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Budweiser Clydesdales thrill children despite missing Christmas parade

By By Fredie Carmichael and Shelia Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Nov. 30, 2001
Despite inclement weather postponing the Christmas parade a day, Janice King of Meridian said her 3-year-old twins, Matthew James and Molly James, were excited they at least got to see the Budweiser Clydesdales.
The two-ton horses were on display in the Central Fire Station Thursday. The Clydesdales were scheduled to appear in the Christmas parade. But when the parade was postponed until tonight, the hitch lost their opportunity to walk in the parade.
Molly seemed slightly intimidated, but Matthew asked his mother again and again to be lifted to their eye level. With a huge grin, he rubbed 12-year-old "Johnny's" velvet nose.
One of the trainers, Manny Raber, said he was disappointed the weather prevented them from marching in the parade.
The Clydesdales are scheduled to walk in the downtown Christmas parade in Laurel tonight.
6:30 p.m. starting time
Liz Coats, Meridian parade chairman, said weather forecasts predicting rain and severe weather prompted her to move the parade to tonight, starting at 6:30 p.m. However, now a few of the 144 entries won't be able to make it.
Coats said she hopes the extra day will allow the "bad weather" to be move out of the area.
Close look
The weather, though, didn't keep hundreds of people from coming to the fire station to see the Clydesdales up close.
Megan Tyra, 6, of Meridian said she was not scared to pet the horses. She said she has seen bigger animals, but could not remember their names.
Bay Daniels, 7, of Meridian said Johnny and Tony are the biggest horses she has seen.
Emma "Laine" Walker, 4, of Meridian said she has a horse named "Sonny." But her horse is "not as big," she said.