“The Free State of Jones is always in motion - has always been in a State of Motion - fueled by its maverick entrepreneurial spirit.”
FESTIVALS, FOOD, & FUN!
Explore the Events Calendar to start planning your trip to experience one of the many events that attract thousands to Downtown Laurel throughout the year.
UNDER THE LIGHTS
There is something magical about our downtown streets once the sun goes down and lights go up. Browse here to see how you can stroll under the lights and enjoy great eats, drink and entertainment.
MISSISSIPPI'S FIRST MUSEUM
Start your tour of Laurel’s historic district by visiting one of Mississippi’s favorite museums that houses classic paintings, British Georgian silver, Native American baskets and inspiring traveling exhibits.
Discover our History
The New State of Jones rests upon the notion that there exists an “old” State of Jones. However, you do not have to lose one to embrace the other. A restless, some may say rebellious, spirit stirs from the first generations who settled in Jones County near Ellisville and seceded from the Confederacy to create the Free State of Jones.
As the turn-of-the-century brought the next generation of restless, progressive entrepreneurs leaving their homes in the Midwest to carve out a new home, the population centered on Laurel where the sawmills saw blacks and whites working side-by-side, a growing middle class of merchants arise, Mississippi’s first museum built and the first public school for African-American children established.
Today, this subtle, rebellious spirit of her residents still lies under the surface as young families forsake the ubiquitous surroundings of large, suburban cities for a slower pace of life. Never has it been more evident with the majority of growth realized by self-made, multi generational companies and world-class corporations who call Jones County home.