The Jimmie Rodgers Foundation unveiled the winning poster for this year's festival Tuesday. Dozens of leaders from the community and state showed up for the occasion. Among them was Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who says country music is close to his heart.
"I grew up on it. My parents were fans of Jimmie Rodgers and country music and Jim Reeves who borrowed a few Jimmie Rodgers songs. My brother has been singing in a country music band most of his life, so we always grew up with country music around us," Gov. Bryant explains.
Catherine Bass was named the winner of this year's poster contest with her watercolor display. She, along with Bryant, signed some copies of her poster.
President of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, Betty Lou Jones, says they were honored to have the governor present and excited for what this day means for the Queen City.
"We want everyone to know and appreciate and talk about Jimmie Rodgers and what he means as far as our cultural tourism, our economic development and as far as our history," she says.
The governor says while the Jimmie Rodgers Festival always draws a crowd, he's also looking forward to the attention Mississippi will receive for its music. through the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center.
"The Arts and Entertainment Center will be where the stone hits the water, and the ripples will go out all across Mississippi, and they will begin here in Meridian Mississippi with that wonderful center," the governor says.
That center is expected to be complete in 2017.