Preparations Made for Oprah

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Officials with the Oprah Winfrey show confirmed to Newscenter 11 early Thursday that the talk show host will visit Meridian Friday for the taping of a show segment for Monday.

Oprah will kick off her Best Life Challenge Jan. 14, featuring people from her home state of Mississippi. The challenge is to lose weight, keep it off, and live healthier. Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity in the nation.

WTOK-TV has heard from numerous viewers who say they are ready to take on the challenge. Oprah's personal trainer, Bob Greene, will also be here.

Preparations were made Thursday to accommodate a very large crowd in downtown Meridian around Dumont Plaza where the segment will be taped.

Beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, streets around the park will be closed for safety reasons, due to the crowds expected.

22nd Avenue will be closed from Front Street to 5th Street, and both 4th and 5th Streets will be closed from 22nd to 23rd Avenues.

Several businesses will be affected by the event, including BankPlus. Its drive-thru will be blocked until 3 p.m. Bank officials ask customers to use other branches if possible.

"This is such a good opportunity for Meridian," said Janis Pruitt. "We are really excited Oprah is coming here."

Parks and recreation director Mark Naylor recommends that visitors park in the downtown parking garage until it fills up. Then drivers will have to find spots along the downtown streets.

"We are asking people to come out and support Meridian and the kicking off of this national tour," said Naylor.

Because so many people will be concentrated around Dumont Plaza for the event taping, Naylor says local law enforcement and homeland security officials will be in the area just to make sure everything goes as planned.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Latarsha Location: Meridian on Jan 15, 2008 at 01:53 PM
    Oprah's journey to Meridian was a wake up call. Everyone who is obesity or either is not healthy should pay close attention. Today's Message: In order to get something you never had Do something you never done
  • by JOANN Location: Dekalb on Jan 14, 2008 at 04:31 PM
    I would like to know where the fitness center is that the man on the show whent to please let me no so i can go there myself thank you joann
  • by Norma Jean Location: Philadelphia, Ms. on Jan 12, 2008 at 01:34 PM
    Oprah, Thank you for being involed with drawing attention to Miss. Your caring and loving personality will be appreciated by everyone you touch. I will get the weight off, and thank Bobfor me.
  • by beverly burrage Location: meridian on Jan 11, 2008 at 05:32 PM
    i though opah coming to meridian was great thing and that people are going to start there diets and stick to it. me myself is a diebatic is will to make a difference for myself thanks opah i love you
  • by Dawn Location: Meridian on Jan 11, 2008 at 05:23 PM
    I will take on the challenge to loose weight for my health and my family. Our first priority for weightloss should be HEALTH! then Beauty! I really had fun today! Thanks to whoever was responsible for making today happen!
  • by BrotherLeeroy&SisterRe'Mona Carter Location: 2222 29 Th Avenue Meridian,Ms on Jan 11, 2008 at 01:04 PM
    YESSSSS!!!!! WE'RE SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!! WE ACTUALLY SAW MS. OPRAH & STAFF IN PERSON, "LIVE" AND WHAT A "TREAT!" THANK-YOU ALL VERY MUCH AND THANK YOU MERIDIAN, FOR HAVING ALOT OF CARE AND CONCERN FOR THE OVERWEIGHT/THOSE IN GENERAL TOO. "GO MERIDIAN!!!!GO MISSISSIPPI!!!!" LET'S KEEP WALKING! GOD BLESS!
  • by sylvia nelson Location: new london,ct on Jan 11, 2008 at 09:08 AM
    I am happy Oprah is in Meridian,My daughter is in school there,our first time in Ms.Oprah is great for coming back to save lives of overweight people.Thank God for the lives she will improve.We need to be around for the future to see each other too.We do not have to have heart disease,strokes and diabetes due to bad food.Change so we can live..Healthy food :we live much happier and active lives..Plus we look better and fit prettier clothes.Go Oprah..
  • by SHIRLEY Location: MERIDIAN on Jan 11, 2008 at 08:49 AM
    HELLO OPRAH, WELCOME TO MERIDIAN. AS A LITTLE GIRL I WAS ALWAYS TOLD THAT I WAS "PLEASINGLY PLUMP" AND I HATED IT! I HEARD IT SO MUCH THAT I SWORE THAT I WOULD NEVER BE FAT. THIS IS HOW I CONTROL MY WEIGHT. I REMAIN BETWEEN 135-140 AND AM HEALTHY. THE REASON I AM SHARING THIS IS BECAUSE I WANT TO KEEP FOCUS ON THE FACT THAT BEING OVERWEIGHT INDEED STARTS FROM THE SCRIPTS AND THE TREATMENT YOU ENCOUNTERED FROM CHILDHOOD. LIKE YOU I HAVE A VERY PRETTY FACE AND I AM AS BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE AS WELL AS ON THE OUTSIDE....AGAIN, LIKE YOU. I HAVE A CO-WORKER WHO WAS INVITED BY YOUR SHOW TODAY. I KNOW HER STRUGGLE MAY GOD BLESS
  • by Mike Location: Meridian, MS on Jan 11, 2008 at 06:53 AM
    Don't people have anything better to do with there lives than to stand or sit for hours waiting for a glimsp of a rich woman, that has hardly anything to do with Mississippi, other than the fact that she was born here. She wants to exploit us, as Mississippians, as being FAT. Shes doing it all in the name of PROFIT. WAKE UP MERIDIAN....
  • by Mark Location: Meridian on Jan 11, 2008 at 05:41 AM
    I'm going to be there because my wife said so. I'm 60 pounds over weight and I hope she can help.
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