited to the Women In Business Forum.

We will be announcing some additional speakers soon so watch for updates!  Secure your seat at the forum by registering online HERE.


Join us for a Membership Orientation!


      We are so excited to have received several new members in the past few months! We have also been reintroducing some of our programs that were temporarily paused during the pandemic last year. With so many new faces in the mix, we decided this was a great time to host a membership orientation. While one purpose of this orientation is to educate new members, it is always open to any member who may be interested in a membership refresher! If your company has a new employee, this may be an excellent way to introduce them to the community and educate them on how to maximize your membership.  We strongly encourage anyone to sign up!

This membership orientation will be hosted as a breakfast meeting on July 27 at 8:30AM. This meeting is completely FREE to attend. We will provide you with a free breakfast as we go over the many benefits and membership programs we have to offer you.

Don’t be shy! This is a great time to ask questions for both new and existing members. If there is a program you are interested in learning more about, let us know! We can prepare more material covering that topic or program and have it available for you at the orientation. Even though this is a free event, please register so we can have a general headcount. You may register by calling the office at 601-649-3031 or online HERE.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions! We are looking forward to a great membership orientation!


2021 Membership Golf Tournament is September 10!

We are so excited to be hosting the first golf tournament in over a year at the Laurel Country Club! We have been waiting patiently for events to resume and the calendar is finally full again. You can register to play or sponsor this year’s membership golf tournament HERE.

Jones County Winter Events

Look no further for a full calendar of events around Jones County this winter. We hope you will #VisitJones soon!

And, mark your calendar for the bigget spring event coming up – the Block Party for the Season 3 Finale  of HGTV’s Home Town – to be held on Monday, April 8 in downtown Laurel. Lots of fun things in the works to celebrate, so stay tuned!

If you have an event to share, please e-mail the information to Amanda Roll, amandar@edajones.com.

FEBRUARY

January 29-April 28:O Patria Mia: Leontyne Price & Aida” Exhibit at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

For the first time ever, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is hosting an exhibit focusing on the work of Laurel native and world-renowned soprano Leontyne Price. The Museum’s new exhibition, “O Patria Mia: Leontyne Price and Aïda,” celebrates Price and the role that brought her to prominence. “O Patria Mia” means “oh my dear homeland,” and this exhibition in the land of her birth includes costumes worn by Price in her operatic farewell performance, original paintings for the illustrations in her book about the opera, and videos of her performances. The exhibition is on view through April 28th. INFO:  https://www.lrma.org/.

February 1: South Central Regional Medical Center (SCRMC) – Health Fair

SCRMC will hold a comprehensive Community Health Fair at South Central Place for adults ages 18 years and older. Free health screenings, interactive health education booths, healthy snacks and much more will be provided to all who attend. Admission is free. Hours are: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. INFO: 601.399.0501 or email nmccraney@scrmc.com.

February 1: Lee’s Coffee & Tea – Open Mic/Live Music Night 

Come sing a song or just enjoy the music with some good craft coffee or beer! As always, all ages appropriate.Hours are: 6:30-9 p.m. INFO: 601-649-4161 or facebook.

 

February 2: Slowboat Brewing Company – Grayson Capps

Live music. Admission is free, all ages are welcome and the event is pet friendly. Hours are: 7:30-10 p.m. INFO: Slow Boat Brewing Company Facebook Page.

 

 

 

February 7 – 10: Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots 

Located in downtown Ellisville, the Emporium is an occasional market that is typically open the first full weekend (Thursday-Sunday) of each month. Designed with the unique in mind, shoppers can browse through all kinds of whatnots, as well as hand-crafted and homegrown products such as soaps and candles. INFO: 601-580-7429 or  facebook.

 

 


February 8:
Lee’s Coffee & Tea – Board Game Night

Come try a new board game or bring your own and play with friends! We’ll have a game or two out and set up to play. Bring your own friends, or come and make some new ones. Hours are: 6:30-9 p.m. INFO: 601-649-4161 or  facebook.

