Christmas parade has something for everyone

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 10, 2001

NATCHEZ – Crowds thronged the streets of downtown Natchez Sunday afternoon to view this year’s Christmas parade, themed &uot;A Dickens Christmas.&uot;

For Virginia Conn of Natchez, the parade is an event her family makes a point to attend each year.

&uot;And we enjoy it every year,&uot; she said, keeping one eye on the first of dozens of parade entries making their way down Franklin Street.

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&uot;I like Santa Claus best – and the candy,&uot; said her daughter, Amelia, 6. Conn also attended the event with her husband, Gary, and her 4-year-old son, Richard.

Sherman Rose of Natchez came to the parade with son Cleophus, 4, and friends to see his 12-year-old twin daughters LaTasha and Natasha march in the event, carrying a banner in front of one of the floats.

&uot;And (Cleophus) loves to see the horses,&uot; Rose said, referring to several local horseriding groups that marched at the back of the nearly 50-minute parade.

And sure enough, there seemed to be something for everyone in this parade.

The hour’s dignitaries included Grand Marshal Andrew Calvit and, of course, Santa Claus, riding atop at Natchez Fire Department truck.

Along with several helpers, he threw heaping handfuls of candy into the crowd, sending children scrambling to gather the treats into plastic bags.

Other men of the hour included the Trinity Episcopal football team, whose float featured a &uot;State Champs&uot; banner on the side.

Mardi Gras krewes, including the krewes of Phoenix, Alpheus and Janus – and the ever-popular Krewe of Crazies – had their own entries in the parade, from two-story floats to convertibles.

Other highlights included the Natchez High School and Natchez Middle School bands, several Scout troops and at least two car clubs featuring customized cars and trucks.

Businesses also had a big presence in the parade, including 95 Country, with deejays atop its float; Wendy’s, featuring the Grinch; Cathy’s Cowboy Corral, with a horse-drawn sled; and several floats with students from local day care centers.