Three Christmas parades ready to roll

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 3, 1999

Santa’s going to have a busy schedule this weekend, with three parades scheduled in the Miss-Lou.

&uot;Just tell people to bring their umbrellas and raincoats and come out anyway,&uot;&160;said Tammi Mullins, director of the Natchez Downtown Development Association. She was referring to a forecast that includes a 40- to 50-percent chance of rain for Saturday and Sunday.

Natchez’s parade, themed &uot;A Community Christmas: Peace Begins At Home&uot; this year, will begin at 10 a.m. today on Broadway Street and will wind its way up Main and Franklin streets to Martin Luther King Jr. Street. In previous years, the parade was held at night. Jack Kerwin, a veteran of three wars, will be grand marshal.

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Natchez’s parade route will be closed to traffic at 8 a.m. and, after an attempt to locate the owners of remaining vehicles, cars will be towed starting at 8:30 or 9 a.m., said Police Chief Willie Huff. &uot;We’ll have extra officers at each intersection,&uot; Huff said. &uot;We’re looking for a pretty large parade, with a good time to be had by all.&uot;

Ferriday’s parade, &uot;Visions of Christmas,&uot; will also start at 10 a.m. That parade will begin at Ferriday High and go down E.E. Wallace Boulevard and Louisiana Avenue before heading back to the school. Clarence and Rose Hymon will be grand marshals.

&uot;I don’t think it will have much effect on our parade,&uot;&160;said Pam Hall, Ferriday’s parade chairperson, referring to Natchez’s parade being held at the same time.

Vidalia’s event, &uot;A Century of Christmases,&uot;&160;will start at 3 p.m. Sunday at the mat field near Vidalia Upper Elementary and go down Carter Street to the Visitors’ Center. Fred and Phyllis Falkenheiner are grand marshals.

Highlights will include marching bands and dance teams; floats by businesses, churches, krewes and other groups; and, of course, appearances by Santa himself. Vidalia’s Miss Merry Christmas and Miss Vidalia Melinda Higgins will ride in that town’s event, said Parade Chairperson Mo Saunders.

Other highlights will include Sheriff Randy Maxwell’s DARE train and an appearance by Ronald McDonald in Ferriday and Natchez’s parades, respectively. Last year, the number of floats and groups entered ranged from almost 40 in Ferriday to about 100 in Natchez’s parade.

Ribbons will be given to the first, second and third place floats and two honorable mentions at the Natchez parade. Trophies will be handed out to the Ferriday parade’s best entries, and winners in Vidalia will win $15 to $100.