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Homecoming spirit marks annual Meridian parade

By Staff
CHEERING THE TEAM Fabian Mason waves and cheers as football players pass by Thursday during the Meridian High School Homecoming Parade. The parade headed up 24th Avenue to Poplar Springs Drive and then to the high school for a bonfire. Meridian squares off against Natchez tonight.Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie?The Meridian Star
Oct. 19, 2001
Students were buzzing outside of the school district's central office Thursday evening as the lineup commenced for Meridian High School's Homecoming Parade.
Friends called out to each other, bouncing with energy. Many students were busy putting the finishing touches on their floats, just minutes before the parade began at 5:30 p.m.
About 50 entries of floats, pickup trucks and trailers rolled down 24th Avenue to Poplar Springs Drive and ended at the high school for a bonfire. The band played the high school fight song, "Washington and Lee Swing."
Justin Mardis, 18, a senior defensive tackle for the Wildcats, was anxious for the parade to begin.
Another senior, Kristin Daniels, 17, said she is also sure of a Wildcat Homecoming victory as she sat on a float she designed for the Ross Collins Career and Technical Center. Daniels dangled a stuffed bulldog tied to a stick with a string around its neck, over a fake fire on the float.
This year's Homecoming theme is "We Will Survive." Some clubs and classes related the theme to the popular television series, "Survivor." Others, like the high school's student council, illustrated the theme patriotically, with a New York City skyline and silhouette of the Statue of Liberty.
Seniors were excited because it would be their last high school Homecoming Parade. Sophomores were excited because Thursday night was a first for them.
Nichols said she sees children look up to her in her uniform, just as she used to admire band members when she was younger. "My first parade, I'm so proud," she said.
Martha and Michael Martin were proud, too, as they watched their daughter, Kimberly Ann Young, a 12-year-old sixth-grader, join her friends in the Magnolia Middle School Pep Squad.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at