 

February 9: Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off – Downtown Laurel 

Laurel Main Street kicks off each new year with the annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off. Enjoy music, beverages, and watching the teams competing to be the winner of the annual chili cook off. All entries are cooked on site and judged by a team of professionals. Chili is sold by the all-you-can-eat $10 entry or by the bottomless $25 keepsake pottery bowl. Bottomless bowls are hand crafted by local potter, Carl Buchanan. Children under 12 can grab a hot dog at the Magnolia State Bank Hospitality Tent, sample the chili, and enjoy the festivities for FREE! No pets, please. INFO: 601-433-3255 or check HERE.

 

 

February 9: Slowboat Brewing Company – Artist Market at Slowboat

This is a market FOR artists, as well as art appreciators. Entry is free for all, and it’s all ages. Come check out some of the most talented artists in our area, and take home some unique pieces to enjoy every day at home. We will have food, non-alcoholic refreshments, and of course, Slowboat beer on site. Artists: Booth space is FREE, but please contact Slowboat Brewing Company via private message on Facebook to reserve your spot. We hope to focus on art in all of its forms, but not “arts & crafts.” We highly encourage on site art demos. Please, contact for any further questions. Live music provided by Shelby Kemp. Begins at 2 p.m. INFO: Slow Boat Brewing Company Facebook Page.

 

February 15: Lee’s Coffee & Tea – Vinyl Night 

Bring your vinyl to spin and/or listen to others’ records and learn some new music. Geek out with fellow vinyl enthusiasts, trade albums if you want, and just enjoythe warm vibes that only vinyl provides. Hours are: 6:30-9 p.m. INFO: 601-649-4161 or facebook.

 

 

February 16: Cupid Shuffle-a-Thon in Downtown Laurel

Come ready to SHUFFLE YOUR FEET as we make our mark for Boston Park on February 16th in downtown Laurel. The 546 yard dash (0.5K) will benefit the revitalization of historic Boston Park in the Queensburg community. Dress head to toe in your best Valentine’s attire as we celebrate Laurel’s first Cupid Shuffle-A-Thon— a dash for donuts, drinks, and dreams for building Jones County. PRIZES will be awarded for best costumes. Join the Jones County Dream Builders, members of the 2019 Leadership Jones County program, as they shuffle and share about the great new projects coming to Laurel this year.  INFO:  $30/racer and register online HERE.

 

 

February 18 – March 22: Jones College Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery – Charmagne Andrews Sculpture Exhibit

Charmagne Andrews is an associate professor of art at Alabama State University. Her exhibition features portraits of eyes. Admission is free. Gallery hours are: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

 

 

February 21 – 24: The Rusty Chandelier 

If it’s the third Thursday-Sunday of the month, then it’s time for The Rusty Chandelier occasional market. Located just off Carroll Gartin Blvd. in Laurel, The Rusty Chandelier has thousands of treasures, from antiques to jewelry to clothing and lots of things in between. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. INFO:  www.rustychandelier.netor 601-649-4050.

 

 

February 23: Strike Out Abuse Bowling Tournament

Another fundraiser for a 2019 Leadership Jones County team – Team Guardian is holding a Strike out Domestic Violence Bowling Tournament with all proceeds going toward projects to help the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter. Sign up as a 4 person bowling team while spots are available or come and hang out and learn more about the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter. INFO: Admission is $25. For more information about the event or to sign up please email us at strikeoutabuse@gmail.com.

 

 

February 28 – March 3: Jones College Spring Musical – “Hairspray”

The popular, high-energy Broadway musical “Hairspray” comes to the Jones College stage this spring. Performance times are: Thursday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2:30 p.m. Admission will be charged for this event. INFO: Jennifer Bruton, 601-477-2675 or jennifer.bruton@jcjc.edu.

 

MARCH

March 1: Lee’s Coffee & Tea – Open Mic/Live Music Night 

Come sing a song or just enjoy the music with some good craft coffee or beer! As always, all ages appropriate.Hours are: 6:30-9 p.m. INFO: 601-649-4161 or Facebook!

