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Baldwyn Pop-Up Market Days: The goal is to bring more traffic, business to downtown

Baldwyn Pop-Up Market Days: The goal is to bring more traffic, business to downtown


By Dennis Seid

Daily Journal


BALDWYN – For the past 10 years, Lori Tucker has been director of the Baldwyn Main Street Chamber, leading the charge to revitalize the area.


Two years ago, she was recognized as the “Outstanding Main Street Director” of the year of the 52-member Mississippi Main Street Association for her continuing efforts to rejuvenate the heart of the city.


Her latest move is introducing “Pop-Up Market Days,” which will be held every third Saturday from March through June and perhaps this fall after a brief summer break.


“We see the ‘Pop-Up Market’ as an economic development tool, to drive traffic to Baldwyn, and we’re also hoping it brings in guests who haven’t been to downtown to experience what we have,” Tucker said.


The monthly markets will be held in the parking lot of the former Regions Bank branch on Main Street, where there’s enough room for 20 vendors to set up shop. Attendees can expect to see a variety of crafts, baked goods, jams and jellies, fresh produce (when available), coffees, pottery, paintings and more, and music will be provided as well.

Baldwyn Main Street Chamber charges a $10 fee for vendors and provides a table for the 10-foot by 10-foot space. There’s no fee to shop the market.


“We’re trying to come up with that little different niche,” Tucker said. “Like many small towns around here, we have a lot of people who go to shop and eat in Tupelo, and we want to get more of them to spend their money here.”


With sales tax collections providing the bulk of general fund money to operate a city, it’s important for small towns to keep as much money “at home” to help pay for service, from law enforcement, fire protection to street maintenance.


For fiscal year 2017, Baldwyn’s sales tax collections totaled more than $544,000 – the same it collected 13 years earlier. But a closer look into the figures shows that collections peaked in 2008 – just as the recession was settling in – at more than $618,000. After bottoming out in 2010 at $515,000, sales tax collections have been on a roller coaster since, jumping as high as $552,000 in 2013 before dropping the next two years, then rising again the next two years.


Tucker has been Baldwyn Main Street Chamber director since 2008 and has overseen the creation of a four-block historic district that is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Several buildings have been restored to their historic appearances using federal and state tax credits, and other buildings are being renovated to make way for additional businesses and apartments.


The revitalization efforts are ongoing, with hopes of increasing shopping and eating destinations for all.


“We want to keep our local dollars here, but also bring in new dollars,” Tucker said.


That’s fine, as far as Betty “JoJo” Steward is concerned. She and her husband moved to Baldwyn in July from the Delta. The retirees were looking for a place to sell some of their collectibles gathered through the years, but wound up renting a downtown store front of their own.


Pop and JoJo’s Attic, etc. is the name of their indoor vendors market. The Stewards rent space to other sellers who offer a variety of new, vintage and handmade items.


“Everybody we’ve met so far has been very nice,” Steward said. “It seems that the downtown has been working hard to revitalize the area, although I really don’t have anything to compare it to. But we’ve seen customers from Booneviile, Ripley, Pontotoc and west Alabama. We need to let more people know that Baldwyn is just right off Highway 45.”


Peggy Grice has owned a beauty salon on Main Street for more than 20 years, and was shopping recently in a fellow downtown business, Three Eleven. She, too, appreciates the efforts being made to bring more traffic to the area and hopes it will help bring additional businesses.


“We could use a really nice restaurant, as well as a big department store,” she said. “And a motel or hotel of some kind to get people to stay here longer, too, would be good.”


But those large plans will come only after the success of smaller plans succeeding like the pop-up markets.


The first will be March 17, and it’s completely filled. It will be open from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. A few spots remain for the April to June markets, however. Because of the heat of summer, no markets will be held in July and August.


Depending on the turnout at the upcoming markets, Tucker said the events could return in September.


“Once we see that it can grow, we’ll open it back then and run though December,” she said.


Billye Jean Stroud Appointed Community Development Director for the City of New Albany

Billye Jean Stroud Appointed Community Development Director for the City of New Albany


The City of New Albany has announced the appointment of Billye Jean Stroud as the new Community Development Director.   She assumed responsibilities on February 7, and will be in charge of tourism, marketing and the New Albany Main Street Association, the latter of which she already has been serving as Manager.


The city formerly had a tourism and marketing director, Sean Johnson, who resigned a few months ago. The new title encompasses additional duties as it relates to community relations and streamline duties that were being duplicated by Main Street and tourism.


