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Meridian to celebrate Gene Kleiner Day

Posted at 11:54 AM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2019-06-08 18:52:13-04

The City of Meridian will celebrate Gene Kleiner Day on Saturday, June 11.

Gene Kleiner Day honors the generosity of the day’s namesake who donated the nearly 60-acre, $25 million Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park to the City of Meridian and its residents. 

Gene made the donation in honor of his late father, Julius, who once farmed the land on which the park now sits and operated until Julius’s passing in 1972.

“It’s important that we continue to celebrate the philanthropy demonstrated by Gene Kleiner; this park is a treasure for residents and visitors to Meridian,” said Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd. “His incredible donation has created a lasting legacy each of us can enjoy and challenges us to pay it forward in countless new acts of service, either large or small, across the community and beyond.”

The annual celebration features a free concert performed by the Meridian Symphony Orchestra in the Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park Band Shell at 6:00 p.m. The performance, geared toward audience members of all ages, includes several popular pieces from “My Fair Lady”, “Frozen”, “Star Wars” and more.

Guests are invited to come early and participate in the Dunkley Music Instrument Petting Zoo for an opportunity to play a tuba or a cello. Attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs or lawn blankets for seating and are welcome to bring picnics, city officials said. The park’s concession stand will also be open for business to provide snacks and beverages.

Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park, a nearly 60-acre park, is situated behind The Village at Meridian at the corner of Eagle Road and Fairview. The park has 3.3 miles of walking paths, a growing tree arboretum, two fishing ponds, the Rock of Honor Veterans Memorial, a community garden and full spectrum of youth play equipment.