RS January February March 2023 Article Images

Airport Highlight: Meridian Regional Airport

Welcome to Mississippi’s Queen City. When you fly into Meridian Regional Airport, you may be curious what all this Mississippi town has to offer. Well, Meridian is known for its history in arts and entertainment, as well as being the birthplace of the Father of Country Music, the home of the Key Brothers, and the burial place of The Queen of the Gypsy Nation. Meridian also hosts Mississippi’s oldest restaurant and a fully functioning Dentzel Carousel. With loads of attractions, restaurants, and shopping centers, Meridian is considered “the center of it all.” Come and see what Meridian has to offer for you! 


Your Historical Meridian Experience


Meridian Regional Airport is located three and a half miles from the city of Meridian, giving you the prime location to rent a car and head into town to learn more about the Queen City, go shopping, take a break outdoors, or grab a bite to eat. The entertainment opportunities in Meridian are endless. 


History is etched into every bit of Meridian, MS, even the airport itself. The Meridian Regional Airport hosts the Key Brothers Aviation Exhibit. The Key Brothers were an important part of aviation history. They took a world-breaking flight that put Meridian on the map. They set a world record endurance flight in the “Ole Miss”, which was a Curtis Robin aircraft. The flight began on June 4, 1935 and ended 27 days later. The Key Brothers traveled a whopping 52,320 miles straight. Meridian Regional Airport has preserved the terminal and hangar where the Key Brothers started and ended their flight. This is an exhibit you will not want to miss when you visit Meridian.


Once you’ve visited the Key Brothers Aviation Exhibit, you might want to consider visiting the reason why Meridian is called “The Queen City”. Meridian gets its nickname because of The Queen of the Gypsy Nation, Kelly Mitchell. When she died giving birth to her 14th or 15th child in Alabama, she was sent to Meridian, MS and kept on ice to await her funeral until all of the gypsy bands could be called in and, then, around 20,000 Romanis visited Meridian, MS for her funeral. She’s buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, and it can be visited twenty-four hours a day. 


Rose Hill Cemetery is also the resting place of Lieutenant Charles W. Read and a mound that contains the remains of the Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War, which is a stop on the Meridian Civil War Trail. The monuments of the founders of Meridian can also be found at Rose Hill.


Civil War buffs will want to stop by The Meridian Civil War Trail Markers and visit the sites of part of Sherman’s destruction of the South. In Meridian, Sherman and his union soldiers destroyed much of Meridian, leaving a devastation of railroads, buildings, and homes behind him. The trail markers show what happened and lead to the cemeteries of where soldiers were buried, even the archives of it.


Meridian is also the home to one of Gustav Dentzel’s carousels that is still functional. Originally built in 1896 in Philadelphia, PA, it was sold to the city of Meridian and arrived in 1909. It was restored in the ‘80s and remains functional to this day. You can visit the splendor of the carousel in Highland Park


After a busy day of flying into the Meridian Regional Airport and then visiting Meridian’s historic events, food might be on your mind. And if it is, we have the perfect place for you to visit! The oldest restaurant in Mississippi is in Meridian, MS. Weidmann’s was first opened in 1870 by Felix Weidmann. By 1923, it was moved to its current location, and it has been there ever since. It’s famous for its Black Bottom Pie and having a peanut butter crock on each table. 


A Music-Lover’s Delight in Meridian


Mississippi is known for many things, and one of those things is how it’s home to many famous and trailblazing names in the music industry. And Meridian, MS can boast being the birthplace of one of those names. Jimmie Rodgers, the father of country music, was born and raised in Meridian, MS. And if you want to learn more about the man who helped shape country music, you can stop by the Jimmie Rodgers Museum. The museum showcases his life and legacy, his music career, and his treasures, such as the guitar he used for “The Singing Brakeman.” Tours are offered by appointment only throughout the week. 


Each May, Meridian hosts a music festival that celebrates the life and music career of Jimmie Rodgers. And in June, Meridian celebrates the abolition of slavery with a festival, including music during that festival. 


The Mississippi Blues Trail and the Mississippi Country Music Trail Makers run through Meridian, MS as well. Not to mention, you can also find local music in a few places in Meridian. 


You can also hear the Meridian Symphony Orchestra perform classical music. They also perform family-friendly programs, offering something for everyone. 

Shopping, Outdoor Fun, and Art in Meridian, MS!


Being only three and a half miles from the center of Meridian, flying into Meridian Regional Airport gives you the prime opportunity to not only visit historical sites and places for music-lovers, it gives you the chance to go shopping, golfing, walking, jogging, or horseback riding, too. 


You can head over to Bonita Lakes Park where you have access to three lakes, which includes the Long Creek Reservoir and Lake View Golf Course. This park offers a few different nature trails and a jogging/walking trail. There, you can also go horseback riding, have a picnic, or go fishing. 


Relax on The Lake View Golf Course. It’s an 18-hole course open to the public daily. It has a full service pro-shop, cart rental, and cart storage. It’s open until sundown, so be sure to pop by as early as you can and enjoy your day! 


If golfing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of shops open to keep you busy! Meridian offers a wide variety of shops for you to enjoy. From antiques to malls to outdoor gear, Meridian can give you the shopping experience you desire! 


Be sure to stop by the Meridian Museum of Arts while in Meridian. It houses artwork from local Mississippi and Alabama artists. They, also, host over thirty exhibitions annually, as well. And, admission is free. 


The Ronald R. Miller Gallery hosts six exhibits per year, and it focuses on artists from Mississippi and throughout the United States. It’s also a teaching extension of the MCC Fine Arts Department. 


Meridian is also home to Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, or The MAX. The MAX showcases Mississippi’s legacy in all areas of the arts; it honors the legends of arts and entertainment of Mississippi; and it inspires future legends and artists by teaching them. The MAX offers permanent exhibits as well as ones that change. So, check out the website before you visit to see what is happening at The MAX. 


No matter what activity you choose to do, Meridian offers a plethora of experiences to not only have fun with, but it’s also an opportunity to learn. 


You have plenty of eating options as well when you fly into Meridian Regional Airport, and you can choose from this list. Also, the options are endless on what you can do while in Meridian


Meridian Regional Airport—Key Field


The Meridian Regional Airport, also known as Key Field, is located on Airport BLVD S. in Meridian, MS. It offers two runways, one being the longest public use runway in Mississippi at 10,003 ft. Meridian Regional Airport has an air traffic control tower and a large fire station operated by the Air National Guard. 


Runway 1/19 is 10,003ft x 150 ft and is grooved asphalt. Runway 4/22 is 4,599 ft x 150 ft and is asphalt. It has Jet A (42,000 gallons) and 100LL (20,000 gallons) available for refueling purposes, and the control tower is open from 6 AM until 10 PM daily. 


To find out more about Meridian Regional Airport, click here.


And, as always, we invite you to follow Rebel Services’s Latest News Blog to stay up to date on other regional airports and all things aviation related.