Attractions in Meridian, MS
Amongst the other various things to do, Meridian features several key attractions for both residents and visitors to keep themselves entertained. These, combined with the local and regional events, restaurants and shopping make Meridian and the surrounding region an inviting place to live.
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.