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Dining one measure of State Games

By Staff
PRE-GAME MEAL Stephen Larsen, left, Thomas Cooper and Chris Walt, of Northwest Rankin under 14 soccer team, grab a bite of pizza at Bonita Lakes Mall food court before their Saturday night soccer game while their parents do some shopping. They said they have been eating out at restaurants a lot this weekend while in Meridian for the 2002 State Games of Mississippi. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
June 16, 2002
Meridian's restaurants seemed more than able to accommodate out-of-town visitors Saturday in the first weekend of the 2002 State Games of Mississippi.
State Games organizers had expected more than 10,000 visitors, including 4,500 athletes, at the 11th annual Olympic-style event. Most, if not all, of the city's 1,600 motel rooms have been booked for weeks and restaurant workers said they have been preparing for an expected onslaught of visitors.
But on Saturday, some restaurant workers said the crowds were smaller than expected.
South of town, at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill &Bar on Highway 11 &80, business was booming.
At nearby Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, also on Highway 11 &80, workers said business was about normal.

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