 

 

March 2: Laurel Mardi Gras Parade Sponsored by The Fraternal Order of Polilce 

Join in the fun of carnival season either as a participant or a spectator as the Laurel Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police holds its third annual Mardi Gras Parade. Entry fee is $100 per judged float and $50 general entry. Applications are available at Laurel Police Headquarters and are due by 5 p.m., Feb. 28. Gold and silver sponsorships are also available. All proceeds will benefit charitable work by the Laurel FOP Lodge, including the annual Shop with a Cop program at Christmas. Parade begins at 6 p.m. and follows the traditional parade route through downtown Laurel. INFO:Lt. Jim Thornhill, 601-498-8088 or jthornhill@laurelms.com.

March 3: Llettesha Sylvester Concert at LRMA

Join us as Llettesha Sylvester, distinguished soprano and vocalist with the Mississippi Opera, performs a concert of notable arias, songs and spirituals from Leontyne Price’s most distinguished career.  Sylvester is an award-winning classical and gospel vocalist who completed her Artist Diploma in Music Performance at the University of Trinidad and Tobago.  She is currently a senior at Alcorn State University.

 

 

March 7 – 10: Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots 

Located in downtown Ellisville, the Emporium is an occasional market that is typically open the first full weekend (Thursday-Sunday) of each month. Designed with the unique in mind, shoppers can browse through all kinds of whatnots, as well as hand-crafted and homegrown products such as soaps and candles. INFO: 601-580-7429 or Facebook.

 

 


March 8:
Lee’s Coffee  & Tea – Board Game Night

Come try a new board game or bring your own and play with friends! We’ll have a game or two out and set up to play. Bring your own friends, or come and make some new ones. Hours are: 6:30-9 p.m. INFO: 601-649-4161 or Facebook!

 

 

March 15: Lee’s Coffee & Tea – Vinyl Nights 

 Bring your vinyl to spin and/or listen to others’ records and learn some new music. Geek out with fellow vinyl enthusiasts, trade albums if you want, and just enjoy the warm vibes that only vinyl provides. Hours are: 6:30-9 p.m. INFO: 601-649-4161 or facebook.

 

 

 

March 21 – 24: The Rusty Chandelier

If it’s the third Thursday-Sunday of the month, then it’s time for The Rusty Chandelier occasional market. Located just off Carroll Gartin Blvd. in Laurel, The Rusty Chandelier has thousands of treasures, from antiques to jewelry to clothing and lots of things in between. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. INFO: www.rustychandelier.netor 601-649-4050.

 

 

March 22: Jones College Spring Recital Series 

The annual Jones College Spring Recital Series begins today. The performing artist(s) will be announced at a later date. Recital concerts are held in the Foote Chapel. Admission is free. Concerts begin at 12:25 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes. INFO: 601-477-4094.

 

 

March 26: Jones College JC Voices Spring Concert

JC Voices, under the direction of Dr. Susan Smith, will present its annual spring concert at Laurel’s First-Trinity Presbyterian Church. Admission is free. The concert begins at 7 p.m. INFO: 601-477-4094.

 

March 29: Jones College Spring Recital Series 

The annual Jones College Spring Recital Series begins today. The performing artist(s) will be announced at a later date. Recital concerts are held in the Foote Chapel. Admission is free. Concerts begin at 12:25 p.m. and last approximately 30 minutes. INFO: 601-477-4094.


Fall into Jones

 

While the weather may be cooling down just a touch now that fall has arrived, things are really starting to heat up in Jones County with lots of family friendly activities to enjoy throughout the season. From October through mid-December, there’s not a week that goes by that doesn’t have a fun event scheduled. Many are free and all are open to the public. Here’s a look at some of the events and activities on the calendar for this fall in Jones County.

If you have an event to share, please e-mail the information to Amanda Roll, amandar@edajones.com.

 

OCTOBER

Oct. 1-Nov. 11: Lauren Rogers Museum of ArtDaVinci’s Machines Exhibit

This traveling exhibit brings the innovations and genius of Leonardo DaVinci to life with more than 75 inventions reconstructed from his illustrations and writings. Guests will encounter and test these amazing inventions form flying machines and war weapons to diving gear and a self-propelled car. This is an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to touch, handle and gain a first-hand appreciation for how they work. Admission to the LRMA is always is free, and offers Sunday hours of 1-4 p.m. in addition to being open 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. INFO: 601-649-6374 or www.lrma.org.

