Parade just around the corner

Published 12:12 am Friday, November 9, 2007

NATCHEZ — With holidays fast approaching, plans for the annual Christmas parade are in place. On Dec. 8, Santa and friends will stroll along downtown streets.

This year’s parade theme is Natchez Children’s Christmas.

The city, which is organizing the event, is purchasing decorations for 12 floats, parade committee member Carrie Lambert said.

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“They are going to be designing some facades possibly to resemble antebellum homes,” Lambert said. “Since the theme of the parade is Natchez Children’s Christmas, we’d like to pull in some of Natchez, as well as (decorations such as) toys and presents.”

Those interested can purchase the professional decorations for $500 this year and $500 next year.

“Each (float) will say, ‘Sponsored by so-and-so,’” Lambert said. “After the parade, the decorations will come off the floats and go onto the bluff. This way, it’s a dual purpose. For a month, whoever sponsors them will have free advertising on the bluff.”

The city is looking for anyone with 6-by-10 foot flatbed trailers to donate the use of those for the parade.

Along with floats, bands, street jugglers, musicians and clowns will entertain crowds, she said.

But this year, the parade won’t allow just any vehicle to participate.

“What we don’t want is undecorated trailers with kids sitting on top of hay,” parade committee member Sally Durkin said. “That will not be accepted. They have to do something in keeping with the theme. It has to be decorated.”

The only undecorated vehicles allowed will be transporting dignitaries along the parade route.

“Nobody wants to stand on the side of a street and watch traffic go by with a cardboard sign on the car,” committee member Darrell White said at a recent organizational meeting.

Those who want to participate can submit their decoration ideas to Lambert at the Natchez Downtown Development Association office. Nonprofit organizations will be charged a $10 entry fee, and commercial organizations will pay $20.

As a prelude to the holiday cheer, the annual Christmas tree lighting will be 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30. Residents can also enjoy free cocoa and entertainment.