Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival continues to grow

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With the 64th annual Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival in the books, organizers are crunching the numbers and trying to plan for next year. They believe this year's event was the stepping stone to even better festivals to come.

"This year's Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival rocked," Jimmie Rodgers Foundation president Betty Lou Jones says.

The official numbers haven't come in yet, but organizers say more than 3,500 people came out to this year's festival. Jones says both the musicians and the audience had a blast.

"One of the things that we're most proud of is that the artists had such a great time," she says. They loved being here. They loved how our crowd participated and was really involved."

Jones says more than 75 percent of their online ticket sales were from out of town. She says it's great to see more tourists, but they want more locals, as well.

"We truly are fulfilling our goal of being a tourist attraction, an economic development tool for the community and we want to get our community more involved and have them come enjoy as much as people from out of town," Jones says.

Next year, Jones says they'll also aim for a less busy time slot. But all in all they're pleased with turnout for the festival and this year's symposium. And they say it should only get better in years to come.