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City, county leaders celebrate Meridian Day at Saints game

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Aug. 18, 2001
City leaders and county tourism officials leave this morning for a day-long trip to New Orleans, where they will celebrate "Meridian Day" at a Saints preseason football game.
Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau Director Allison Beasley said the event is a cooperative effort of her office, radio station B-93 The Buzz and the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation.
The Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau's efforts to promote Meridian in New Orleans could be the first of several sales blitzes.
The agency is considering similar functions in other nearby tourism markets, including Birmingham. Beasley said the main targets in such a blitz are tour schedulers, travel writers and other potential tourism partners.
Such a relationship might be with New Orleans radio station WWOZ, Beasley said, which features jazz music and artist documentaries.
Britt Gully, who will perform during the trip as Jimmie Rodgers, could help in that effort. Gully will be one of at least 12 people traveling to New Orleans aboard a Hotard Coaches charter bus.
Others scheduled for the trip include Beasley; the Tourism Bureau's Lisa Lampton; Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith and his wife, Kelly; Meridian City Council President George Thomas; B-93 radio personalities Art Matthews and Al Brown; and several Jimmie Rodgers Foundation and Tourism Bureau board members.
They are scheduled to meet a group of New Orleans city and tourism leaders at the House of Blues in the French Quarter for a $1,500 luncheon funded by the Tourism Bureau.
The $1,800 charter bus was provided by B-93 and the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation. B-93 secured the Saints tickets, and the Jimmie Rodgers Foundation hired Gully.
The Saints play the Dallas Cowboys in the Superdome at 7 p.m., and Beasley said that B-93 has arranged an on-field presentation by Smith declaring it "Meridian Day."
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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