State's biggest parade… Two-hour parade boasts 186 entries

By Staff
CHRISTMAS WISHES The "Our Little Miss" float was one of 186 entries in the Meridian Christmas parade, which wound its way through dowtown Thursday night. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 8, 2000
Thousands of residents lined the streets of downtown Meridian Thursday night to see what officials are calling the biggest Christmas parade in the state.
Parade Marshal Norman Miller said lining up the parade wasn't easy since the 186 entries from 136 groups covered two to three lanes of an 11-block area.
Residents began lining up for the parade at about 4:30 Thursday afternoon. By 5 p.m., residents had sprawled along 22nd Avenue, some in chairs and some wrapped in blankets.
By the time the parade began at 6:30, the parade route was jammed with onlookers, mostly children bundled in jackets and hats.
Miller said the quality of the floats is getting better each year.
Parade-goers waved for more than two hours as the floats wound through the streets of downtown Meridian.
Among the more popular floats were 101 Dalmatians, a Charlie Brown Christmas, a Chipmunk Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The float from Pine Forest Baptist Church was this year's overall winner. In the commercial category, Rush Foundation Hospital placed first, followed by Carol Merrill Academy of Dance and Heads-Up Hair Forum in second and third place.
Calvary Christian School placed first in the non-commercial division, followed by Area 5 Special Olympics and Witherspoon Elementary School in second and third place.
The parade is sponsored each year by the Downtown Association.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at