By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
At Earth's Bounty, beginning this Saturday at 8 a.m. at Singing Brakeman Park in downtown Meridian, the senses of those who attend will be bombarded by everything from the fragrant smell of spring plants to the sweet taste of honey.
"We are thrilled the first event is so soon to arrive," said Maureen Lofton, who is the chairperson for Earth's Bounty. "We have a wide variety of specialty vendors on the list along with the farmers who will be selling their healthy produce to the customers."
Earth’s Bounty, East Mississippi and West Alabama’s monthly festival offering fresh produce, homemade food products, fun and education demonstrations, live entertainment, children’s activities, and free health screenings has been joined in a major collaborative effort by the Greater Meridian Health Clinic, which announced in March it will be the presenting sponsor for the 2013 series of festivals.
As part of the joint effort, Greater Meridian Health Clinic will offer a variety of health screenings at each of the seven Earth’s Bounty festivals in 2013.
The 2013 edition of Earth’s Bounty will be expanded from the six festivals held in 2012 to seven festivals this year. They will take place on the first Saturday of each month, beginning Saturday. The dates for the remaining festivals are May 4, June 1, July 6, Aug. 3, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5. All festivals will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Singing Brakeman Park, adjacent to Union Station in downtown Meridian at 1701 Front Street.
Admission is free to the Earth’s Bounty events.
John McClure, executive director for Meridian Main Street, said the weather for Saturday looks like it will be perfect for those who are planning on attending this first event. It will be a day for fun, food and education on how to live more healthy lifestyles.
McClure said there will be fun in the form of food contests as well.
"This Saturday we will have eight lucky people competing in the strawberry pie eating contest," McClure said. "We will see who can eat six mini pies the fastest so that should be fun, and messy."
Lisa Mathis Smith, of Mathis Produce on Highway 45 South, will be a vendor at the festival for the second year and she said she loves the family atmosphere in addition to all the great, locally grown produce and homemade food.
"We have a good response and we've seen it as a big social gathering as well as a great place to buy homemade food and produce," Smith said.
Among the produce and food Smith will bring Saturday include Clarke County grown strawberries, and homemade apple, peach, strawberry and cinnamon raisin bread.