The city of Meridian was chartered in 1860 as an important rail center for trade, shipping and industry. Meridian, the sixth largest city in Mississippi, is the county seat of Lauderdale county. Located in east central Mississippi, Meridian is known as the Queen City.
Meridian is home to a number of historic and cultural attractions. Among these is the Meridian Little Theatre. Established in 1932, it features a 400-seat theatre, making it one of the largest community theatres in the Southeast. In addition, the Meridian Museum of Art serves as the region's premier public museum. Housed in a nationally listed landmark building, the museum offers more than 30 exhibitions annually.
Another well-known attraction is the Jimmie Rodgers Museum. Known as the Father of Country Music, Jimmie Rodgers was born and raised in the Meridian area, and this museum displays memorabilia of his interesting life and career. In operation since 1909, the Dentzel Carousel is a National Historic Landmark and the world's only two-row, stationary Dentzel menagerie in existence. Located in Highland Park, the carousel house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of Meridian's newest and most exciting attractions is the MSU Riley Center for Education & Performing Arts. Operated by Mississippi State University, the MSU Riley Center hosts a variety of arts and entertainment presentations, educational programs, conferences, and meetings. It provides a special place for social interaction and enhances the enjoyment of the arts, as well as further individual growth and learning.
Meridian is hospitable and helpful, and small enough so that people get to know you. You can take part in the many events and festivals or meet new friends at the Parks and Recreation Department and the Senior Activities Center. Meridian is also home to two institutions of higher learning, Meridian Community College and Mississippi State University-Meridian. Add to this schedule great shopping and dining opportunities and an interesting historic district -- you'll always find something to keep you busy.