Natchez celebrates season with lights, music, parade

Published 12:55 am Sunday, December 5, 2010

NATCHEZ — Christmas would not be the same for Leah Roberts and her children without the marching bands, floats and Santa Claus riding on top a fire engine.

Roberts of Vidalia loaded up her six children and set up shop on Main Street to watch the Natchez Christmas Parade Saturday night.

She said the parade is something her family never misses.

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“It wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t get to the parades,” Roberts said.

Her children, ranging from ages 8 months old to 8 years old, observed the parade quietly but with awe from a spot on the curb or in a stroller.

While some at the parade were there for the children, the event offered a good time for adults, as well.

Casey Paul, 24, decided to catch the parade because it caught her attention more than a football game.

Paul said she went to Andrew’s Tavern to watch Auburn University play the University of South Carolina in the SEC Championship, but she said the marching bands drew her out to the street as the game was played.

“I came out because Auburn wasn’t losing,” she said.

Drinking a beer and enjoying the music, Paul was pleased with the night, despite the championship’s outcome.

“It’s not a bad night,” she said, smiling.

The marching bands were in holiday gear. Robert Lewis Middle School band played “Jingle Bell Rock.” Tubas in the Natchez High’s marching band were speckled with colored Christmas lights.

For another couple attending, the parade was simply a way to do something different with their two sons.

“We have never been, and we wanted to do something fun,” Angie Huff said.

Huff’s son, Ethan, 8, said the music from the bands was his favorite part of the parade.

Seeing Santa and catching beads took a close second and third, he said.

He also enjoyed being in the middle of a big crowd of people, Ethan said.

Few holes the crowd lining the barricades and very limited parking confirmed the parade was a success.