Photo: Courtesy State Games website
MERIDIAN, Miss.–The State Games opening ceremony is today in downtown Meridian and that begins one of the largest athletic competitions in Mississippi.
“It’s a thrilling event with the parade of athletes, lighting of the torch and a spectacular fireworks display,” said State Games Executive Director Carolyn Smith. “The event gets better each year, and with our location in front of City Hall, spectators are guaranteed a great view of the events and the fireworks.”
The State Games website said events begin at 5 when refreshment and vendor booths open, and the parade of athletes begins at 7:30 p.m.
The State Games of Mississippi is an annual multi-sport event, modeled after the Olympic Games, designed and held solely for the residents of Mississippi, said the site. The State Games concept was developed in New York in 1978 with the Empire State Games, and today 35 states currently conduct State Games. The State Games of Mississippi is a member of the National Congress of State Games, which is affiliated with the U. S. Olympic Committee.
Since the inaugural State Games of Mississippi in 1991, more than 70,000 athletes from more than 350 Mississippi communities have participated in the Games. In 2012, more than 5000 athletes participated in 34 sports with the help of 500 volunteers.
For a list of the sports, both individual and team competitions, click here: http://www.stategamesofms.org/