Meridianite Picnic Makes for Big Economic Impact

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Meridian, Miss. From hotels to restaurants to even gas stations, people will be everywhere in Meridian this weekend for the highly anticipated Meridianite Picnic.

The crowds of people have already descended on the Queen City even though the highly anticipated Meridianite Picnic is still hours away. Friday, the National Council of Meridianites hosted its annual scholarship luncheon at the Council of Organizations building where Mayor Percy Bland addressed the crowd. Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism also toured people around the Queen City, including the MSU Riley Center. The all around impact is tremendous.

"Once you've attached State Games still lingering with all star baseball, our normal business traffic throughout the week, and then the picnic," according to Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism Director Dede Mogollon. "By the time tomorrow night comes around, most of our hotels will have sold out nine of ten nights."

This is also a busy time for officers at the Meridian Police Department. Friday afternoon, Newscenter 11 got a first hand look at the bicycles that Meridian police officers will be using to patrol Highland Park throughout the day on Saturday.

"We're going to have extra patrols tonight, throughout the weekend," Detective Dareall Thompson stresses. "We've got extra patrols that are going to be patrolling the hotels."

Of course, the police department is reintroducing the bike patrol method during the picnic. Detective Thompson tells us the bikes can maneuver through the crowds better.

"They also can see things better than we can in the patrol car," Thompson points out.

Meridian-Lauderdale County Tourism says this weekend is a good time to show off the area, so people visiting will go back home and encourage others to visit.

"So, everything is set and ready," Mogollon adds. "Highland park will be a happening place."

If you plan to attend the picnic, you can park at Meridian Community College and take a shuttle to Highland Park.