Things to Do in Meridian, MS
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Meridian, MS. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in Mississippi are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
East Mississippi's culture is all inclusive with theater, art, music and fun – all intertwined with the historic districts in the area. Performing Arts MSU Riley Center is the perfect place for any theater enthusiast. Since opening in 2006, the center attracts approximately 60,000 visitors a year. At the heart of it all, the second floor 1889 grand opera house seats 950 attendees. The center also has a 200-seat studio theater and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
The enviable synergy between Meridian’s rich past and its promising future is creating a vibrant present. “There’s excitement here in Meridian,” says Karen Rooney, Meridian Main Street executive director. “People realize something is happening here.” Looking Back
For patrons of and participants in the performing arts, Meridian offers a treasure trove of venues, shows and acting opportunities, with a long tradition of arts appreciation.
In Meridian, there's always cause for celebration, plus there's usually a good cause that benefits from the celebration, too. One key mission for the Young Professionals of Meridian is to become more involved in charitable efforts that give back to the community, and in this city with a rich musical heritage, what came next should be no surprise.
In operation for more than a century, Meridian's Dentzel Carousel is a beloved family-friendly attraction and National Historic Landmark. Made in 1896 by renowned carousel manufacturer the Dentzel Factory for the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, the carousel has called Meridian home since 1909.
Meridian has long been a destination for entertainment, thanks to its grand historical Temple Theater, the Mississippi State University Riley Center, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and community theater groups such as the Meridian Little Theatre.
New Orleans may have a lock on Mardi Gras debauchery, but in Meridian, Mardi Gras means fun for the whole family. The city sponsors the annual Meridian Main Street Mardi Gras Downtown Parade as well as a "Little Mardi Gras" for young revelers. Festivities include a gumbo cook-off, crawfish boil, block party and a Battle of the Bands competition as well as a popular pet parade.
Live music is always in the air in Meridian. A visit to the Meridian Underground Music Exchange – MUM for short – in downtown Meridian offers customers the chance to purchase CDs and musical instruments and perhaps catch some live musicians playing original acoustic works inside the store.
A performing arts center, a conference center, an educational center, a catalyst for downtown revitalization – these are all accurate ways to describe the MSU Riley Center. Since opening its doors in 2006, the Mississippi State University Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts has attracted more than 60,000 visitors to downtown Meridian each year for meetings, educational activities and performances. Some of that success is tied to the setting.
Great food, inviting atmospheres and unique local flavors can be found in the restaurants and markets of Meridian and East Mississippi. Local Favorites
Since 1870, Weidmann's Restaurant in downtown Meridian has shared its signature dishes with local diners and visitors. After almost 150 years, the landmark restaurant continues to serve much of the same fare enjoyed by generations of Meridian families.
Ladies and gentlemen: Goodhope Goulash. No, that's not one of the menu items featured at Squealer's Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que, but one of several local bands that have played on stage before large Thursday night crowds at the Meridian restaurant located on Great River Drive.
Restaurants in Meridian and East Mississippi serve customers with good food, friendly service and local flavor in every dish. Popular Restaurants in Meridian Weidmann's has been a Meridian institution for more than 130 years and today lives on as an upscale and friendly downtown restaurant. Classic favorite dishes range from shrimp and grits to ribeye steak, complemented by a unique beer list and building full of history.
Menus and maps go together in East Mississippi. "Meridian is in an interesting geographic location for cuisine," says chef Robert St. John. "Being located just a few hours from the Gulf of Mexico allows us to a steady supply of fresh seafood. The gulf offers, in my opinion, the best seafood in the country."
East Mississippi is beautiful on the outside, especially with regard to outdoor recreation activities. Here are examples: Great Parks
Now playing, since 1992: The State Games of Mississippi, headquartered in Meridian. The East Mississippi city began hosting the annual statewide sporting event 22 years ago, and current-day organizers wanted the 2013 Games to be the most successful ever. As a result, more than 40 sports competitions are now held annually throughout the entire month of June, with nearly 30 of the events staged in Meridian and Lauderdale County.
The people of Meridian are accustomed to tapping toes, clapping hands and music in the air all year long, thanks to many outdoor music festivals, downtown concerts and bands playing nearly every night at several other venues. These all reflect Meridian's deep musical roots. They still celebrate local legends such as Jimmie Rodgers,"The Father of Country Music," and proudly claim markers for the Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail.
Whether you visit for the weekend or call it home, Meridian is always alive with activity. There's something to suit everyone, from outdoor expeditions to unique historic adventures. 1. Bike through the scenic trails of Bonita Lakes. 2. See live entertainment or just take a look around the historic Temple Theater.
For a day of affordable golf there are few places better than Meridian, where you can play a round for less than a dollar a hole. Sure, the courses might not be of championship caliber, and scratch golfers might find the layouts less than challenging. But for the majority of golfers who like to try to break par without breaking the bank, Meridian is the perfect place to be.
Opened in 1930, the golf course at Northwood Country Club is virtually the same today as it was seven decades ago – fun to play. "This course was laid out originally as a shot making course," says Jimmy Gamblin, head PGA Golf Professional at Northwood. "It's playable. Young people learn to hit straight and older people don't have to hit it very far to make the shots. It's not easy, but it's also not set up for the course to win. It's set up for people to enjoy themselves and to want to continue to enjoy the game."
The city of Meridian has long understood the importance of providing quality outdoor spaces for its citizens.
Meridian, MS has a variety of shopping destinations to choose from. Below is a listing of some of the stores available here. Book Dealers Bible Bookstore, 820 23rd Ave. 39301 (601) 693-5966 Book Exchange, 2113 Front St. 39301 (601) 693-2406