Laurel, Mississippi is more than a community, it’s a family

You’ll never be short on delicious food, football or love

Growing up in Laurel, Mississippi was like growing up in a country music song.  I went to high school across the street from a cow pasture.  High School football is king. Everyone knows everyone.

I spent 10 years in my own personal country song and never really appreciated my hometown.  Back then, it was just a place I wanted to get away from.  Now, it’s the place that I count down the days to get back to.

The Southern charm 

Laurel is a “yes ma’am” and “no sir”, “please” and “thank you” type of town.  From downtown movie nights in the summer to art festivals, Laurel has no shortage of southern charm.

People start counting down the days to the South Mississippi Fair as soon as the temperature drops below 70 degrees for the first time.  We hold the doors open for each other and question how someone was raised if they let it close in our faces.

Amazing place, better people

We never had to worry about how we were going to get home from school if our parents had to work late. We never had to worry about anything really.

The people of Laurel were always there to drive us home, drive us to practice, or simply make sure that we never went without if need be.

Sweet treats

Sweet Somethings was the talk of the town when they opened their doors earlier this year.

They have impressed the town with their amazing cupcakes, adorable ice cream bar, and awesome pecan pies.

The history

The movie “The Free State of Jones” starring Matthew McConaughey hit theaters earlier this year and gave my hometown its fifteen minutes of fame.  The Tweet version of the movie is: a Mississippi farmer, played by Matthew McConaughey, was opposed to the Confederacy, labeled as a Confederate Army deserter, and led a revolt against the Confederacy.

A trip to Downtown Laurel is also like a trip back in time.  The brick, oak lined streets are like something out of a movie.  Laurel is also home to: Lance Bass, Leontyne Price, James Street, Ray Watson, Parker Posey, Ralph Boston, and Tom Lester. The heritage of our little town really gives Laurel its personality.

The local eats

To be completely honest, Laurel only has three or four restaurants that are locally owned.  Despite the quantity of restaurants, Laurel gets 10’s across the board in quality.  Café La Fleur is the perfect place to catch up with friends and family after being out of town for a while.

Mi Casita, Laurels’ best Mexican restaurant, is the only place that a birthday should be celebrated.  Lee’s Coffee & Tea is one of the go-to lunch spots Downtown.  Laurel is also home to The Knight Butcher which offers the only meat that you’ll ever need to try.  Their jalapeño and cheddar burgers are a personal favorite and are reason enough alone to visit Laurel.

It’s a common occurrence that my mother asks me if I only came home for the food.

The local shopping

Whether you’re looking for cute clothes or a new, or vintage, coffee table, Laurel has got you covered.

Bella Bella and The Pink Anchor are my favorite clothing and accessory stores.  Peddler’s Junktion, The Rusty Chandelier, and Southern Antiques are the goto for you vintage and antique needs.

The events

Two of events that are upcoming are The Laurel Kiwanis Pancake Day which is a Christmas Parade Day tradition here in Laurel.  The second is the Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown.  Throughout the year, the people of Laurel are always looking forward to something.

There events include: Day in the Park in May, Trick or Treating in October, The Loblolly Festival in October, and Downtown Thursdays through the summer just to name a few.

The Christmas lights

The Christmas lights in Mason Park are part of everyone’s Christmas tradition.  Whether they drive through or get out to take pictures, this is something that is a can’t miss.  I have lived in Laurel for 10 years and have never one actually seen someone putting up Mason Park’s Christmas lights.

Then again, Santa’s elves are known for being very sneaky.

The art 

Laurel, Mississippi had another 15 minutes of fame when HGTV released the pilot of Home Town.  Laurel natives, Erin and Ben Napier  show their artistic abilities off by taking Laurel’s historical houses and giving them a modern turn around while still leaving them classic.

Laurel is also home of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Arts.  They host several exhibitions throughout the year and keep the content fresh.  This nationally recognized museum is one of the gems of Laurel, Mississippi.

The Arabian, or Laurel Little Theater, also brings the world of art and entertainment to life with their breathtaking performances. Some of their past performances include: “The Crucible”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Jekyll & Hyde”, “Peter Pan”, “Little Women”, “Cinderella”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, and “Hairspray”.


Growing up in Laurel, I learned that there was nothing that a Sunday morning in church or a prayer to Jesus couldn’t fix.  Laurel is located at the heart of the Bible Belt, and you really cannot drive more than a couple of miles without passing another church.

I’ve fallen in love with so many places during my past 22 years of life.  No matter where I go or how old I am, nothing will ever compare to the feeling of seeing the “Welcome to Laurel” sign in my headlights after being gone for a while.

Ole Miss: University of Mississippi