Downtown parade could be more

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sirens blared, lights flashed and necks strained as the creature began to move.

Slowly, the venture came to life on Broadway Street, and then crept the wrong way up Main Street as it headed for the crowds.

The annual Natchez Christmas Parade came to life Saturday night in downtown and the event was a stunning success.

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Just one year ago, the parade almost died an untimely death when it didn’t have a parent, so to speak.

Then City of Natchez Tourism Director Walter Tipton and a handful of volunteers stepped forward and said, “We’re Natchez and Natchez needs a Christmas parade.”

This year, the organizers — from the City of Natchez and the Natchez Downtown Development Association — decided that just surviving another year wasn’t good enough.

The Natchez Christmas parade needed some juice, as in electricity. The city’s first lighted Christmas parade was born and with borrowed generators, the floats delighted parade goers, both young and old alike.

We’re happy the city stepped up and took the parade to a new level.

The event, if promoted well, could become yet another regional draw, one with significant impact on the city.

We can foresee having the parade become the culmination of a special “tax free” day, for example, in the City of Natchez — we’d need a little legislative cooperation there.

Or, perhaps, Natchez could host a huge citywide shopping event. The parade could become much, much more than just a parade. It could become the end of the biggest retail day in the city.

All it takes is a little vision and after Saturday’s parade, visions of sugarplums and dollar signs should be dancing in all of our heads.