Meridian, Mississippi The 60th annual Jimmie Rodgers Festival got off to a wet start on Thursday night.
However, not even the pouring rain could stop Britt Gulley from entertaining the crowd at Dumont Plaza. Umbrellas could be spotted throughout the crowd as diehard fans weren't about to give up without a fight. Those without umbrellas took more drastic steps to stay dry.
"Well, I was just standing here and saw that chair down there and I picked it up and put it over my head," Meridian resident Ben Gaddis said.
"Just, it's Meridian's luck," Amber Bloebaum said. "But, it seems like there are still a lot of people here and hopefully it won't stop too many people. We're still here supporting local talent and everything."
The rain eventually subsided, making way for fan favorite Mo Bandy to take the stage. Opening night is only the beginning of a weekend-long festival. Organizers say it's the support of the community that is to thank for celebrating 60 years of the Jimmie Rodgers Festival.
"And this is really at the core of who we are," according to Josh Taylor with the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation. "And at some point, you stick that flag in the ground and say, we own it, this is us."
The festival not only pays tribute to the late Jimmie Rodgers, but also provides an economic boost for the Queen City. Festival goers are buying gas in the area, eating at local restaurants and staying at hotels in the area. It's all for the love of music!