Photo courtesy of Laurel Main St.
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The Loblolly Festival to Be Held in Laurel on October 1

Always held on the first Saturday of October, the Loblolly Festival invades downtown Laurel. Hosted by the Laurel Main Street Association, this has become one of the most popular and most anticipated events in the Pine Belt. Named after the Loblolly trees that famously covered the town and were the livelihood of so many, the festival combines an homage to the past and a vision of a bright future.

On Saturday, October 1, 2022, you are invited to come enjoy all the family-friendly events in downtown Laurel. The event will proceed whether rain or shine. From 9:00 am to 4 pm, the festival is filled with something that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Celebrating “Laurel’s heritage as a sawmill town” that thrived many years ago and was the top producer of lumber during the early development of the city, the festival offers a great time for guests to come enjoy the fun, food, and arts and crafts in downtown Laurel. There is no admission fee, and fest fills all the streets in the downtown area.

There will be vendors from many states, showcasing and selling their beautiful works of art and delicious treats. Talented artisans, crafters, and craftsmen will lining the streets with there unique and lovely works of art. As you browse the vendors, you’ll be serenaded by live music of a variety of genres throughout the day.

There’s always lots of activities for the kids, including free arts and crafts activities, lots of fun rides and jumping houses and slides, and maybe even a bucking bronco.

When you take a break from shopping till you drop, you have a variety of delicious food options to choose from. Food trucks to please everyone in the family will be lining the streets of Laurel. Get your first corn dog or funnel cake of the fall, try out the chicken on a stick, and so much more. There is just about every festival food imaginable at the Loblolly fest. Don’t miss out on the scarecrow contest that has become so popular every year as each business or organization creates their very own unique scarecrow that typically is influenced by the business or shop it adorns.

You’ll enjoy watching the artistic demonstrations from many of the talented artists and craftsmen around. One of the top crowd favorites is chainsaw artist Dayton Scoggins. Come watch him take a piece of wood and create a beautiful, intricate work with his magical chainsaw right before your very eyes.

Make sure you check out the talent of our future artists. Sponsored by The Laurel Arts League, middle school and high school artists paint a “door skin section supplied by Masonite Corporation.” The themes vary every year and are always breathtaking. Judged by a blind panel of visual art experts, the art will be on display at the festival in the downtown YWCO on West Oak Street. Cash prizes are available for winners. The winning art will become the property of Laurel Main Street and will be featured in a downtown venue. It will be a treat to see the artists of today and the work of our future artists.

Come enjoy the beauty and fun of downtown Laurel. The Loblolly Festival is almost like a kick off to the fall season. Keep a keen eye out for the lovable lumberjack, “Mr. Loblolly,” Ben Napier, one half of the very popular HGTV series “Hometown” and its several spinouts. Mr. Loblolly usually makes an appearance each year to visit with the crowds that continue to grow each year. If you’re lucky, you just might get a great photo opportunity with the humble and sweet Mr. Loblolly.

Make sure to mark your calendars so that you don’t miss this very fun event. For more information on the Loblolly Festival, visit LOBLOLLY FESTIVAL • Laurel Main Street .

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Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.

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