The Main Event '05

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The 17th Annual "Main Event" is Lauderdale County's area Business and Industry Expo, sponsored by the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation. It's intended to generate awareness and opportunity for all businesses and organizations in our community.

"It's open to the public and free for everyone, and it's how Meridian's local businesses, organizations and governmental agencies get the word out and see the public all day long as to what's going on in our community," said Dede Mogollon of the Main Event committee.

Opening ceremonies begin Thursday at 9:00 a.m. with the presentation on the Hartley Peavey Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Over 135 vendors are participating, with decorated booths and information about their services.

"There's no selling that goes on in the Main Event. It's literally just interacting with the public," said Mogollon.

From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday is "The Taste of Meridian," with restaurants offering samples to the public.

With an average attendance of well over 2,500, the Main Event is a way for businesses and organizations to get their name out in the community.

"It's a networking tool, to see other businesses, meet other people, meet other businesses and just the general public," said Tiffany Harper of Brainstorm Creative Group.

"It really just gives us a presence in that, I guess, more of an informational way, for us to get information out to the residents of Meridian and Lauderdale County of what we are and what our propose is and what we can do by being in the community," said Lisa Shoemaker of the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau.

The "Main Event" will last from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday. WTOK-TV is also participating.