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Festival has better than expected' turnout

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
May 14, 2002
Organizers say this year's annual Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival exceeded expectations.
Todd Adkins, president of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, said the festival "has come a long way" since announcing a $12,000 deficit after the event two years ago.
The event is organized by members of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation and its board of directors. This year's festival saw crowds more than double in size from a year ago attending nightly concerts and a sold-out golf tournament at Briarwood.
On Thursday night at Northcrest Baptist Church, a capacity crowd of nearly 1,000 enjoyed Gospel Night with performances by The McKameys and The Inspirations.
On Friday, about 1,200 to 1,500 people watched the North Mississippi All-Stars and Steve Forbert perform. And on Saturday, more than 500 turned out for Confederate Railroad.
Although organizers say they won't know for another month exactly how much money was made, Adkins said it's an improvement just to know there is a profit.
One change this year was moving the concerts out of the Temple Theatre and onto the downtown streets of Meridian.
Art Matthews, concert organizer and second-year board member, said the move made the concerts less expensive and more enjoyable.

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