 

Oct. 1-26: Jones College Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery – Thomas Jackson Painting Exhibit

The first of this year’s art exhibits at Jones College in Ellisville features the works of Thomas Jackson. Admission is free. Gallery hours are: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. INFO: Thomas Jackson Painting Exhibit

 

Oct. 4-7: Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots

Located in downtown Ellisville, the Emporium is an occasional market that is typically open the first full weekend (Thursday-Sunday) of each month. Designed with the unique in mind, shoppers can browse through all kinds of whatnots and antiques, as well as hand-crafted and homegrown products such as soaps and candles. INFO: 601-580-7429 or Carpenter Brothers Facebook Page.

 

Oct. 6: Loblolly Festival

Held annually on the first Saturday in October, The Loblolly Festival celebrates Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town. Vendors from several states, artists, crafters and craftsmen set up shop in the streets of downtown Laurel for this one-day event. Live music can be heard throughout the day, and the 2018 music lineup includes:

9:00 a.m. – Laurel Music Lessons
10:15 a.m. – Lloyd “Hurrican” Munn & the Forecasters
12:05 p.m. – Midnight Revel
1:55 p.m. – John Milham and The Inner Mission Band
3:45 p.m. – Young Valley

Food ranges from funnel cake to corn dogs to chicken on a stick and every variety of festival food imaginable. Lovable lumberjack, Mr. Loblolly, visits with the crowd and will stop for a photo op, too! Demonstrations vary from year to year, but crowd favorite Dayton Scoggins, the chainsaw artist, will be on hand for this year selling his creations as well as demonstrating the art of chainsaw sculpture. INFO: 601-433-3255 or www.laurelmainstreet.com. Also helpful hints to “know before you go” HERE.

 

Oct. 6: LRMA – Heritage Arts Festival

A free, annual family event, the theme for this year’s festival is Celebrating DaVinci’s Era of the Renaissance. Activities include hands-on art projects and features medieval re-enactors, as well as swords and armor created by Scott Wilson of Darkwood Armory. Hours are 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and free pizza and soft drinks will be served at 11:30 a.m. INFO: 601-649-6374 or www.lrma.org.

 

 

Oct. 12-20: South Mississippi Fair

Click image for full concert schedule

One of the largest fairs in the state, the South Mississippi Fair is nine fun-filled days of rides, concerts, exhibits and shows. Concerts in the Magnolia Center include country artist William Michael Morgan, Tuesday at 8 p.m. and classic Southern rockers Molly Hatchet, Thursday at 8 p.m. Some of the concerts scheduled for the Midway Stage are Motown/soul/pop cover band Compozitionz, Friday at 11 p.m., and the unique stylings of Galen Martin, Saturday at 7 p.m. General admission is $5. Children under 48” tall are free. Parking is free. Unlimited rides from 1-3 p.m. daily are $30 per person and 3 p.m.-close. INFO: 601-649-9010 or www.southmsfair.com.

 

 

Oct. 13: Phillips Drive-In Reunion

Since 1948, folks have been able to grab homemade burgers, shakes, fries and onion rings at Phillips Drive-In, known by locals as PDI’s. 2018 marks PDI’s 70th year in business, and what better way to celebrate than at the 8th Annual PDI Reunion? As if the food and live music weren’t enough reason to attend, the classic car and motorcycle show adds another whole level of fun to the festivities. Hanging out is free. Registration fee for cars and bikes is $20 and begins at 5 p.m. All proceeds go the Mississippi Baptist Children’s Home and Hellfighters/Mission at the Cross of Laurel. First, second and third place trophies will be awarded in ten classes. Reunion hours are 5-11 p.m. Be there or be square! INFO: Contact event coordinator Ken Keyes at ken54@gmail.com or click HERE for more information.

