Meridian Star

Local News

February 15, 2009

Walk of Fame

First star unveiled at MSU Riley Center

Very soon people will see stars as they walk the streets of downtown Meridian.

The first of many star-shaped plaques to be placed in the sidewalks of downtown Meridian was unveiled Sunday at the MSU Riley Center. The star-plaques – designated as the Walk of Fame – will honor Mississippi artists who have made outstanding national and worldwide contributions to the arts.

"We hope this is just the first in many steps that's going to lead to not only the establishment of this Walk of Fame, but also the Hall of Fame for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center," said Tommy Dulaney, MAEC president.

Noting that Mississippi produces more artistic genius per capita than any state, Mayor John Robert Smith thanked the MAEC for locating the Walk of Fame in downtown Meridian.

"Last April 25, Fred Cannon, a board member, asked the board, and they agreed, to create a Walk of Fame to put Mississippi's wealth of artistic genius in the forefront," Smith said. "I want to thank the board for the absolutely right decision to put that Walk of Fame in downtown Meridian – beginning here at the MSU Riley Center and winding its way through the streets of downtown Meridian."

The first Mississippi artist to be recognized on the city's up and coming most famous sidewalk is Meridian's own Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music.

"Much groundwork has been laid over the years," Smith said. "But this, today, is the first tangible manifestation of the dream that is the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center – to create one place where the genius of Mississippi artists can be honored and celebrated."

On hand for the unveiling was Mississippi country music artist Marty Stuart, who, according to former MAEC president Paul Ott, has earned the title of Favorite Son of Country Music.

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