State Games Opening Ceremonies Friday

The State Games of Mississippi Opening Ceremonies will be Friday evening in downtown Meridian. A large crowd is expected.

Athletes, family and friends from all over the state will gather for the event.

State Games officials say they hope local people, even if they're not competing in this year's games, will come and take part in the spectacle.

"This is our third weekend of the State Games. And of course, we're so excited as our biggest year with 37 sporting events for this year," said Leslie Lee of the State Games of Mississippi. "We are going all five weekends in June. You can still register for a lot of the games that are still going on. We have cross fit coming up next weekend. One of our most popular is our all-star baseball tournament. Great to bring the whole family out to come and spectate."

State Games officials say there will be plenty of free parking available, on downtown streets, as well as in the Arts Center Parking Garage across the street from city hall.

The gates open at 5 p.m. The parade of athletes is set for 7:30 p.m. A fireworks show will be the grand finale, starting at 8:30 p.m.