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Meridian is a relaxing town in eastern Mississippi.  The residents enjoy a life filled with music and art.  Several lakes, nature trails and nearby Dunn's Falls also contribute to Meridian's quality of life.

The Meridian Museum of Art hosts more than 30 annual exhibitions ranging from American Indian tribal works to contemporary paintings and photography.  The museum also has permanent collections of European and American paintings and sculptures.

The Meridian Symphony Orchestra is the oldest in the state.  The Grand Opera House of Mississippi is the only grand opera house in the South.  Tours of the Opera House are available by appointment.  Meridian Little Theater performances run from September through May.

Jimmie Rodgers, "The Father of Country Music," was a Meridian native.   Every year the town hosts a festival in honor of "The Singing Brakeman" with performance by top country music acts from around the nation, and the Bonita Blues Festival chases everybody's blues away.

The Meridian Council for the Arts sponsors Arts in the Park which features arts and crafts, entertainment and rides on a treasured Dentzel carousel from the 1890s.   Stationary carousel horses painted by local artist can be found in prominent places around town.  On the 4th of July Bonita Lakes holds a fireworks display along with music and other entertainment.

When it's time to take it easy, Lake Okatibbee offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, hunting and more than 100 campsites.   A wildlife refuge and a 65-foot waterfall once used as a power source to manufacture Stetson hats can be found at Dunn's Falls.  Bonita Lakes Park is a 3,300 acre city-owned park situated on three lakes.   In addition to boating and fishing, the park also features nature trails, and horseback riding.  Lakeview Golf Course is located just eight miles southeast of Meridian, and is open seven days a week.  The 18-hole public course is par 70 and has a driving range, putting greens, pro shop and snack bar.   Just outside Meridian, the Bamboo Emu Farm has been a full service emu operation since 1994.  The 80 acre farm has a scenic 7 acre lake dividing the property which is covered with pine and hardwoods. 

Meridian is a major health care center.  The three area hospitals provide care for much of eastern Mississippi and western Alabama.

Over 4,400 military personnel, dependents, and civilians work and live at the Naval Air Station Meridian.  Military retirees can take advantage of the base exchange, medical facilities, an 18-hole golf course and even a riding stable.  The Livetime Quest program at Meridian Community College offers terrific educational opportunities for any studious retiree.   And when it's time for a study break, you can shop 'till you drop at the brand-new Bonita Lakes mall.

 

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