from staff reports



Mayor-elect Cheri Barry and members of the Meridian City Council will not officially take office for the new term until July 6, but an inauguration ceremony for the newly elected officials will take place a few days earlier.

The ceremony will be held Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 6 p.m. in the Temple Theater. A reception in the Temple Ballroom will immediately follow the ceremony.

Barry, returning city council member Bobby Smith (Ward 5), and incumbent council members George M Thomas (Ward 1), Mary Perry (Ward 2), Barbara Henson (Ward 3) and Jesse E. Palmer, Sr. (Ward 4) will all be sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Robbie Jones.

The invocation will be delivered by The Rev. Helen Tester, pastor of Episcopal Church of the Mediator. A prayer for elected officials will be offered by Lee Drake, pastor of BridgeBuilders Church, and the benediction will be delivered by Dr. Tom Sikes, pastor of First Christian Church.

Prelude music will be presented by Upbeat!, an ensemble under the direction of Lora Tucker. The National Anthem will be sung by Vel Young, youth court judge at the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Center, and a musical selection will be sung by Cassandra Hall, coordinator of purchasing and fixed assets for the Meridian Public School District.

The Presentation of Colors will be by the ROTC unit at Meridian High School, under the direction of Colonel Truitt Breazeale, and the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Eugene Ramsey, a Red Cross volunteer who coordinates services to the armed forces through the Veterans Center.

A welcome will be given by Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors President Hank Florey. Master of Ceremonies will be Mike Partridge, owner of The Rustler restaurant.

The public is invited to attend both the inauguration ceremony and the reception. Free parking will be provided in the Arts District Parking Garage, directly across Eighth Street from the Temple Theater.

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