Hotels across the Meridian area have been packed this weekend for the State Games events. While hotel managers expect heavy crowds as the games continue next week, they also say the annual Meridianite Picnic will bring in even more people.
It is expected to pull several thousand more people. Every five years the picnic is held in Meridian and this year is one of those years. The tradition is now well over 40 years old.
"It is really a big impact because it is several days in a row creating two back to back busy weekends for the Meridian area," said Steve Anderson with the Hilton Garden Inn.
More than 5,000 people attended the first picnic held in Meridian in 1974. The event was featured in Ebony Magazine.