 

 

Oct. 19: ‘Make Something Good Today’ Book Tour Stop at the Laurel Mercantile

Ben and Erin Napier will celebrate the release of their first book, Make Something Good Today, during a 10-stop book tour in October. They will make their way back to their “Home Town” of Laurel on Friday, October 19 to host a book signing at their store the Laurel Mercantile from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Oct. 15-19: Lunch at the Fair

Tired of the same old lunch routine? Then grab your friends and head over to the fair grounds to enjoy lunch at one or more of the many food vendors. The fairgrounds will open for lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

 

 

Oct. 18-21: The Rusty Chandelier

If it’s the third Thursday-Sunday of the month, then it’s time for The Rusty Chandelier occasional market. Located just off Carroll Gartin Blvd. in Laurel. The Rusty Chandelier has thousands of treasures, from antiques to jewelry to clothing and lots of things in between. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. INFO:  www.rustychandelier.netor 601-649-4050.

 

 

Oct. 25: Shop 16th Fall Festival

Come enjoy an evening of food, games, live music and fun as we celebrate all things fall on 16thAvenue in Laurel. Hours are 3-7 p.m. in the parking lot of Rubies Home Furnishings. All attendees will receive coupon cards and discounts to the 16thAvenue shops. Admission is free. INFO: www.shop16th.com or 769-218-9867.

 

 

Oct. 28: LRMA Music of the Middle Ages

The Madrigal Singers of Jones College will present a concert of music from the Middle Ages in the American Gallery at 3 p.m. This event is free. INFO: 601-649-6374 or www.lrma.org.

 

Oct. 27: Cotton Gin Market at Rasberry Greene

Vendors from all over Mississippi and the South come together deep in the Piney Woods for a showcase of curated craftsmen, artisans, makers, purveyors of vintage and antique goods, delicious southern food and the sounds of South Mississippi. Rasberry Greene is an event venue located a few miles outside Soso. Market hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. INFO: 769-208-3802 or www.rasberrygreene.com

 

Oct. 30: Jones College Treats in the Streets

With its festival-like atmosphere, this Halloween tradition attracts thousands of children ages 12 and under and their parents to the campus of Jones College in Ellisville. Campus clubs and organizations decorate booths and have numerous activities for the children, including a costume contest. Hours are 5-7:30 p.m. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. INFO: 601-477-4845

 

NOVEMBER

Nov. 1-4: Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots

Located in downtown Ellisville, the Emporium is an occasional market that is typically open the first full weekend (Thursday-Sunday) of each month. Designed with the unique in mind, shoppers can browse through all kinds of whatnots and antiques, as well as hand-crafted and homegrown products such as soaps and candles. INFO: 601-580-7429 or Carpenter Brothers Facebook Page.

 

Nov. 1-11: LRMA DaVinci’s Machines

If November arrives and you still haven’t checked out DaVinci’s Machines at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, there is still time becasue the exhibit doesn’t end until November 11. Admission to the LRMA is always is free, and offers Sunday hours of 1-4PM in addition to being open 10AM-4:45PM Tuesday-Saturday. INFO: 601-649-6374 or www.lrma.org.

 

Nov. 3: Ellis Fest

Introducing the first ever Powhatan Ellis Festival (Ellis Fest for short) in Downtown Ellisville hosted by The Ellisville Downtown Merchants Guild with special help from many Ellisville service organizations. The festival will feature local musicians, music exhibition, a talent competition, art competition, merchants, vendors, food, and so much more! Hours will be 9AM-6:30PM. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a whole day of fun. Sponsorships and Vendor spots are available too. INFO: www.ellisfest.com.

 

Nov. 3: 4th Annual Moselle Memorial Baptist Church CAR, TRUCK, and RAT ROD SHOW

Car, Truck, and Rat Rod Show with Show and Shine Antique Tractor Displayat Moselle Memorial Baptist Church (6 Beeson Road/Highway 11, Moselle). There will be live music and plenty of food.   Registration begins at 9:00 A.M. and Ends at 11:00 A.M. Thirteen trophies will be given away; five for pre-1990, five for post-1990, and three for Best in Show. Awards will be given at 2:00 P.M. Entry fee is $20 per entry. Entry fee includes a free picture of Entry. Goody Bags and Door Prizes will also be given away. INFO: Please call 601-580-5550. Spectator admission is FREE.

 

Nov. 5-Dec. 5: Jones College Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery – Charlie Mabry Ceramic Sculpture Exhibit

The year’s second show spotlights with ceramic work of Charlie Mabry. Admission is free. Gallery hours are: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The college will be closed Nov. 19-23 for Thanksgiving Break. INFO: Charlie Mabry Exhibit.

