Parade lights Natchez

Published 12:42 am Sunday, December 9, 2007

NATCHEZ — Hundreds of area residents gathered along Main Street Saturday night to get in the Christmas spirit and maybe catch a little candy during the Natchez Christmas parade.

Sitting on the float with Girl Scout Troop 606 in the pre-parade line-up Breanna Cameron, 7, said she was excited to be in the parade.

But there was something in the parade she was even more excited about than being on a float.

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“Santa,” she said.

When the parade began, children jumped against the guardrails lining the street, straining for another precious piece of sugary treasure, bead necklace or other trinket.

Older people moved a little more slowly, but they too gathered the candy and other goods thrown from the floats.

And there were a lot of entries in the parade, exhibiting both the sacred and the secular.

Jesus of Nazareth made several appearances during the parade, some as a baby, some as an adult, more than once accompanied by angels.

Intermingled among the religious floats were marching bands, a theatre production, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, law enforcement and others.

Natchezian Carol Cotton said she came out to the parade because it was a community event.

“I came out to get into the Christmas spirit even though it’s hot out, and to see all the people I know,” she said.

Being a schoolteacher, Cotton said she had another reason for going.

“I felt that some of my students would probably be in the parade, and I want to be able to tell them I saw them,” she said.

As the parade began to wind down, bystanders began to question aloud if Cameron’s expectations — and their own — had been misplaced, but then came into view a fire truck with the season’s patron saint atop — St. Nicholas himself.

When everything was over, Tammy Orcutt, who made the drive from Jonesville for the parade, said she couldn’t choose a favorite part of the parade.

“I enjoyed everything this year,” she said.