Arts, Culture and Recreation
A premier community embraces cultural diversity and promotes an abundant offering of arts, entertainment and recreational opportunities. Meridian will invest in services, facilities, programs, and partnerships to establish itself as an active and vibrant community that fulfills the diverse cultural and recreational needs of its people.
When we say we are a community that is built for business and designed for living, we take both of those concepts very seriously. Arts, culture and recreation play an integral role in the living experience in any community and each year we look for ways to enrich these aspects of Meridian.
Having destinations for families and friends to go to is an important part of our community and includes having a vibrant downtown, attractive parks, and usable pathways.
We continue to bring more events to Downtown Meridian as we work with our partners to make the area more of a destination. Community favorites include the Winter Lights Parade and Tree Lighting during the weeklong Christmas in Meridian events. Also the Dairy Days parade, Concerts on Broadway and new in 2016 – the Youth Farmers Market. This one-of-it’s-kind market will answer a long-desired request for a farmer’s market in our community. This not only reflects the community’s priority on our youth: it gives our youth an opportunity to turn a ‘hobby’ growing healthy produce, into a business. Seventy-five percent of all vendors will be school-aged. The market will run every Saturday from Dairy Days to September. Support our youth by supporting this market.
Throughout the community we are adding memorable art pieces. Traffic box art wraps showcase youth talent on Main Street and art from artists of all ages in other locations. These art wraps bring community pride and beautification to these functional-but-unsightly traffic boxes.
Our focus on parks is to create positive experiences and lifelong memories. A great example of this vision is what exists in the creation of the Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park. This 60 acre park is our largest and is dedicated to more passive and traditional park uses. The enormity of this turn-key project where both the land and the improvements valued at $25 million were donated by Gene Kleiner can’t be understated. Since its opening, the park has been home to great community events and private gatherings such as weddings. In addition, we now celebrate this donation on the second Saturday of June each year with Gene Kleiner Day.
Pathways continue to be a top community priority as we work to connect the pieces from Locust Grove to Ten Mile along the Five Mile Creek Pathway. The Rail with Trail continues to be a focus as well. I am thrilled to note that ACHD is stepping up to help lead this effort! These are important and critical projects connecting our community.