Mayor welcomes tour group from Oklahoma at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

April 3, 2023

On Monday morning, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee welcomed a tour group from Village Travel based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The group included residents of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas, but was led by Laurel, Mississippi native, Judith Toombs Hilbun. Hilbun and her husband moved to Oklahoma years ago for her husband’s job in the oil industry. “We’d move back to Laurel in a heartbeat!” she said.

During the visit, Mayor Magee welcomed Hilbun back home and greeted the members of her tour group. “We are so glad that you are here,” he said. Mayor Magee warned the visitors that spring weather in Mississippi can be unpredictable “We can have three seasons in one day,” he said pointing out that this morning the city was under a tornado watch “this afternoon, you may see snow flurries!”

He also praised George Bassi and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and told the group that Bassi, who was scheduled to talk to the group later on, was the city’s go-to guy for local information. “If we need directions, we call George. If we need historical information, we call George. On the show, when Ben says who used to own a house, he got that information from George.” he explained.

“If there is anything that we can do for you at City Hall, just let us know. And enjoy Laurel!” he said.

Evelyn Metzler, from Kansas, spoke up, “You can come back here and let me shake your hand!” Mayor Magee obliged before letting the group continue on their scheduled activities for the day.

The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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