Historic sites spotlight local scene for State Games

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
June 18, 2004
Thousands of visitors are expected to arrive in Meridian today for the 13th Annual State Games of Mississippi.
Between the stress of competitions, parents and athletes can relax at area attractions that include:
Dunn's Falls: The park is a natural wildlife refuge with a picnic area complete with barbecue grills, a gristmill pond and hiking and swimming areas. The park is open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission: $1.25 per person; children under two free. Call: 655-8550
The site is located at 6890 Dunn's Falls Road in Enterprise.
Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library: Established in 1913, the library is in the historic downtown district of Meridian, Mississippi at the corner of Seventh Street and 26th Avenue, one block west of its original Carnegie location.
The library is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and closed on Sunday. Call 693-6771.
Merrehope: A stately 20-room Victorian mansion, restored and furnished by the Meridian Restorations Foundation, Inc. It features unusual woodwork, columns, mantels and a stairway. Originally, part of the home was used as headquarters for Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk and was spared by Union Gen. William T. Sherman. Merrehope is adjacent to the historic Frank W. Williams Home.
Open year round, Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 483-8439. The homes are at 905 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Drive.
Highland Park: Built in 1908, this Meridian park is home to the Dentzel Carousel, the Jimmie Rodgers Museum, the Frank Cochran Recreation Center, a swimming pool, duck pond, tennis courts, baseball and softball fields and playground. Open year-round. Free. The park is at Highland Drive and 19th Street.
Jimmie Rodgers Museum: Known as the "Father of Country Music," Rodgers was born and raised in the Meridian area. The museum displays the original guitar of "The Singing Brakeman" and other memorabilia of his life and career, as well as railroad equipment from the steam-engine era.
Open year-round Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $5. Call 485-1808.
The Meridian Museum of Art is housed in the Carnegie Library built in 1912-1913. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Mississippi Landmark. The Meridian Museum of Art has served since 1970 as the regions' premier public museum and features rotating exhibitions.
Open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. Call 693-1501. The museum is at 628 25th Ave.
Okatibbee Lake: This 3,800-acre lake offers boating, fishing, swimming, water, skiing, picnicking, hunting, hiking and camping. Lake and campgrounds are open year-round. The Splashdown Country Waterslide and Water Park is now open. Full service marina with boat rentals and fuel is also available. Call 626-8431.
While in Meridian, visitors also can enjoy locally owned restaurants including:
A. Rodgers Barbecue at 818 18th Ave. South. Call 693-0423.
Assaggio d'Italia Ristorante inside Holiday Inn Northeast on Highway 11 &80. Call 693-7499.
Binkie's Restaurant at 414 39th Ave. Call 693-4852.
Boyette's Fish Camp on Old Highway 80, Chunky. Call 655-8311.
Chance &Dooley Donuts &Ice Cream at 1308 22nd Ave. Call 693-8085.
The Chili House at 112 Highway 19 North. Call 482-4663.
Fred's Fish Camp at 5381 Vimville Causeyville Road. Call 644-3628.
The Hungry Heifer at 1310 14th St. Call 483-2509.
Long's Fish Camp on River Road in Enterprise, Call 659-4462.
Lonnie &Pat's Cafe at 5525 Poplar Springs Drive. Call 693-6576.
Midtown Grille &Pub at 1600 24th Ave. Call 483-4731.
Queen City Truck Stop and Magnolia Restaurant at 5502 N. Frontage Rd. Call 482-0233.
Rib House at 5570 Highway 19 North. Call 484-7427.
The Salad Factory at 5201 Hwy 493. Call 693-7171.
Squealer's Hickory Smoked Barbecue at 2442 North Hills Street. Call 693-0910
Weidmann's Restaurant at 210 22nd Ave. Call 581-5770.

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