Christmas Tree Recycling – Drop Off Locations

Posted on: December 15, 2016

The City of Laurel Tree Board, along with the Parks & Recreation and Public Works Departments will host its Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program beginning January 4 through January 18. The program features two drop-off locations available to City residents.

Drop-off Locations

Boston Park – 2321 Queensburg Ave
Daphne Park – 711 N 10th Ave 10th Street (pavilion parking lot)

How can I recycle a Christmas tree?

Curbside collection (For residents with yard waste collection only)
Bring tree to a designated drop-off locations

What kinds of trees are accepted for recycling?

Both green and flocked trees (fake snow) are accepted. For curbside and drop-off sites, all tree stands, lights, ornaments, tinsel, and other tree decorations must be removed. No artificial trees. Christmas wreaths and swags can also be recycled with trees. Please remove all frames, wires and bows. Please do not illegally dump any other items at the drop-off locations.

For more information, please call the City of Laurel Parks & Recreation Department at 601.428.6452 during business hours.

Mississippi Blues Trail – Laurel

Posted on: September 29, 2016

The Laurel area, a hub of musical activity in southeast Mississippi, has been home to a number of noted blues performers including harmonica player Sam Myers, singer Albennie Jones, and guitarist Blind Roosevelt Graves. R&B, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll producer Johnny Vincent, who founded Ace Records in Jackson in 1955, got his start selling records in Laurel. One of Mississippi’s most popular blues events, the Laurel Mother’s Day Blues Festival, began its long run here in 1987.

Laurel and Jones County performers have traveled far and wide to sing the blues, while local nightclubs and festivals have continued to celebrate the blues here at home. One of the first local musicians to record was guitarist Blind Roosevelt Graves (1909-1962) from Summerland. He and his tambourine-playing brother, Uaroy (also called Aaron), recorded in 1929 for Paramount Records and in 1936 for A.R.C. They often performed for tips on the streets of Laurel. The Nelson brothers Elijah (“Professor”), a trombonist, band director, and music teacher, and Romie, who played cornet and other instruments, were noted minstrel show performers who lived in Laurel. Elijah and another brother, tuba player Lamar “Buck” Nelson, began traveling with shows prior to World War I, sometimes joined by clarinetist Arnett Nelson (c. 1890-1959) from Ellisville. Arnett played alto saxophone on many blues and jazz records in Chicago in the 1930s, as did Laurel native Andrew “Goon” Gardner (1916-1975) in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Sam Myers (1936-2006) performed for years in Jackson with Elmore James and others, and made his first record there in 1957 for John Vincent Imbragulio’s Ace label. Imbragulio, aka Johnny Vincent (1925-2000), started out selling used 78s from the jukebox of his parents’ Laurel restaurant. Myers later toured widely with Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets from Dallas. Eastabuchie native Leo “Lucky Lopez” Evans (1937-2004), who played guitar with Myers and others in Mississippi, moved to Milwaukee and later recorded several albums in England. Albennie Jones (1914-1989), from Errata, sang in church in Gulfport before she launched a blues career in New York in the 1930s. On some of her 1940s records she was accompanied by jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. Another Jones Countian, Roland “Boy Blue” Hayes (c. 1922-1980), son of local musician Doc Hayes, moved to Arkansas, where he recorded as a singer and harmonicist for folklorist Alan Lomax in 1959.

A stalwart on the local blues scene for over sixty years, Ellisville native Tommie “T-Bone” Pruitt (b. 1933), led the Rhythm Rockers band and played guitar with Bo Diddley, the Rhythm Aces, the Five Royales, and others. Harmonica player Lee “Tennessee” Crisp (1912-1993), who performed locally with Pruitt in the 1970s and ‘80s, once toured Europe with the Mississippi Delta Blues Band. He was a protégé of Tennessee bluesman Sleepy John Estes. Jasper County native L. C. Ulmer (b. 1928), a multi-instrumentalist, performed across the country for decades, often as a one-man band, before settling in Ellisville in 2002. He began a belated recording career after his return to Mississippi. Venues for blues in Laurel have included the Cotton Bowl, Paradise, Top Hat, Blade’s, Playhouse, Skylark, Elks Club, American Legion, Civic Center, and Navy Yard dance hall.

For a complete lit of Mississippi Blues Trail markers and more information, please click here.

Laurel Receives Statewide Community Forestry Award

Posted on: August 11, 2016

The City of Laurel was recognized as the Scenic Community of Mississippi for 2016. Each year a community is recognized for its efforts in maintaining a healthy community tree program. Laurel was recognized at the 2016 Statewide Urban Forestry Awards, July 29, 2016 at the Statewide Urban Forestry and Green Infrastructure Conference in Gulfport, Mississippi. Since 1982, the awards are sponsored by the Mississippi Urban Forest Council and the Mississippi Forestry Commission. Walt Grayson, host of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Mississippi Roads, recently noted the beauty and historic importance of Laurel.

