Each year, the City of Meridian Cultural Affairs Department supports a number of major festivals and events. The purpose of the division is to serve as a resource to the community to encourage/promote development of festivals, special events, and cultural resources, to work with local arts organizations and artists, and to promote and establish awareness of cultural activities in the city.
The City of Meridian Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is held at the beginning of the Merry Meridian Holiday Season promotional presentations. These events are held the last week of November or the first week in December, starting with the Official Tree Lighting Ceremony and finishing with the Meridian Downtown Christmas Parade. The Official Tree Lighting Ceremony is held at City Hall, where the lighting of the 34-foot Animated Christmas Tree rings in the holiday season. This tree was purchased through a Choctaw Tribal Grant for Tourism. The Holiday season is full of plays, a symphony concert, shows held at the MSU Riley Center, and other special events located throughout the City. Check the calendar of events for specific details.
The mission of the Threefoot Arts Festival is to showcase work of exceptional quality and creativity by artists in a variety of media. It is our goal to nurture artistic expression by providing an opportunity for artists to share and sell their work; by educating the public about the creative efforts of artists; and to add to the cultural climate and quality of life in the community, state, and region. The festival is held the first weekend in April. Don't miss the opportunity to experience regional talent and art.
Meridian Day at the Neshoba County Fair, billed as Mississippi's Giant Houseparty, is coordinated by the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation and is held each year on the last Wednesday during the fair. Politicians and Meridian residents gather at the fair to partake in a political forum, win door prizes, and in general have a good time. Cultural Affairs is in charge of the City's participation in Meridian Day. We provide a tent and display that features Cultural Affairs events that are held throughout the year in Meridian. Cultural Affairs and other City of Meridian divisions and departments also provide various items with the City logo on them to give away to everyone attending Meridian Day.
Cultural Affairs has also helped in the coordination of the fun outdoor public arts project Around Town Carousels Abound, which has placed dozens of artist-decorated carousel horse statues throughout Meridian and nearby areas. The project is intended to promote community pride and spirit throughout the county, region, and state. It excites the creative thought process of many seasoned and aspiring artists. It encompasses the hard work and cooperation of many volunteers and generous contributions of many carousel horse sponsors.
The day features good food supplied by vendors and plenty of fun for children at Bonita Lakes Park, and the evening features the annual fireworks show that is both beautiful and exciting! This event is free to the public and has grown into a fun-filled family day you don't want to miss.
The Cultural Affairs Division keeps an up-to-date local calendar of events that is listed on this website as well as distributed to local publications and other media. If you have an event that you would like to submit, please go to the Community Calendar "Submit Event" page.
The annual Art for Meridian Auction and Dinner, sponsored by Meridian Council for the Arts Inc., is held at Northwood Country Club. The event begins with a Champagne Reception and Art Preview along with live entertainment. The Silent Auction features artwork and gifts donated by local artists and merchants. Patrons enjoy dinner and a presentation of Meridian Council for the Arts Art Patron Awards, given each year to individuals for their support of the arts in Meridian/Lauderdale County.
Artwork, music, food, and fun are enjoyed by art patrons and art enthusiasts. This event serves as a successful fund-raiser for the Meridian Council for the Arts and showcases more than 50 Mississippi artists' works. Proceeds are used to help fund their Community Arts Grant Program and other programs. The Community Arts Grant Program makes art projects possible by offering matching grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, and individual artists in Meridian/Lauderdale County.