By Michael Stewart / Executive Editor
The Meridian Star
Children's artwork will be the featured attraction in Meridian this afternoon for the second annual Kids' Downtown Art Crawl that runs from 4-7 p.m.
Children in grades K-6 will have their art on display in downtown businesses and are invited to tour the "art galleries" to view their work. Participating businesses will be marked by balloons and sidewalk art.
In addition to the art on display, activities at Dumont Plaza and Brickhouse Lawn will include musical and drama performances by children, story telling, face painting and mask making — and much more.
"I think we are doing a rock wall again this year," said Kim Bowers, who is chairing the event this year. "We will also have a petting zoo and a mechanical bull."
A food vendor will offer hamburgers and hotdogs for sale.
New this year is a "Healthy Kids Corner" sponsored by the Junior Auxiliary that will feature games and activities for children.
The main draw, however, will be the art. Children from public and private schools, as well as those who are home schooled, have submitted artwork for the event.
"It can be any kind of art and in any medium they want," Bowers said. "Last year we had a couple of sculptures and a lot of paintings. One of the classes actually made a robot out of recycled cans."
The event is the brainchild of Sabrina Dalton, a QUEST teacher at West Lauderdale Elementary School. Dalton approached Meridian Main Street last year with the idea of an art crawl for area school children to recognize their efforts and to create greater awareness of arts education.
All activities during the art crawl are free. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The eventual goal is turn the annual event into a fundraiser with proceeds funding art programs in area schools, Bowers said.
Several area businesses are sponsoring the Meridian Main Street event.
This year judges will critique the artwork, with first, second and third place winners in three categories: K-2; 3-4; and 5-6 grades.
Last year more than 2,000 people attended the art crawl, far exceeding the expected turnout of 300 to 400 people. Organizers are hoping for an even better crowd this year.
"It was a hit last year," Bowers said. "It is great way for families to come out and have fun."
Art Crawl ‘galleries’
Downtown Meridian businesses will display
children's art for the Kids' Downtown Art Crawl from 4-7 p.m. today. The businesses and the school's artworks they will display are listed below:
ON 8TH STREET
• LaBiche Jewelers: St. Patrick Catholic School
• MUM (Meridian Underground Music): Quitman Lower School
ON MAIN STREET
• MSU Riley Center: Lamar School
• Beyond Capital: Meridian Classical Center for Learning
• Edward Jones: Southeast Elementary School
• Lucas Road: Oakland Heights Elementary School
• Sandy's Organics: Russell Christian Academy
ON 22ND AVENUE
• The Meridian Star: Poplar Springs Elementary School
ON 23RD AVE
• Sincerely Yours: West Lauderdale Elementary School
• Sam's Fashions: West Lauderdale Elementary School
Kids’ Art Crawl Sponsors
• Citizens National Bank
• Bowers Auto
• LaBiche Jewelers
• Coca Cola
• Rosenbaum Properties
• Peavey Electronics
• 1st State Bank
• 1st MS Federal Credit Union
• The Citizens Bank
• Wells Fargo
• Community Bank
KIDS ACTIVITY AREA SPONSORS
• H D Machine
• Barker Auto
• Cash Saver
• Custom Frame & Gift
• The Park
• Scott Causey
• Donnie Massey
• Johnson Dodge Kia
• Sam's Fashions s
• Todd Eldridge
• Chet's Paint & Body
• Piggly Wiggly of Collinsville
• Richard & Marika Baliko