Vidalia parade offers fun for everyone

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – Sometimes the reason people attend a Christmas parade has nothing to do with the parade itself.

&uot;The main reason I’m here is to spend quality time with my daughter on my only day off,&uot;&160;said Elvis Coleman of Vidalia.

Coleman was waiting with 4-year-old Raja-nee Sunday afternoon on Carter Street for the start of Vidalia’s parade.

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But for those who were there mostly to see the 30-minute parade’s sights, there was a little bit of everything, from Christmas-themed school, church and business floats to Vidalia High’s marching band.

Vidalia’s Miss Merry Christmas, Mariana Morris, appeared near the front of the parade, as did Miss Vidalia Miranda Higgins, first runner-up Nikki Dore and second runner-up LeAnn Moon. There were bikers and BMX racers and lodge members riding down the route in tiny cars. Small dancers dressed as chocolate kisses waved in unison to the crowd.

Leading the way were fire trucks and police cars, sirens blazing, followed by the DARE train, which was driven by Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell. But at the very back was perhaps the main attraction, Santa Claus himself — who had just ridden in Ferriday’s and Natchez’s parades Saturday.

&uot;We came to see (friends) Curtis and Misty ride horses in the parade,&uot;&160;said 8-year-old Ashley Jackson, who was there with mother Lisa and two siblings.

&uot;But Santa Claus and candy have something to do with it, too,&uot;&160;Lisa Jackson said, referring to the tradition of occupants of parades’ floats throwing candy and other treats to the crowd.