 


Nov. 15-18: The Rusty Chandelier

If it’s the third Thursday-Sunday of the month, then it’s time for The Rusty Chandelier occasional market. Located just off Carroll Gartin Blvd. in Laurel. The Rusty Chandelier has thousands of treasures, from antiques to jewelry to clothing and lots of things in between. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. INFO:  www.rustychandelier.netor 601-649-4050.

 


Nov. 24-25: Christmas at the Village at Landrum’s County

One of South Mississipi’s favorite ways to kick off the holiday season! Landrum’s 35th annual Christmas at the Village is an old-fashioned Christmas celebration that’s fun for the whole family. Attendees will enjoy food from the Smokehouse, funnel cakes, photos with Santa Claus, hand-made craft vendors, civil war re-enactments, farm animals, gem mining, and LOTS of live entertainment. Stop by the General Store to listen to Bobby Hathorn pickin’ his banjo, grab some kettle korn, and take a wagon ride through our beautiful nature trails. The thousands of twinkling Christmas lights are sure to bring on the holiday cheer. Hours: Saturday 11/24 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11/25 12-8 p.m. INFO: Additional details available HERE.

Nov. 24: Shop Small Saturday

Be sure to mark this on your calendar as a day to shop local and support small businesses. Local business owners throughout Jones County will be open and many will have seasonal specials just waiting to be discovered.

 

 

Nov. 29: Jones College – “A Jingle Jazz Christmas” Benefit Concert

Held annually, this event showcases the talents of the Jones Jazz Band and JC Voices. In lieu of a ticket, Jones Fine Arts Department requests that people bring one new unwrapped toy for the Salvation Army’s “Angel Tree” program as admission to the concert. Showtime is 7 p.m. in the M. P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium on the Jones Campus. INFO: 601-477-4095, 601-477-4024 or HERE.

 

Nov. 29-Dec. 2: The Rusty Chandelier

This weekend is the annual holiday special opening for one of Jones County’s premier occassional market. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. INFO:  www.rustychandelier.netor 601-649-4050.

 

Nov. 30-Dec. 1: Market Beautiful

Laurel will once again host Market Beautiful! Come and kick off the Christmas season with Erin & Ben Napier from HGTV’s Home Town. There will be vintage shopping, food, drinks, kids’ activities, workshops, an on-stage talk with Erin & Ben followed by a meet-and-greet and a chance to get a copy of their new book signed. Hours are Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.  Tickets are $10. INFO: The Market Beautiful Facebook Page.

 

DECEMBER

Dec. 1: Christmas Parades in Laurel & Ellisville

When the cannon sounds at 10 a.m. it signals the start of the Laurel Sertoma Club Christmas Parade. Billed as the largest in the state, it winds its way from Sawmill Square Mall through downtown Laurel with floats, beauty queens, marching bands and much, much more. Then, at 2 p.m., the Ellisville Christmas Parade rolls from Jones College through downtown Ellisville. Bring your lawn chairs to both and enjoy!

 

 

Dec. 1: Kiwanis Pancake Day

A Laurel tradition that coincides with the Christmas Parade, Kiwanis Pancake day is all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage. Everybody sees everybody and a great time is had by all. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Dining locations are the YWCO in downtown Laurel and First Baptist Church.

 

 

Dec. 2-3: Jones College Concert Choir Christmas Concert – First Baptist Church, Laurel

An evening of Christmas music presented by the JC Concert Choir will put you in a good mood for the holiday season. Concert begins at 6 p.m. both nights. Admission is free. INFO: 601-477-4803 or HERE.

 

 

Dec. 4: Jones College Small Ensembles Winter Concert

This free event showcases several small instrumental ensembles from the Jones Concert Band. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the M. P. Bush Fine Arts Auditorium on the Jones Campus. INFO: 601-477-4843 or HERE.

 

 

Dec. 6-9: The Rusty Chandelier

Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sunday. INFO: www.rustychandelier.net or 601-649-4050.