“The City of Laurel continues to demonstrate their care and appreciation of community trees and landscapes attracting both visitors and commerce to the city. Laurel is the oldest Tree City USA in Mississippi. For the past 34 years, Laurel has participated as a nationally certified Tree City USA. Laurel citizens play an important role in the “livability and charm” of this vital Mississippi community.”

Reageana accepts award in Gulfport, MS

Reageana accepts award on behalf of the City of Laurel.

Laurel was given special recognition for their work in urban forestry. The contributions to community forestry includes tree plantings in city parks and schools and informational workshops by the Laurel Tree Board.

“Trees play an important part in the quality and growth of all communities, urban and rural. Trees in our towns provide many benefits including economic enhancements, social benefits, and aesthetic value. Trees process storm water and reduce flooding, while providing shade during southern summers to reduce energy costs as well as improving property values and quality of life,” according to the Mississippi Urban Forest Council’s execute director, Donna Yowell.

The Mississippi Urban Forest Council is a statewide nonprofit organization assisting communities with implementing local tree programs. The Council offers a variety of programs to educate volunteers and community leaders on every aspect of community forestry and provides assistance with grants for local projects. For more information on community and urban forestry in Mississippi contact the Mississippi Urban Forest Council, executive director, Donna Yowell, (601) 672-0755 or visit the website here.

HGTV Orders Series

Posted on: February 23, 2016

Erin and Ben Napier revealed HGTV has ordered the series, Home Town. They made the announcement at the 5th Annual Magnolia State Bank Chili Cook Off in downtown Laurel, Miss.

“I think, in an era of ‘big-city living’, Home Town reminds folks of the value in going back to their home towns and doing what they can to be a part of them,” said Ben.

The show features the Napiers guiding home buyers through the process of choosing and renovating a home in a small, southern town. The design and implementation process relies heavily on the knowledge and assistance of local architects, craftsmen and business owners.

“Ben and I are incredibly excited for the opportunity to introduce the world to our precious town and the hardworking people in it,” said Erin. “It’s those people who demonstrate day-in and day-out that you don’t have to leave your small town to make a really big difference.”

Pre-production and casting for the show has started, though filming will not likely begin until summer. People in the process of buying a home in Laurel, Miss., in need of substantial renovation, who would like to be considered should contact

About HGTV
America’s leading home and lifestyle brand, HGTV features a top-rated cable network distributed to more than 96 million U.S. households and online through The premier source for home-related inspiration, instruction and entertainment, HGTV attracts more than six million people each month. The brand also includes the HGTV HOME™ consumer products line which showcases exclusive collections of paint, flooring, furniture, plants, fabrics and other home-oriented products. For more information on HGTV HOME branded products and to find a retailer, go to

In partnership with Hearst Magazines, the HGTV Magazine, a home and lifestyle publication, is currently available on newsstands. Viewers can become fans of HGTV and interact with other home improvement enthusiasts through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., HGTV is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI).

HGTV Home Town To Air Sunday

Posted on: January 20, 2016

An HGTV show, Home Town, was shot over the summer in Laurel, Mississippi. The popularity of the premiere on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM CST will hopefully bring a host of visitors and economic resurgence to the City Beautiful. Erin and Ben Napier will help a couple, Ross and Laura Tew, find and restore an old home in Laurel. The 1-hour pilot episode will shine a light on the people, culture, architecture, natural beauty, and most of all, the small town spirit of Laurel, Mississippi and all of those who choose to call her home. If the pilot is successful, the show could become a series on HGTV.

“Home Town” airs at 11 a.m. Jan. 24 on HGTV.

For more information, please click here.

Touch-A-Truck 2015

Posted on: April 7, 2015


Touch-a-Truck is this Saturday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in downtown Laurel.

Children and their parents can touch, sit in, climb on, and learn about a variety of trucks from the people who protect, serve and keep communities across South Mississippi running during this one-day event. Enjoy activities prepared by many of the exhibitors as well as train rides, Mr. Silly Socks balloon animals, art projects provided by the Junior Auxiliary & LJC Library and a special story time inside the library at 11am and 1pm. The first 100 guests at Touch-a-Truck will receive a free, yellow construction hat to wear while they have fun, courtesy of Mississippi Power.

Trucks will be organized into three categories – Tough & Tactical, Fun & Flashy and Heroes & Helpers. Each group will have workers on hand to educate children about the big jobs their vehicles help them do every day.

Don’t miss a big Touch a Truck favorite – the Baptist Life Flight helicopter will be landing right here in Downtown Laurel for everyone to explore and learn about the vital work this unique machine does for the people of Mississippi.

Parking will be available along Magnolia St, Beacon St, beside the library and throughout Downtown Laurel.

