Arts in the Park Finds New Home

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Spring is officially here and with the pretty weather comes a series of events and concerts the whole family can enjoy.

Meridian Council for the Arts president Debbie Martin says Saturday's Arts in the Park Festival should start off the season the right way. She says sharing arts is a great family experience.

"Being around art all the time, I really appreciate the arts and I know what it can do for children and for families and it's not just the visual arts. It's other arts that go with it that makes a person more well rounded," Martin said.

Traditionally the festival is held in Meridian's Highland Park, but this year organizers opted for a larger venue at Bonita Lakes Park.

Organizers say Arts in the Park has outgrown its traditional roots and moving to the larger area will allow the festival to grow more.

"I think it's going to be great," said Martin. "We've had a lot of good reaction and it's going to be very pretty out there. We're able to expand and make it larger for everybody, so I think it's going to be the best."

Also part of the Arts in the Park Festival is the Jimmie Rodgers Gospel Talent Contest. Organizers say they're having the event on Saturday this year to make it more convenient for everyone. They say the gospel music is a good fit with the festival.

"It's just a music of its own, but it's so a kin to country music and to blues because it has the same melodies and the same messages," said Betty Lou Jones, president of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation.

Limited parking will be available at Bonita Lakes Park, but organizers say they're expecting a big crowd. So they've arranged for additional parking next to the Shoe Carnival at Bonita Lakes Crossing. A shuttle will be running all day to get you there and back again. Arts in the Park is 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $1.00 per person.