 

 

Dec. 6-9: Carpenter Brothers Emporium of Wonderful Whatnots

Located in downtown Ellisville, the Emporium is an occasional market that is typically open the first full weekend (Thursday-Sunday) of each month. Designed with the unique in mind, shoppers can browse through all kinds of whatnots and antiques, as well as hand-crafted and homegrown products such as soaps and candles. NFO: 601-580-7429.

 


Digital Marketing Lunch and Learn Recap and Videos

Chamber of Commerce Hosts Digital Marketing Lunch & Learn

May 24, 2018 – “Prioritizing Your Digital Presence” presented by Tyler Raborn, Raborn Media

Nearly 100 Chamber members attended the second quarter Lunch & Learn on May 24 that was held at Life Church. Tyler Raborn, CEO of Raborn Media presented tools and tips for digital marketing for the Chamber’s business members.

Not every community is lucky enough to receive national recognition from a popular television show. This coupled with growth in industry and professional services, businesses across our community have more eyes on them than ever before thanks to this growing interest in Jones County merchants, jobs and services. Tyler provided the audience with practical approaches to improving their brand’s online presence through search engines, social media, content creation and more.

Follow the Chamber’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) and event calendar for announcements of future Lunch & Learns!

The Chamber would also like to thank Life Church for being our host location and for their video production services.

More About the Speaker – Tyler Raborn:
Tyler Raborn is the founder and CEO of Raborn Media, L.L.C, a full-service marketing firm. During his time at Raborn Media, Tyler has married creativity with cost efficiency to produce a ROI-centered culture. Through branding, budgeting, consulting, graphic design, website development, video production, digital advertising, traditional advertising, social media, and more, Raborn has helped a variety of businesses and nonprofits not only achieve, but surpass, their goals.

What are Lunch & Learns?:
A NEW series of Chamber hosted,  quarterly seminars that will feature expert speakers presenting timely topics on which all business can relate. Whether it be HR issues or the next trend in social media, Lunch & Learns will provide a local resource for education to activate growth for Jones County businesses. FREE for members to attend*, there will be ample networking time to meet with a cross-section of Chamber members and Jones County professionals.

Missed the Lunch & Learn?

View the clips by topic below from Tyler’s presentation.

 

New Brick & Mortar and Claiming Your Brand

 

Call to Action

 

ROI for Your Time

 

Organic vs. Paid Reach

 

Promoting Your Brand With Video

 

Targeting & Display Ads

 

Wrap Up – The Growth of Video & Free Resources

 

Q&A – Part 1

 

Q&A – Part 2


JONES COUNTY CHAMBER OFFERS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

By: Rebecca Patrick

            LAUREL – Spring is a season that inspires people to refresh and renew, to clean up and spruce up. With that in mind, the Jones County Chamber of Commerce is offering its members an opportunity to do just that with its new Community Development Grant Program.
            The purpose of the grant is to encourage existing business owners/tenants to upgrade their buildings for public safety and accessibility for persons with disabilities. Grants may also be used to enhance building exteriors and improve the overall appearance of a facility.
            “There are various programs like this throughout the state, and the Chamber thought this was something we could do to help our members,” explained Ross Tucker, president and CEO of the Jones County Chamber of Commerce. “By reinvesting in them and their improvement efforts, all of Jones County benefits. This is a win-win program, and we are excited to offer this to our Chamber members.”
            The grants for this year are available through September 30. All applicants will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. They are structured to be 50/50 reimbursable matches for amounts not to exceed $1,000.
To qualify, applicants must be current members in good standing with the Jones County Chamber of Commerce and the building must be located in Jones County.
Applicants must have a current business license and operate a retail business, restaurant, service company or office and employ fewer than 50 people. If the applicant is not the building owner, written permission, signed and notarized, must be obtained from the building owner.
Applicants must comply with all state and local laws and regulations pertaining to licensing and permits associated with the improvements.
Applying for the grant gives the Economic Development Authority of Jones County staff permission to visit the business for evaluation. The application must be approved by the Chamber’s grant committee whose decision will be final.
Grant recipients must provide before and after photographs documenting the grant expenditures. These photographs will be provided to the Chamber and may be used without restriction to promote the grant program. Recipients must wait 365 days before applying to the program again.
To be considered, applicants must complete the Community Development Grant Program Application in its entirety. The application is available online at the Jones County Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Applications should then be submitted to the Jones County Chamber of Commerce either by email to rosst@edajones.com or by U. S. Mail to P. O. Box 527, Laurel, MS  39440.