Tickets are available at the gate for $5 per person. Patrons can purchase tickets in advance, 4 for $15, at the Laurel-Jones County Library, Lee’s Coffee & Tea and from committee members. Tickets and t-shirts are also available for purchase at the Laurel Welcome Center, located at 401 Central Avenue. T-shirts are $12 for children’s sizes and $20 for adults.

Proceeds from Touch-a-Truck will go towards Laurel Main Street Facade Grant that assists downtown businesses in renovating the street facades of their buildings and beautification projects. This year’s proceeds will help with a landscaping project along Carroll Gartin Boulevard.

For more information, visit

Longtime Laurel Firefighter Retires

Posted on: January 15, 2015

It was a wet, dreary day outside Thursday afternoon, but inside Fire Station #4 in Queensburg, it was cheery as retired firefighters, a past fire chief, family and friends gathered and paid tribute to Captain Richard Dantzler. On January 24, Dantzler will be hanging up his hose for the final time after 36 years of service. The crew at the station, along with his wife, Willie Bell and daughter-in-law, Brenda Dantzler, prepared a table of hor d’oeuvres and cake. With each new visitor, Dantzler briefly paused his march down memory lane for a handshake or photo before he launched into another story about his time with the department.

Cpt. Dantzler spent his entire career in Laurel and has seen drastic changes in the techniques of firefighting but a continued tradition of camaraderie among the firefighters who serve the city of Laurel.

“It’s definitely going to be sad to leave as it is a great job. Working with these men is what I will miss the most. I was happy to be a Laurel firefighter but even happier to have stayed alive.”

One such fellow firefighter, Duane Allen was asked about what he learned from Dantzler. He responded, “The best thing an old firefighter can teach a young firefighter is how to become an old firefighter. I have worked under other captains, but Richard has taught me the best.”

Chief James Brown commended Captain Dantzler for having an exemplary attitude toward continuing training and passing that knowledge down to the younger firefighters.
“The department will definitely miss that wealth of knowledge, leadership and experience.”











Shop with a Fireman

Posted on: December 18, 2014

The Laurel Fire Department held Shop With a Firefighter at the Laurel Wal-Mart for the Nelson family that had suffered incredible loss when their home burned earlier this year. Lafayette Nelson and his wife, Patricia, Each child was provided with $300 to pick out toys, clothes and necessities to brighten the holiday season. This program was funded by donations from Laurel Fire Department’s calendar sales and donations from Howard Industries and Dollar General. The grandchildren, ages 14, 6 and 2, were all smiles as they went around the store with Lt. Tim Tisdale, Lt. Antonio Moseley, Lt. Matt Freeman, Battalion Chief Darnell Milsap and Chief James Brown.



National Night Out

Posted on: September 30, 2014

The city of Laurel is hosting its annual National Night Out event next week.

The Laurel Police Department is teaming up with the ZAC House, American Red Cross, Verizon, S.T.A.R.S and C.H.A.M.P.S. and other area churches and organizations and inviting residents out to Mason Park on Oct. 7 for an evening of community networking, food and family-friendly activities.

Now in its 31st year nationwide, the National Night Out event is aimed at providing residents with a chance to meet the first responders who serve in their communities.

“The police officers and the firefighters are able to meet people in the community so folks will see that they are good people with good intentions,” Sergeant Shannon Carraway said. “It gives citizens a chance to see all that is being done to protect them and receive information on how to start a neighborhood watch program.”

Many cities hold their National Night Out events in August, but Carraway said Laurel has opted to hold the event after the weather cools down a bit.

“We are hoping that holding the event in October will prove to be a better time to get more people to come out,” she said.

Kids have the opportunity to learn about fire safety at National Night Out.

Kids have the opportunity to learn about fire safety at National Night Out.

The National Night Out celebration kicks off at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Laurel Police Department at 601.425.4711.

September Yard of the Month – Ward 1

Posted on: September 8, 2014



Shirley and Henry Drummond

Great pride and sense of community!

Henry and Shirley Drummond have lived in their home at 1804 General Pershing Street in Laurel for the past 27 years. They had the home built in 1987 and haven’t ever wanted to leave it. The Drummonds embody the spirit of the Ward 1 Yard of the Month award. “To inspire individuals to take greater responsibility for creating a clean and beautiful city though litter prevention, reduction of waste and community beautification.” This month’s winning yard boasts a well-landscaped front lawn and inviting front porch. Mr. Drummond says he keeps the grass mowed and the perimeter of the lawn edged and free of debris. The walkway and entry is quite attractive with a variety of plants and shrubs. Mrs. Drummond is most proud of her beautiful mature Magnolia tree. Their ranch-style home is situated on a corner lot, and as such, it is often It is a gathering area for local kids. “The kids like to play football in my yard, I guess because it is so big,” said Shirley. The Drummonds are sincere in seeing their neighborhood and community change for the better and see more people take pride. Mrs. Drummond speaks of starting a neighborhood association soon.