“I look forward to building upon what Sean had started and bringing together the other great assets our city has and create a line of communication so that we are all working with each other to increase tourism traffic and quality of life appeal for prospective new residents.  I am pleased that Tracy Vainisi has been given duties as well as Assistant Community Development Director to assist me in this new endeavor.”


Stroud previously had a 15-year career in corporate banking and sales with Discover Financial Services until she took over the New Albany Main Street duties in 2017.


New Albany was named The Best Southern Small Town in America and is the birthplace of Nobel Prize Literature author, William Faulkner and is home to the Tanglefoot Trail ©, a 44-mile rails to trails conversion to award winning bike and walking trails.

Guest speaker from National Main Street Center set for Ocean Springs Chamber Meeting

Guest speaker from National Main Street Center set for Chamber Meeting


(Ocean Springs, MS) – Matthew Wagner, Ph.D. will be the guest speaker at the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau’s annual meeting set for Tuesday, Feb 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center.


Wagner serves as the Vice President of Revitalization Programs at the National Main Street Center, Inc. where he is responsible for driving the Center’s field service initiatives including the development and delivery of technical services for Main Street America and Urban Main programs as well as professional development programming through the Main Street America Institute.


With more than 20 years of non-profit management and teaching experience in the area of downtown revitalization, entrepreneurship and economic development, Dr. Wagner has served as leader in the area of community revitalization, directly guiding two nationally recognized downtown revitalization efforts.


Dr. Wagner has a long history of program and service delivery in the area of small business development. He has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration's Wisconsin Champion for Women-Owned Businesses, for his efforts to support women entrepreneurs. He is also a former Executive in Residence at Cardinal Stritch University, crafting the University’s professional development programming and social entrepreneurship.


Aside from his professional experiences, academically Dr. Wagner has completed his Ph.D. with a focus on economic development and entrepreneurship. He is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, completing a teaching assignment on social entrepreneurship at the University of Hyderabad, India. He has also presented internationally on topics of economic development and community revitalization in Japan and Australia. Dr. Wagner also served as part of the US State Department's Speakers Bureau program, working with the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania as part of a five region tour on entrepreneurship and community development.


“As a main street community and winner of the Great American Main Street Award through the National Main Street Center, we are honoured to have Dr. Wagner speak to Ocean Springs at our annual meeting, says Cynthia Sutton executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau. “His knowledge and expertise on revitalization and entrepreneurship will in deed inspire our community.”


The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails and an “I Love OS” video presentation. The program will officially begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include recognition of the 2018 Board of Directors, annual community awards presentation, and keynote speaker Dr. Matthew Wagner. Light music and dinner will be included.


Tickets are required to attend and must be purchased in advance. Seating is limited. Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office will supplies last. Tickets will not be available at the door.


For more information on this event, please contact the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce – Main Street – Tourism Bureau at 228-875-4424.


Mission: To promote tourism, provide progressive leadership for economic and community vitality for the greater Ocean Springs, Jackson County area and gulf coast and to enhance local culture and preserve quality of life through planned growth, diversification and beautification.



Award-Winning Grillin’ on the Green to Happen in Biloxi


For Immediate Release

Grillin’ On The Green

BEST BBQ on the Coast

Applications being accepted now

Contact: 435-6339 or


(Biloxi, MS)- Biloxi Main Street District is pleased to announce the 12th annual Grillin’ On The Green. The day long festival is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 2018 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Biloxi’s Town Green, located at 710 Beach Blvd. Biloxi.  Admission is free.  Event features live entertainment all day: Rhythm & Rain at 10 a.m., Black Water Brass at noon, and Ty Taylor & The Kinfolk  at 3 p.m.


The grilling competition has quickly become the premiere event of the spring on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. **Awarded Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Winter Event 2010, 2011. 2012 & 2013!

This year’s event promises to be bigger than ever! There will be a variety of barbecue for event patrons to choose from. With everything from ribs and brisket to seafood, there will be something for every pallet!  Over $6000 in prize money given to Grillin winners!    Applications are being accepted for craft vendors and grilling competitors at this time and is on a first come first serve basis.  Spaces are filling up quickly because of limited availability.


Don’t forget that the Hibernia Society’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will pass right by the festival area at 2:00 PM!   To get all applications go to 

For more information contact 228-435-6339 or email

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Mississippi Main Street Association
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