ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Football fans flock to Annapolis. For the first time, the Military Bowl is being held in the state capital, pitching the University of Maryland against Marshall.

Meghan McCorkell has the latest on the excitement.

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This is the first year Annapolis has hosted the Military Bowl at Navy Stadium. The festivities kicked off Friday morning.

The massive Budweiser Clydesdale horses–the stars of the show–as they march through downtown Annapolis, leading the Military Bowl parade.

“It’s a beautiful sunny day and the Clydesdales are in perfect form,” one visitor said.

“We’re very excited. We’re horse people, so we’re very excited to see the Clydesdales in person,” said another.

The horses are in town from New Hampshire to kick off a full day of festivities.

“It takes about five hours to get ready for each show, cleaning the stalls, washing the horses’ legs, grooming the horses, cleaning the harness, cleaning the wagon, getting them harnessed,” said Burton Westbrook, Budweiser Clydesdales.

And it’s taken Annapolis months to get ready. After five years in Washington D.C., the Military Bowl moves to Maryland. Businesses are hoping it provides an economic boost.

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“I’m thinking around $2 million for the two night, one day event,” said Connie Del Signore, Annapolis Visitors Bureau.

Five hotels in Annapolis are sold out.

“This is my first time in Annapolis. We’ve taken in the historic district and walked along the City Dock, and I think it’s beautiful,” said Kristina Gore, Marshall fan.

Many businesses–staying open late Friday night after the game. Fans from both sides–feeling confident.

“It’s going to be a close one I think, but Maryland’s going to win,” Terps fan Tonya Jones said.

Some are conflicted.

“I’m a Maryland state senator, but I’m a graduate of Marshall University,” said Sen. John Astle, (D) Anne Arundel County.

Whoever comes out on top, Annapolis hopes this is a big score for the city.

Annapolis is expected to host the bowl game for the next six years.

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