TODAY’S FURNITURE: HELPING OUTFIT HOMES FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS

By: Rebecca Patrick

            LAUREL – In a country where, according to “Forbes” magazine, only about 25 percent of small businesses make it past their 15th anniversary, it’s a pretty big achievement when one makes it past the half-century mark.
            With that statistic in mind, Today’s Furniture in downtown Laurel is approaching its 51st anniversary, no small feat for a store that employs fewer than ten people. Husband and wife team of Kline and Dawn Allred Estess are the second generation co-owners of Today’s Furniture. Dawn Estess believes adhering to her parents’ advice has been the key to the store’s success.
            “We have always treated everyone the same, with respect and dignity,” she explained. “God created everyone equal. That’s the way my mom and dad did business and that’s the way we continue to do business.”
            Dawn Estess’ parents, Ken and Jackie Allred, opened their furniture store in its first location, Heidelberg, in 1966 with a $3000 loan.
“There was lots of hard work, blood, sweat and tears involved in getting that store going,” Dawn Estess said.
As with many family-owned businesses, the children often tagged along to work with their parents. Dawn and her sister were no exceptions.
            “I remember, as a child, riding my tricycle around the store (in Heidelberg),” she recalled with a smile. “The store was in an old, old building that had a big pot-bellied stove in the middle to heat it.”
            In 1989, the Allreds opened their Laurel store in addition to the one in Heidelberg. In 1993, they closed the Heidelberg store to concentrate on Laurel. Over the years, Today’s Furniture has been housed in several locations. With each new move, the business expanded. The current location on Leontyne Price Boulevard boasts one of the largest furniture showrooms in the area at nearly 24,000 square feet.
            “One of the things a lot of people don’t know about our building is that it used to be a bowling alley,” Dawn Estess said.
            Helping people create a home where they can relax and get away from the pressures of their work gives the Estesses great satisfaction.
            “I remember a man who taught school and worked for mom and dad in the afternoons buying furniture from my parents,” Dawn Estess said. “That was 45 years ago and he’s still buying furniture from us.”
            “I don’t think any of us ever expected, 50 years later, to be dealing with the third and fourth generations of the store’s original customers,” added Kline Estess.
            The Estesses worked alongside the Allreds for many years. Ken, who passed away earlier this year, and Jackie got to see their grandsons play and eventually work part time in the store. While working together as a family has many positive aspects, Dawn Estess said that there is at least one common misperception.
            “People think when you own your own business you just hire people to do everything,” she laughed. “That’s definitely not the case. In a small business, you do a little bit of everything. You can’t just shut the store to go to your kid’s ballgame. It does limit what you can just go and do.”
            With their eyes toward the future, the Estesses are looking forward to having many more years in the furniture business. Among the commitments they have made with regards to their inventory is to use sources that are as local as possible or made in the USA.
“Almost all of our upholstery items and half of our bedroom (furniture) are made in Mississippi or Alabama,” said Dawn Estess.
“And we also carry the Ashley and Lazy Boy brands, both of which are made in Mississippi,” Kline Estess added.
The Estesses are also excited about the City of Laurel’s plans for beautifying and expanding Leontyne Price Boulevard. In conjunction with the city’s plans, they plan to do a little sprucing up of their storefront as well.
“The exterior of our store is very deceptive, we hear that almost every day,” Kline Estess said. “From the outside, (people) have no idea it’s got nearly 24,000 square feet of furniture. The store is very plain on the outside, but, with the new road coming through, we have plans to (work on the exterior). However, until we know how close the road is going to be to our building, we have to wait on that.”
In the meantime, the Estesses look forward to doing what they feel they do best.
“We try to offer a wide selection of home furnishings in a wide variety of styles and price points, from starter homes to the home of your dreams,” Dawn Estess said. “That’s what we plan to keep on doing. And, we will continue to treat everyone like we want to be treated, just like my parents taught me.”