Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival comes to a close

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 7:19 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - After 8 days of fun festivities, the 69th annual Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival has ended. Everyone is reflecting on the fun that they’ve had.

“It has been overwhelming, and it has been a great success. I’m tired but it’s been worth it because Jimmie Rodgers Festival is back,” said Leslie Lee, executive director of the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation.

Having 8 days of events made it more difficult to pick what would be a favorite but there was something for everyone to enjoy.

“We had a lot of events, 8 days of events. I can’t tell you my favorite because they all were. They were all so different, so we had something for everybody. From the crawfish boil to a play, to a music history symposium, to several nights of just live good music and then today to top it off with Joyful and the Spirit of New Orleans here at the MAX. It has just been so successful and so great, so they’ve all been my favorite,” said Lee.

This is also the first time in many years that the festival has been a weeklong event, and this year it was all about putting a special twist on a long-standing tradition.

“The history of the Jimmie Rodgers Festival, we’re in our 69th year, so in the tradition they used to always have that weeklong festivity. We just want to honor what used to be done in the past and put our little twist on it of what’s now and what we like. And I think we did a really great job at that. It’s really honoring the past with a full weeklong of festival and just giving something for everyone.”

The festival spanning multiple days also helps bring a strong economic impact to the city of Meridian.

“You know we get a report of what cities and where they buy tickets from, so it has been all over the Southeast. People have come from all over for this festival so really the economic impact reach that we’ve had has been tremendous. We will be publishing that soon but it has been really good for our city. People have eaten in the restaurants, they’ve shopped in our shops, they’re staying in the hotels because of this.”

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