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franklin county times

Meridian Downtown Association
plans haunted house, holiday parade

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
Oct. 10, 2004
The holiday season is nearing and the Meridian Downtown Association has planned several events to entice more people to visit downtown.
Activities will include a Halloween Haunted House, the annual Holiday Parade, a Holiday Open House, Santa in Dumont Plaza and a shopping tournament.
The first annual Downtown Haunted House will be Oct. 28-30 in the old BellSouth Building on 23rd Avenue. The haunted house will open each night from 7 p.m.-11 p.m.; admission will be $5 per person. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
The haunted house will feature several rooms sponsored by area businesses and organizations. Each room will have a different haunted scene.
Sponsors include Clear Channel Radio Q101, The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department, Cartmell Gallery, Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau, Meridian Community College Fine Arts Division and The Pony Tail Broadcasting WZKR 103.3.
Rooms are still available for sponsorship and volunteers are needed.
Next up will be the annual Holiday Parade.
In an effort to draw more people to the parade, the Meridian Downtown Association changed the day of the parade from a Thursday night to Saturday. The group also moved the parade before Thanksgiving.
The date is 6 p.m. Nov. 20; the theme is "Winter Wonderland." Applications are now being accepted for entries in the parade.
Before the parade, many downtown merchants will host a Holiday Open House. The open house will begin with the lighting of the city of Meridian Christmas tree at City Hall on Nov. 18 and continue each day through the weekend, ending with the parade. Downtown merchants will be open 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. each night.
Participating businesses also will provide refreshments. Local choirs and soloists will perform in Dumont Plaza from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday night.
Santa will be in Dumont Plaza from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the day of the Holiday Parade collecting toys for Toys for Tots. Children will have an opportunity to have their photo made with Santa.
Customers may also participate in a shopping tournament Nov. 18 and 19 in conjunction with the Holiday Open House. The winner will receive a $500 shopping spree good at Meridian Downtown Association businesses.
Get involved:
Halloween Haunted House: To sponsor a room, call Lisa Shoemaker at 482-8001.
Holiday Parade or Holiday Open House: To obtain an application, call Michele Pearson at 482-6699.

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