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Countdown to the Winter Olympics

On a day that resembled a festive holiday, Clearwater celebrated the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, on Thursday with a parade through downtown. Nagano is Clearwater's sister city and the parade opened a 100-day countdown to the Games that begin Feb. 7. The parade started at City Hall and ended at Station Square Park. It included city commissioners, city employees, schoolchildren and volunteers who will travel to Nagano during the Olympics to help Clearwater staff its $395,000 exhibit about Florida. At the park, Mayor Rita Garvey threw the switch to start a digital clock that will count down the days, hours and minutes to the Olympics.

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