The elevator chime inside local hotels will be sounding heavily in the coming days as guests will be piling in by the van loads for this year's State Games. Officials say what makes this coming weekend different is the influx of kids the hotels will see.
"We're expecting a full house," according to Tracy Presswood with the Hilton Garden Inn. "We do every year. And still, people are still calling today trying to find out if we have rooms available."
Presswood says her hotel typically sees a fair amount of business travelers during the middle of the week, meaning maids will have a lot of cleaning up to do in a short amount of time before State Games families start arriving around noon on Friday.
"We're always excited," Presswood enthuses. "Different group of people each year. Sometimes we have the same groups and we kind of get a chance to see the kids grow. So, it's pretty exciting for us."
Because so many kids will be around, Presswood says employees will have more of a presence around the building, patrolling the pool, elevator, and staircases to help cut down on horseplay.
"We always have extra people here working," she says. "It's kind of like a bonding thing between the employees and the managers. We all come and pitch in and help. We're pretty well staffed."
The opening ceremonies for the State Games are set for this Friday June 15th. The festivities kick-off at 5:30 that evening with games and entertainment. The parade of athletes begins at 7:30. There is also the lighting of the torch and a big fireworks display. This year, the parade will end at Meridian's City Hall.